The purpose of the study was to explore college students’ experiences with playing World of Warcraft (WoW) and their views on the application of WoW in educational settings. A qualitative case study design was used to interview three participants who were selected purposively from a Midwestern university. Findings revealed that players thought that playing WoW was fun, relaxing, motivating, but sometimes almost to the point of addiction. The findings also support student perceptions of generalization of teamwork, cooperating, socializing, academic skills, and time management skills learned and practiced in playing WoW to academic settings. Playing WoW games can provide an important link between the virtual world and the real world as players develop academic, time management, collaborative, and critical thinking skills.


Game Culture, MMORPGs, Online Video Games, Virtual Worlds, Qualitative Case Study

Author Bio(s)

Nariman Alawami received her B.A. of Education in Psychology from the King Saud University and earned her Master’s degree in Educational Technology from the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). She is currently a Ph.D. student at UNC. Her research interests are in instructional design and online video games. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: alaw0346@bears.unco.edu.

Heng-Yu Ku is a Professor in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, 80639. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: heng-yu.ku@unco.edu.

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