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Posts with tag college-course

15 Minutes of Fame: WoW 101 -- yes, WoW for college credit

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.'s Adam Holisky has been itching to take a WoW course for quite a while now -- so Adam, this 15 Minutes of Fame is for you. While some people still don't get that playing WoW doesn't lead to becoming a college dropout, there are plenty of others who recognize the game to be a rich resource not only as entertainment but even as a venue for anthropological research.

And now, this: "Warcraft: Culture, Gender and Identity," a credit-awarding class being offered at Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota. At the helm of this innovative course is Landon Pirius, Ph.D., also known as Nodnal the Gnome Warrior of Blackwater Raiders-US. No stranger to the convergence of WoW and academia, Dr. Pirius wrote his doctoral dissertation on "Massively Multiplayer Online Virtual Environments: A Potential Locale for Intercultural Training." We didn't go quite that deep in this interview; we simply visited with him about his wildly successful college course and how it's helping shape modern educational methodologies.

And before you ask -- yes, Dr. Pirius returned the answers to our interview questions in impeccable outline form.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

World of Warcraft college course has to be next

Out on the internet today the story that UC Berkeley is offering a course in StarCraft is spreading like wildfire. Joystiq covered the news today, and you can also find an extensive Digg on the subject. The course description partially reads: "What may look like complex topics are just ways we want you to think more deeply about the game to derive a greater satisfaction from playing."

So... who wants to take bets on how long until there is a World of Warcraft course?

If they're offering a StarCraft course aimed at "thinking more deeply about the game to derive a greater satisfaction from playing," imagine what a World of Warcraft course could do for that. Taking down raid bosses with 24 other people is quite satisfying, especially if it's the first kill. The communication and leadership skills necessary to successfully run raids are akin to running a small business, and the mathematics and statistics behind the true upper echelons of play require a solid understanding of calculus.

That would be a course I'd be interested in. Not that I wouldn't sign up for a StarCraft course in a heartbeat, mind you.

Filed under: News items

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