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Posts with tag college-credit

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 as a teaching tool

Most of us were kids at one point. A portion of us probably played computer or video games even as kids. Thus, I'm sure that at least a good handful of us, when told by our parents to turn off the computer and go do homework, eat dinner, or get some fresh air, tried to counter with something like this: "But Mom, games are educational! They give you hand-eye coordination and map reading skills!"

Now, all these years later, it seems we may finally be getting some backup from teachers and educators. recently highlighted some educators who are using World of Warcraft or lauding it for its educational values.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items

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