World of WarCraft Develops Social Skills — Scientist

What most employers would call “slacking” was actually data collection for a Swedish scientist.

Peter Stenberg, from Umea University in Sweden, spent 250 days playing World of WarCraft in order to study the game.

The ethnologist has released a thesis exposing the social benefits of the game, claiming the persona players develop within the game impacts real life — that the division between reality and cyberspace is breaking down.

In his thesis, Stenberg says:

The core of online role-playing games lies in the players’ mundane, often repetitive, work-like everyday life.

I slayed dragons, traded goods and attended parties; I made friends, joined guilds and collected herbs and minerals.

I took part in rituals and learned written as well as unwritten social norms.

That challenges the rather persistent view of the computer game enthusiast as a lone figure with only a flickering screen for company.

Why didn’t I get to do anything fun like this when I was scientist?


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