Kow, Y. M., Young, T., & Tekinbaş, K. S. (2014). Crafting the metagame: Connected learning in the Starcraft II community. Digital Media and Learning Research Hub.

Kow and colleagues describe a study of StarCraft II, a real-time strategy game, and the community surrounding it. They selected the game “as a research site because of its intellectual demands, academic relevance, and networked peer support driving players to strive to learn and achieve higher levels of gaming skills” (p. 5). They wanted to understand “both the design and uptake of the game within the context of connected learning” (p. 5), so they interviewed both players and members of the game-development team. They found that players and developers both brought up learning in the interviews.

They found that StarCraft II is a learning environment in which many features of connected learning are present:

    • Competition
    • Production
    • Peer-support
    • Interest-powered learning
    • Community
    • Openly-networked supports, provided both my the designers of the game and the community of players
    • Social interaction and expertise that translates across contexts (home, school, public IRL, online)
They found that “several design features of the game…. enable both the competitive and productive practices at play within the community” and that participation in the game “offers participants a chance to develop soft skills that seem highly relevant to future work environments, characterized by constant competition and nonstop learning” (p. 43).
“...at the core of learning that takes place within StarCraft II is a model in which players are connected by media content developed by players themselves, using the game editing tools or other social network tools, as well as an active and peer-supported social network.” (p. 5)
“...continuous participation within an ecosystem of technology-centered learning circles can help deepen the participants’ expertise and social skills.” (p. 43)
“Players can move at their own pace, take advantage of a diverse set of resources created by other players, and are invited to contribute their own knowledge and expertise.” (p. 44).

✴️ Also on Micro.blog

✍️ Reply by email

Kimberly Hirsh, PhD @KimberlyHirsh
IndieWebCamp An IndieWeb Webring  This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 .

I acknowledge that I live and work on unceded Lumbee, Skaruhreh/Tuscarora, and Shakori land. I give respect and reverence to those who came before me. I thank Holisticism for the text of this land acknowledgement.

We must acknowledge that much of what we know of this country today, including its culture, economic growth, and development throughout history and across time, has been made possible by the labor of enslaved Africans and their ascendants who suffered the horror of the transatlantic trafficking of their people, chattel slavery, and Jim Crow. We are indebted to their labor and their sacrifice, and we must acknowledge the tremors of that violence throughout the generations and the resulting impact that can still be felt and witnessed today. I thank Dr. Terah ‘TJ’ Stewart for the text of this labor acknowledgement.