Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Passively multiplayer

Thanks to Sabine Little who alerted me to a blog post which describes a presentation in which Justin Hall was talking about a sort of webquest evaluating websites that has been turned into a game where the players (students) can interact "players can anticipate sites that their friends will be visiting, and plant bombs there, such that as that person hits the site, they get a message indicating some change in their points (either increased or decreased) or some other effect on their play." The players also get points, so there is a strong competitive element. The blog post is:
Warlick, D. (2007) "Passively Multiplayer Online Gaming: The Web". 2c worth, 13 July.

and the actual website is at - I must say getting students involved in actually creating an exercise like this, and adding the excitement of competition sounds good, as "evaluate the website" exercises can be really dull. There is always a risk that the focus is then on tweaking the game, rather than what is meant to be the learning outcome. However I think you could design things so that thinking about what should get points/prizes and why it should was an integral part. The blog post talks about the privacy concerns with this example, but talking that through with students could also be an interesting exercise in itself (issues of data protection, privacy on the web, acceptable behaviour etc.)

Photo by Sheila Webber: One of Carmen's cats, Madrid, July 2007.

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