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Dec 02, 2007



In terms of "real world" skills, the combat in World of Warcraft, Eve Online, etc. pale in comparison to the economic and social experiences.

I'd like to think that someone who was ripped off in a legal (according to the TOS) MMO bank fraud: something that has happened in both Eve and SecondLife, would be more cautious of real life ponzi schemes.


Awesome. Did this remind anyone else of Monty Python?


A Møøse once bit my sister ...

No realli! She was Karving her initials on the møøse with the sharpened end of an interspace tøøthbrush given her by Svenge - her brother-in-law - an Oslo dentist and star of many Norwegian møvies: "The Høt Hands of an Oslo Dentist", "Fillings of Passion", "The Huge Mølars of Horst Nordfink".

We apologise for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible have been sacked.

Mynd you, møøse bites Kan be pretty nasti...


What level was the moose?


Best Thread Ever

Love the Holy Grail credits tease!

But back on topic...ahem...and rest assured, Neils has been sacked...

I never took a whole class in economics, but I learned a lot about real market economics in WoW.

When four of my (high school) students wanted to spend their month-long senior project "studying" MMOs and WoW, I talked them into focusing on focusing on economics in MMOs. In addition to their look at Ted's Synthetic Worlds... and a piece by Julian Dibbell, they applied what two of them had learned in their AP Econ class and did some "experiments". Their final presentation would have made any economist smile as they mixed graphs and complex terms (that went over my head).

Great catch. Thanks for sharing it.


When I talk to my students about "games and learning", I usually give them two examples of things you can learn from WoW:

1) The name of the real world's largest unbroken volcanic crater is Ngorongoro.

2) Sabre-toothed tigers don't like being fireballed.

The moose example is one of those happy occasions where the game world experience is close enough to real life to be actually useful. Lucky that taunt and play dead don't share a cooldown, though...



Not an MMO, but I learned from Sid Meier's Civilization that it's easier to pollute the world than clean it up; that if you want to make war, it's best to have at least a 100-year advantage in military technology; and that temples make people happy, but only if they're also well fed.

Seriously... I think that what I really learned was how interconnected all those seemingly minor political, social and economic issues can be. I mean, if it's that hard to prevent disease and famine in a game, maybe I should have a bit more sympathy for real-life.


I think the biggest RL take-away I have had from playing MMOGs is the realization of how much of daily life is devoted to game playing. Particularly the Consumer Game, of acquiring stuff to gain status, level up, and get better stuff. At least in the western world, we are so far from basic survival needs that game playing is a better model of most of what is going on than any analysis based on “stuff you have to do to survive”. I don’t see that much behavioural difference between leveling up at the office to get a better SUV than leveling up in WoW to get a better breastplate.

Prior to MMOGs, I thought of games as things that were fun all the time, and the work world as something that was often boring and repetitive. MMOGs demonstrated conclusively that complex game worlds will produce almost as much boring and repetitive work as the everyday world. And that people will become just as attached to grinding for a better breastplate as they do to grinding for a better car. And they will use much the same language to justify their "need" as well.

Of course, the physicality of the everyday Consumer Game does make it a bit more serious than WoW. Plus the real world has a base in actual survival needs. Though this is a long way down for most people in the rich world. And how many people here have jobs that directly produce physical objects? For many years, most of my “work” has consisted of adding bits to a disk somewhere for other people to use.


Any single simulation will be only a partial reflection of reality. Someone could figure out the optimum strategy for dealing with moose in WoW and die trying to implement it in RL. Still, there are lessons to be learned in play. A kitten playnig with a string is learning how to hunt mice, a major playing with virtual infantry will eventually learn to concentrate his forces.

One simulation is not gonna tell you how to act in all situations, but many diff simulations; ya, you'll learn something.


Who is really surprised that the 12 year old is playing a hunter..... ;)



Those are precisely the things I took away from Civilizations. That and learning the futility of nuclear war.


More moose posts!


I played a lot of WoW, and eventually quit after realizing that slaving day in and day out for dkp to get a new purple widget was a serious waste of time.

The strange part is that since then, I've had a hard time seeing TV, malls, cars, glitzy magazines, etc. any differently than "grinding for statistically insignificant upgrades".

For that insight alone, I would allow my kids to get addicted to an MMO early so that they, could, well, be inoculated against some of the worst parts of Western culture.


Personally, I think we'd all be better off just remembering that we live in RL, not a virtual world, and as such we should begin in RL and apply it to virtual worlds that we create, not the other way around. We'd be much better off going outside and learning how the world works as we live it than we would be trying to analyze our actions in an ultimately fruitless virtual world.

I see several analogies comparing grinding for epics to "grinding" for worldly goods like better cars and houses. Perhaps it would be more useful to examine why you grind in RL (which, I take it, is what Dave is saying). People who grind in MMO's do so because they grind in RL; it's a personality and disposition issue.

Getting closer to the original topic, that silly Norwegian boy would have known (1) not to harass the moose in the first place and (2) how to handle an annoyed moose if he had been involved in nature 10 hours a week rather than the 40 hours a week he may be putting into WoW. I've seen way too many people essentially lose their lives to WoW (40-80+ hours a week playing any combination of videogames is a tragedy), and it's frustrating to know that our world has so many problems but many chose to waste their talents on games. Sure you may learn a thing or two about economics, psychology, sociology, communication, cooperation, and whatever else, but think about how inefficient that knowledge is. I played WoW for about a year (unfortunately) and I can't believe that I spent those couple hundred hours wasting my time. In 200 hours I could cover entire courses in economics, finance, psychology... everything MMOs can offer and then quite a bit more.

So please.. turn the game off and read something useful, go outside (even just to play), spend time with real people, find a job you actually love. Games can't take you anywhere that's better than where you could be without them.


Civilization, yes, there is much to learn, like the fact that it's very difficult to keep technology a secret. It's also very difficult to stay in a constant state of war. I wish GW would have played afew games before running for President.

I'll just mention a learning experience from Magic: The Gathering (not on the computer, but iwth real cards). I learned in a four player game the nature of the "power vaccuum" that they talk about in international politics.

Games are great for education!


To address a little of what Jimbo is talking about...

I think something that is important to remember is that the time people spend playing games like WoW is often their leisure time. I know that the couple of hours a night that I play video games really wouldn't be better spent doing something productive because I would get burned out. You can't work and study all the time, you have to take time to just be and enjoy life, on a regular basis. For me, that's WoW, because I can do it in the circumstances I have. I have lots of computer equipment and I can't really go anywhere, my child is asleep. I may be an exception though, I make good money, I have a good career, I'm in good physical shape (if a bit chubby). It's kind of like adding up all the money you've ever spent on coffee and wishing you had it all right now. It just doesn't work like that, you would have spent those few dollars here and there on something else, just like you would spend your leisure time on something else not much more productive. Yes you could have been working, but why do that all the time.


if he really was a good hunter, he should've placed the moose in a freeze trap. that way he had a good chance of kicking the moose in the nuts. end of story


Woah, trippy background image. I didn't even realize I was at Terra Nova at first.

Regarding the story: This is simply fantastic. For the little girl and boy, who didn't get moosed to death, and as ammunition in the case for games being a benefit to society.

'Cause we stink at risk assessment, and favor "If it saves just one child, then it's worth it", regardless what the it that saves, the it that is worth something, or the it that it is worth actually are.

So now, anyone opposed to MMOs must want children to be killed by wild animals.


Just as well it wasn't me who faced the real life moose. All I'd have known how to do is turn into a cat, and run away.

I have a warlock alt... perhaps I would have had better luck fearing the moose.

Seriously though... while it's fun to say things about taking learnings away from games... it's not always possible. I guarantee you that if we're talking about adding up good learnings and bad learnings in games, most games would put you in deficit.

People just need to have a clear idea of separation. As someone else said above... it's entertainment. Even Blizzard themselves put in their Tip Of The Day: "All things in moderation. Even World of Warcraft!"

Rob @ mordorbbs.com


Re: Civ

Amen Andy.


Sounds just like every hunter that I've grouped with. Doesn't know how to control aggro and then burns his feign because he has a stupid pull.

I'd be shocked if his sister didn't yell "Leeeeroy Jenkins" and jump in like a typical mage.


Well, I have to admit that while I thought the story was charming and I also believe the boy when he said that he learned about feign death from games, I also don't think we should run too far with this.

Most children in Norway - particularly the ones walking around in forests on school trips after being given safety lessons by their teachers before going out - know that wild animals prefer to run away from humans if they can, hence he tried to scare the moose first. Second, most kids know that if the beasts can't be scared, they are probably protecting something or feel trapped, so try to get away from what ever they are protecting, and you'll most likely be fine. And the boy ran as fast as he could, away from the beast.

Now he was wearing a backpack, as most kids in Norway do when hiking or going to school, so when he got hit by the moose in the back, he wasn't harmed. This is when he applied the third lesson: stop being a threat to that huge thing standing over you. That he connected that to hunter feign death was just a fun little side thing, although I am pretty sure it helped him keep his cool at what must have been a very tense moment. So what the game taught him wasn't some magic skill that works in real life, but how to think strategically in a tense situation, and keep calm. And that is what we have always used games for, be it team sports or chess.

On the other hand, it's a lot more FUN to analyse the incident as a game incident, and consider what he should have done, if just... Personally, I'd have used kidney shot, crippling poison, blind, gouged repeatedly until the sister was safe, then vanish and sprint.


Thank god he isn't playing a warrior and decided to tank the creature. "OMFG, HEALZ PLZ"


At least he didn´t try to use poly D:


Zemmy is so gay


pico pal q lo lee D:


>_> muy tarde :O


I am constantly puzzled over the shocked reactions that play (to include games) has application in "real life". Play and games developed absolutely /because/ they help us learn and survive in life.


He should not have aggro'ed the moose in the first place.


Best thread ever.

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