Chapter 13: How World of Warcraft Could Save Your Classroom: Teaching Technical Communication through the Social Practices of MMORPGs
Computer Games and Technical Communication
Jennifer DeWinter and Ryan M. Moeller
In a 2012 interview with Internet forum Big Think, John Seely Brown, drawing on the work of Huizinga and Juul, stirred up controversy across gaming communities and business publications by claiming that World of Warcraft (WoW) players were preferable job candidates to many professionals who possess Masters degrees in Business Administration. “I would rather hire a high-level World of Warcraft player than an MBA from Harvard,” announced Brown, who suggests that WoW’s advantages for professionalization emerge from its gameplay and organizational structure. Despite the surprise of business and gaming communities alike, Brown’s comments are not entirely novel. At a South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive panel earlier in 2012, Bing Gordon, Electronic Arts’ chief creative advisor, argued that “If you’re going to build a company, you have to do it like a World of Warcraft guild leader builds guilds” (quoted in McElroy). Both Brown and Gordon similarly note that WoW’s design rewards coordination and cooperation over competition, offering an organizational model that they suggest many companies should learn from and adopt. Moreover, both Brown and Gordon emphasize the skills and abilities that WoW players (especially dedicated players and guild masters) can offer corporate culture because they commonly juggle managerial responsibilities, act as mediators, and assess situational risks during collaborative gameplay.
Gaming, World of Warcraft, players, communication, technical
Business | Communication | Critical and Cultural Studies | Digital Communications and Networking | Other Computer Engineering | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Bianchi, Melissa. (2014). Chapter 13: How World of Warcraft Could Save Your Classroom: Teaching Technical Communication through the Social Practices of MMORPGs. In Jennifer DeWinter and Ryan M. Moeller (Eds.), Computer Games and Technical Communication (233-246).