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Fi er o Moment s Febr uar y2013

GotGame?Let’ sPlay!

Are we  having   FUN,  yet?    

If  not,  w ait  until  you   devour  this  issue  of   VEJ!  I  love  this  picture   of  the  “Dancing   Pandas”  in  W oW  –  and   there  are  so  many   more  great  photos  in   this  issue  of  VEJ.  As     editor  of  VEJ  I  have  had       the  opportunity  to  read  every  w ord  and  check  out  every  link  –  and  I  can’t  begin   to  tell  you  how  much  I  have  learned  from  this  issue.  This  is  by  far  our  BEST  and   most  fun  issue  yet!    Could  it  have  something  to  do  with  PLAY?       My  greatest  learning  from  this  issue  is  grounded  (or  should  I  say  heightened)  by   observing  and  learning  about  Fiero  Moments  .  .  .  a  term  I  didn’t  know  until  w e   began  to  plan  this  issue  of  VEJ.  I  actually  used  it  with  administrators  at  our  New   Leader’s  Academy  for  the  Connecticut  Association  of  Schools  a  couple  of  weeks   ago,  when  I  asked  principals  to  share  their  (rl)  Fiero  Moments.  My  favorite  w as   when  one  administrator  said  it  happened  w hen  her  son  was  able  to  read  his  first   book  to  her!  We  all  got  goose  bumps!  Be  sure  to  listen  to  how  Jane  McGonigal   defines  Fiero,  and  then  make  your  own  Fiero  Moments  and  share  them  with  us   on  the  VEJ  flickr  page.       Be  sure  to  check  out  our  Reader’s  Choice  Favorite  Games,  the  interview  with  Kae   Novak,  aka,  Kavon  Zenovka  (sl),  the  amazing  MachinEVO  videos,  joining  a  guild,   weekly  tweetchats,  and  much,  much  more!     My  favorite,  part  of  this  issue,  however,  is  being  On  W alkabout  with  Cyrus  Hush.   The  Blake  Sea  is  amazing!  Riding  the  d olphin  was  fun.  Sitting  at  the  pool  bar  on   the  Galaxy,  SL’s  largest  cruise  ship  made  me  forget  the  rl  2013  blizzard  in   Connecticut  –  at  least  for  a  little  w hile.  Watching  the  planes  land  and  take  off  at   the  Hollywood  airport  made  me  w ant  to  go  find  an  sl  plane  to  fly.    Exploring  all  of   the  little  d oors  at  Bearskin  Neck  captivated  me  for  hours.  But,  I  had  the  most  fun   running  along  the  country  roads  absorbing  the  Scandinavian  culture  at  the   Norway  Fjord.    As  Roxie  (sl)  was  running,  Rosie  (rl),  however,  w as  wishing  she   could  map  this  course  at  IFIT  and  run  right  along  with  Roxie  on  her   incline  trainer.  Now,  that  would  be  a  great  w ay  for  both  of  us  to  get  our  GAME   ON  –  simultaneously  in  rl  and  sl!  So  will  it  happen?  After  listening  to  Pathfinder   John  Lester  at  the  February  ISTE  SIGVE  Speaker  Series  –  it  is  probably  coming   sooner  than  we  think  –  either  with  our  google  goggles  or  something  even  more   powerful.  Speaking  for  both  of  us,  we  (Roxie  and  Rosie)  can’t  wait!     Whether  you  are  a  d iehard  can’t  wait  for  the  next  Fiero  Moment  Gamer  or   someone  thinking  about  taking  the  plunge,  the  Gaming  Trailblazers  have  given   us  a  lot  to  chew  on  in  this  issue!    Make  sure  that  you  take  the  time  to  visit  the   websites,  use  the  url’s  to  check  out  the  sl  hot  spots,  and  explore  the  numerous   resources  in  this  issue  of  VEJ  and  linked  to  VEJ.  There  is  sooooo  much  here!  A   HUGE  THANKS  to  all  o f  our  contributors!     And,  most  of  all,  CONGRATULATIONS  to  ISTE  SIGVE  for  being  named  one  of  the   top  5  BEST  SOCIAL  NETWORKS  at  the  2012  Edublog  Awards.   CONGRATULATIONS  to  our  friends  and  colleagues  w ho  also  were  nominated   and/or  became  finalists!     Enjoy  and  VEJ  –  OUT  OF  THIS  WORLD!   Keep  smiling  J             Rosie  Vojtek,  aka  Roxie  Neiro    (sl)  

VEJ        Vol.  2  Issue  3   Virtual  Education  Journal  

In This  Issue   • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Reflections by  Lowly  High  Grand   Poobah  BJ  Gearbox   Kids  Connecting  W ith  Games     VWBPE  2013  –  Save  The  Date   Capturing  Our  Best  Fiero  Moments!   VEJ  Readers  Choice  Favorite  Games   XP  with  Machinima  for  FX  in   Learning   Language  Learning  Through   Machinima  Play     One  Billion  Rising  SL   Minecraft,  Math  Mage,  and  Mobile   #gamemooc:  Game  Based   Tweetchat   Calling  All  Visioneers!   Fairy  Tales  Do  Come  True     Creating  Texture  Packs     SIGVE  Speaker  Series   G.A.M.E.  ON!  An  Interview  with   Kavon  Zenovka  (sl)   Introduction  to  a  W oW  Guild   Peterson  Schools  Get  Serious  About   Playing  Games   Second  Life  Physics  Lab   Lights,  Camera,  Nominations:   SIGVE  at  the  Eddies   Educational  Games  for  Social  and   Environmental  Causes   Virtual  Pioneers  2 012  .  .  .  It  Was  A   Very  Good  Year   Learning  W ith  Friends  In  Second   Life   Achieving  Fiero  Moments  in  Virtual   Collegial  Communities   Walkabout  –  The  Blake  Sea!   Inevitable  Betrayal:  An  Educator’s   Guild   A  Digital  Game  Based  Learning   MOOC   The  Games  M.O.O.C.  Now  &  Then  

To Read  VEJ  online  visit:   For  more  information  about  ISTE  SIGVE  or   to  join  the  fun,  visit:   Follow  us  on  Twitter  @VEJournal  or   #VEJournal    


Reflections   by    

SIGVE Lowly  High  Grand  Poobah   BJ  Gearbox  (sl),  Bob  Vojtek  (rl)     The  cover  story  on  the  March  2013  issue  of  Atlantic  Monthly  is  titled   "The  Robot  Will  See  You  Now."    In  it,  Jonathan  Cohn  explains,  "IBM's   Watson—the  same  machine  that  beat  Ken  Jennings  at  Jeopardy—is  now   churning  through  case  histories  at  Memorial  Sloan-­‐Kettering,  learning   to  make  diagnoses  and  treatment  recommendations.  This  is  one  in  a   series  of  developments  suggesting  that  technology  may  be  about  to   disrupt  health  care  in  the  same  way  it  has  disrupted  so  many  other   industries.  Are  doctors  necessary?  Just  how  far  might  the  automation  of   medicine  go?"   I  admit  that  this  is  my  bias,  however  our  insatiable  drive  to  implement   STEM  education  is  missing  a  critical  element,  maybe  two.  One  that  I   have  been  ranting  about  since  I  heard  the  term...  That  is,  it  is  missing  the   letter,  "A,"  for  the  Arts  –  creating  STEAM.     If  we  blindly  pursue  STEM,  without  the  arts  and  the  creativity  and   innovation  inherent  in  the  arts,  we  have  a  strong  tendency  to  do  the   “easy”  version  of  STEM.  Meaning,  that  we  concentrate  on  only  the   knowledge  and  skills  that  are  rote,  easily  memorized,  and  fall  within  the   realm  of  tasks  that  IBM's  Watson  excels  doing.       The  second  element,  one  that  I  can't  append  the  acronym  easily  to   accommodate,  is  gaming,  which  is  the  focus  of  this  issue  of  VEJ.  I  can't   simply  add  a  "G"  to  STEAM  creating  STEAMG  –  that  doesn't  work!  So,   the  point  isn't  creating  the  perfect  acronym,  the  point  is,  that  the   benefits  gained  by  game  play  are  missing.    


Gamers say  that  there  are  significant  benefits  to  playing  games.  As  you   read  the  articles  in  this  issue  of  VEJ,  consider  the  underlying  elements   that  can  inform  teaching  and  learning,  guide  participants,  draw  them  in   to  an  immersive  experience,  and  teach  skills  not  easily  replicated  in  the   traditional  classroom.     As  we  continue  to  describe  the  knowledge,  skills,  and  abilities  of  the  21st   century  worker  (that  would  be  us  for  the  last  13  years)  I  hear  parallel   voices…  those  of  business  and  industry  and  what  they  consider  to  be   necessary  abilities  for  employees  of  the  future  and  the  descriptions  of   the  learning  that  takes  place  in  online  gaming.    For  example,  employers   of  the  future  are  going  to  need  people  to  be  able  to  work  as  a  high   performing  team  rather  than  a  group  of  individuals  working  on  a  task.   Gaming  offers  that!  Plus  the  online  team  of  gamers  could  as  easily  be   sitting  around  a  large  table  in  Second  Life  as  they  could  be  dispersed   across  the  globe.  Where  can  you  replicate  that  in  the  typical  classroom   today?       When  I  think  about  embracing  gaming  as  a  legitimate  exercise  in   learning,  I  wonder  how  long  it  may  take…  and  why.  I  harken  back  to  old   phrases  describing  the  inclusion  of  other  technologies  for  the  classroom.   One  often  quoted  statement,  “It  took  20  years  to  get  the  overhead   projector  out  of  the  bowling  alleys  and  into  the  classroom.”  I  came   across  other  zinger  phrases  that  may  or  may  not  have  equal  validity.   Such  as,  “there  hasn't  been  a  significant  change  in  how  we  teach  since   1455.”    A  reference  to  that  Gutenberg  thing,  I  presume.     As  a  final  anecdote,  I  had  a  student  in  one  of  my  classes  that,  as  a  junior   in  high  school,  seldom  if  ever,  completed  homework.  I  just  couldn’t  seem   to  find  a  “hook”  to  get  him  interested.       Then,  he  was  absent  for  three  days.  Even  though  he  seldom  participated   in  class,  he  was  rarely  absent.  When  he  returned,  I  asked  him,    “How  are   you  doing?”       He  replied,  “I’m  feeling  better,  I  just  had  to  rest.”       “Oh?”  I  said.        


“Yeah, Civilization  [new  version  of  the  game]  came  out,  and  I  played  for   26  hours  straight.”     So  when  a  student,  not  engaged  in  school  can  spend  26  hours  straight   advancing  through  a  game,  what  is  it  that  the  game  developers  know   that  we  don’t?  What  do  we,  as  educators  need  to  learn?    How  can   teachers  engage  students  in  the  same  way  that  game  developers  engage   students?  Can  it  be  as  simple  as  bringing  the  games  into  the  classrooms?   Or,  is  there  more?     Read  through  this  issue  of  VEJ  and  help  us  have  a  dialogue  about  how   we  can  leverage  games  in  education.  Join  us  at  ISTE  SIGVE  Office  Hours   every  Tuesday  night  at  5:00  pm  slt  at  ISTE  Headquarters  to  continue   this  discussion.  Hope  to  see  you  there!        


Kids Connecting  with  Games  and  Virtual  Environments     By  GridJumper  (SL),  Tanya  Martin  (RL)  

Connected Hour attendees in the SIGVE Diner at ISTE-SIGVE Island on Second Life watching, listening and discussing as the Kids presented some of their favorite games.

Using Google  Hangout,  Second  LIfe,  YouTube,  and  a  sampling  of  five   kid  friendly  games,  educators  met  in  Second  Life  at  the  SIGVE  Diner  as   well  as  on  the  GameMooc  YouTube  channel  to  watch  the  live  stream   (recorded  on  December  11,  2012)  and  to  chat  and  forward  questions   to  the  presenters,  six  boys  and  girls  aged  8  to  17.         Each  child  selected  an  online  game  and  took  turns  showing  and   explaining  the  game  selected.    The  digital  literacy  the  youngsters   displayed  was  a  demonstration  of  what  they  have  been  taught  and   have  learned  independently.    Parents  were  present,  but  the  hour  was   for  the  children  to  tell  their  story  and  they  did  so  eloquently,  without   a  script,  and  with  enthusiasm.              


Educators asked  questions  and  the  children  had  no  problem   answering  and  continuing  with  the  demonstration.    Each  child  had   one  remote  practice  session  to  ensure  that  the  technology  was   working  on  each  home  computer.  The  ease  in  simultaneously  using   the  game  of  choice  and  Google  Hangout  as  well  as  audio  technology   (headphones  or  speakers)  was  evident.    Parents  were  present,  but  for   the  most  part  silent  and  we  later  learned  that  they  were  learning   about  their  children  and  about  the  games  that  other  children  played.         I’ll  discuss  what  happened  behind  the  scenes,  as  you  can  see  the   unedited  version  of  the  broadcast  for  yourself  on  the  Game  MOOC   YouTube  channel.         The  youngsters  in  the  broadcast  represented:  4  families,  both   genders,  5  age  groups,  3  states,  and  2  time  zones.    They  did  not  know   each  other,  with  exception  of  two  sets  of  siblings.    Each  child  selected   the  game  they  wanted  to  share,  with  some  changes  to  a  second  choice   because  of  technical  issues  with  the  first.    Each  child  expressed   excitement  in  sharing  with  no  request  of  “what  do  I  get  for  doing   this?”         During  the  event  each  child  patiently  waited  and  internal  chat   reflected  the  fact  that  either  the  kids  and/or  their  parents  were  being   attentive  to  the  speaker.    After  the  event  I  received  feedback  mostly   from  the  parents.    Parents  reported  that  their  children  had  fun  and   expressed  positive  thoughts  about  the  event.    The  kids  all  had  some   sort  of  comment  about  the  other  presentations;    “I  play  that  game  too,   I’m  on  level  ___”,  “I  want  to  try  that”,  “He  sure  is  smart.”    Parents  noted   not  only  on  the  content  but  the  manner  in  which  the  kids  presented.   They  commented  on  public  speaking  and  the  varying  abilities  of  the   children  to  be  articulate.  Each  parent  expressed  that  they  learned   something  about  their  children.    The  overwhelming  idea  expressed   was  that  it  was  fun!       This  broadcast  made  it  clear  that  the  child  viewpoint  is  an  important   one.    They  will  tell  you  what  they  like  and  why  as  well  as  what  they   don’t  like  and  why  not.    Only  one  of  the  games  First  in  Math,  was  a   game  used  as  an  extension  to  school.  The  rest  of  the  games  Club   Penguin,  Poptropica,  Wizard  101,  and  Kerbal  Space  Program  are    


games these  children  access  at  home  for  fun.        As  you  listen  to  the   enthusiasm  in  the  child  voices  it  becomes  obvious  that  learning  while   playing  is  fun.         [ISTE’s  SIGVE  (third  Connected  Hour  was  conducted  in  December  and   was  co-­‐hosted  by  G.A.M.E.  (Gamers  Advancing  Meaningful   Education).      You  can  view  the  entire  unedited  broadcast  on   Youtube.    Connected  Educator  Team:  Tanya  Martin,  Kae  Novak,  Andrew   Wheelock,  Chris  Luchs  and  Vasili  Giannoutsos]     ******************************************  

Save The  Date!  

Virtual Worlds  –  Best  Practices  in  Education VWBPE  2013:  Beyond  The  Stage   July  24  –  27,  2013    

As noted by Anderson (1933), “we perceive life as drama, and our major issues involve the definition of personal roles and the fabrication of stories that give purpose and shape to social existence. Public happenings have the quality of scenes created for public consumption”. This year’s theme, “Beyond the Stage”, challenges educators to look at education as performance art. A tapestry of who we are, those we connect with, and education as a social narrative that defines our ability to create knowledge through innovation. The virtual frontier provides new tools and techniques to redefine not just those traditional narratives for a new age, but to change the relationship between the stage and the audience. There are many stories we want to hear about. Diversification in use of technologies; the psychology of presence and how it impacts on learning; engagement of students as both a creative part of the learning process and consumer. There are a thousand and one stories. Bring them all – share them all – beyond the stage. Call for proposals coming soon – watch this space for more details.


What is Fiero? Gaming expert, Jane McGonigal, shouts enthusiastically waving her hands and jumping up and down screaming FIERO to describe a Fiero Moment in a 10 second YouTube clip. When Kae Novak was presenting at a Teaching with Technology conference, she asked this same question. One of the instructors who speaks Italian, stood up from her seat and raised her arm fist clinched and said, “Pride!” Yes, fiero is Italian for pride. At this point you may have images of when a soccer team scores a goal or a football team makes a touchdown, but it is more than winning. Kae Novak describes Fiero as, “It is that sense of accomplishment you receive when you have overcome an obstacle, solved a puzzle, or finished a challenge.” For example, listen to Kae Novak discuss “Fun, Flow and Fiero.” So it may be building a house in Minecraft or even taking out your first spaceship in EVE Online.

EVE Online    


We asked  our  readers  to  share  with  us  their  Fiero  moments.  Here  are  some  of  our   favorites!  ENJOY!    

Trish Cloud    

Gridjumper (Tanya  Martin)  captured  by  Que  Jinn  (Kae  Novak)  


Our readers  told  us  over  and  over  that  they  didn’t  have  pictures  of  their   greatest  Fiero  moments  because  they  were  either  too  excited  in  the   moment,  the  moment  happened  so  quickly,  or  they  just  didn’t  think   about  taking  a  picture  until  it  was  too  late.  There  is  no  way  to  go  back   and  get  the  picture  once  the  moment  is  gone.       So,  here  are  some  of  the  great  Fiero  moments  that  are  somewhere  lost   in  virtual  space  but  live  on  in  the  player’s  minds  .  .  .  and  if  a  picture   paints  1,000  words,  these  few  words  may  help  you  paint  your  own   picture  of  the  moments  that  keep  gamers  craving  more!        

Ø The first  time  the  machines  "clicked"  in  Glitch-­‐-­‐all  the  sudden  I   understood  the  order  in  which  things  had  to  be  created  and   ended  up  building  a  second  story  onto  my  house  that  night.  :)     By  Aevalle.         Ø When  we  downed  deathwing  in  the  Cognitive  Dissonance  10   man  raid.  After  weeks  of  coordination  and  strategy,  our   perseverance  paid  off  and  we  defeated  the  world  breaker.    By   Zarrasia        

Ø Teaching French  FL  on  Second  Life.  By  Edith  Paillat  


Ø When I  earned  the  ability  to  fly.    It  made  everything  easier.     Getting  there  required  many  quests  and  gold.  By  Anonymous  



Ø Fun fiero  moment  in  Felwood  battling  imps  and  used  a   rainbow  to  burn  them.  I  felt  like  I  was  in  an  episode  of  My  Little   Pony!    By  Trish  Cloud  


VEJ Reader’s Choice

Favorite Games

We  asked  our  readers  to  tell  us  their  favorite  online,  social,  immersive,   3D,  or  virtual  game.    We  also  asked  readers  to  tell  us  “What  is  the   educational  value  is  of  your  favorite  online,  social,  immersive,  3D  or   virtual  GAME?”    Here  are  some  of  the  comments  our  responders  gave   us:     Ø Instant  Assessment  and  feedback   Ø 21st  Century  skills  -­‐  Communication,  Collaboration,  Problem  Solving   Ø It  could  and  can  be  used  for  a  variety  of  educational  purposes   ranging  from  writing,  comprehension,  storytelling,  mathematics,   business,  etc.  Cooperation  with  fellow  players  as  you  collaborate  to   defeat  enemies.   Ø Intrinsic  motivation,  natural  language  production,  immersive   Ø Multiple  perspectives  and  exploring  identities  and  contexts,  situated   learning,  social  engagement       And  now,  the  winners  are  .  .  .    drum  roll,  please  .  .  .           Honorable   Mention    



3rd Place Winner Minecraft            


2nd Place Winner Second Life Book Study  at  VSTE  

ISTE Island  home  of  ISTE  SIGVE,  2013  



1st Place Winner – World of Warcraft

Balloon over  Mist  of  Panderia      




Horde Capital City of Orgrimmar                  


Outland in  World     of  Warcraft  


XP with  Machinima  for  FX  in  Learning     By  Tanya  Martin  (RL),  Broward  County  Schools   GridJumper  (SL)  

Machinima comes  from  the  gaming  world.    It  is  a  way  of  making   animated  movies  with  nothing  more  than  a  computer  and  screen   capture  software  and  “filmed”  either  in  an  immersive  world  or  Video   Game.  The  “movie”  can  be  used  “as  is”  without  any  editing  or   embellished  with  sound,  music,  special  effects,  text,  and  editing.     Teachers  can  customize  materials  for  students  using  game  content  to   help  introduce  a  topic,  define  processes  and  content,  and  trigger   creative  thought.       Considering  the  components  of  a  typical  lesson/unit  plan,  either   teaching  a  process  or  introducing  new  content,  machinima  could  be   incorporated  to  bring  interest,  help  explain,  and  just  get  attention  in  a   way  that  today’s  students  are  used  to.    Student  created  machinima   supports  learning  more  than  a  topic  or  curriculum  area.    The  most   effective  way  to  use  machinima  with  students  is  to  have  them  work  in  a   group  and  develop  the  machinima  employing  a  variety  of  skills  and   roles.    Just  as  is  done  in  moviemaking,  machinima  creation  requires   direction,  script  writing,  acting,  special  effects,  technical  skill,  music,   narration,  acting  and  editing.    A  machinima  project  forces  students  to   collaborate,  communicate  and  solve  problems.   Some  possible  ways  to  use  machinima  for  teaching  and  learning  are:   ▪ Lesson/Unit  Introduction:    A  short  clip  introducing  a  topic  in  any   subject  area  is  possible  with  a  machinima.    MMORPGs  and   Sandbox  genre  games  allow  for  scenes  and  actions  that  would  be   impossible  to  recreate  in  the  physical  world.    As  you  look  over   your  lesson  plans  the  introductions  used  to  introduce  concepts  on   history,  science,  math,  and  literature  will  trigger  ideas  of  making  a   machinima  to  make  that  introduction  more  interesting,  relevant  


and memorable.    Using  a  video  game  to  make  that  introduction  is   certain  to  catch  student  attention,  you  can  open  a  free   introductory  account  in  most  games  to  use  for  machinima  and   most  virtual  worlds  are  free  to  join.     ▪ Lesson  Objectives:    When  you  give  students  objectives  for  a  lesson  or   unit  it  is  typically  in  words,  written  and  spoken.    How  about   having  a  Game  Toon  or  avatar  supply  the  objectives  in  an   animated  fashion  to  increase  attention.     ▪ Lesson/Unit  Materials:    Develop  innovative  ways  to  provide  content   information  on  any  curriculum  area.     ▪ Unit  Assessment:    Student  created  machinma  is  a  form  of  authentic   assessment,  evaluated  with  the  use  of  a  rubric  provided  to   students  at  the  start  of  the  unit.    Imagine  a  student  allowed  to  use   Wizard  101  to  retell  the  important  parts  of  a  literary  classic  or  a   creative  story.     ▪ Remediation  &  Enrichment:    Machinima  works  for  both  enrichment   and  remediation  as  students  can  work  in  groups  and  develop   machinma  ensuring  objectives,  keeping  in  mind  that  grouping   students  to  ensure  success  is  important.     ▪ Differentiating  Instruction:    Developing  any  project  in  a  group   requires  use  of  various  skills  and  knowledge.    All  students  can   contribute  to  a  machinima  as  there  are  a  variety  of  skills  and   levels  involved.       G.A.M.E.,  Gamers  Advancing  Meaningful  Education,  will  be  sponsoring  a   webinar  on  the  topic  of  Machinma  onFebruary  15,  2013.    Tune  in  to  the   Game  MOOC  channel  at  9:00  PM  EST  for  the  live  stream  and  ask   questions  of  the  presenters.      


Moving pictures,  sound  and  stories  are  the  most  powerful  way  of   communicating  learning  content.     For  Generation  Z,  video  is  the  favored  means  of  communication   expression  as  well  as  learning  with  YouTube.    YouTube  has  become  the   second  most  popular  community  after  Facebook  and  the  second  largest   search  engine  after  Google.    This  generation  however,  is  also  a  highly   critical  consumer  of  film  and  video  and  educators  must  be  aware  of    


these heightened  expectations.   MachinEVO  (a  5-­‐week  workshop  for  language  teachers)  takes  up  the   challenge  of  ‘video  as  a  new  language  of  learning’  and  purposes  to  train   and  equip  language  teachers  to  produce  visually  appealing  authentic   conversations.   The  technology  in  focus  is  machinima,  which  by  definition  is  the  use  of   real-­‐time  3D  computer  graphics,  such  as  video  games  or  virtual  worlds,   to  create  cinematic  productions.  Machinima  is  a  neologism  derived  from   machine  and  cinema.  The  actors  are  avatars  and  the  stage  is  computer-­‐ generated  imagery.  The  camera  is  a  screen  recording  software  and  these   productions  are  lean  and  cost-­‐effective.  These  Video-­‐Podcasts   (Vodcasts)  are  the  natural  successor  to  podcasts  and  the  genre,  digital   storytelling,  meets  a  creative  and  popular  environment,  namely  3D   graphics.   A  major  advantage  of  creating  films  in  Second  Life  is  that  they  are  far   less  expensive  than  real  world  productions,  and  these  recordings  go  far   beyond  merely  creating  podcasts  because  the  avatars  may  be  located  in   real  or  imagined  culturally  rich  environments,  such  as  Berlin  of  the   1920's,  ancient  Rome,  or  on  spaceships  many  years  into  the  future.   For  a  set  of  samples  of  machinima,  please  look  at  the  following  sites   Machinima  –  Language  Learning   http://avalon-­‐   All  of  these  productions  on  this  website  did  not  exist  a  year  ago  when   we  started  to  learn  about  how  to  create  this  kind  of  videos.   The  challenges  of  producing  videos  of  this  nature  are  manifold  though   and  really  require  a  lot  of  technical  skills.  Last  year,  when  we  ran  the   MachinEVO  session  for  the  first  time,  we  asked  at  the  outset  for  Second   Life  experience  because  the  video  production  itself  is  difficult  enough.   So,  next  to  Second  Life  skills  we  needed  to  acquire  film  production  skills,   how  to  move  the  camera,  how  to  set  the  lighting,  and  voice   recording.    Post-­‐production  skills  included  editing,  uploading  on  video   hosting  sites,  adding  music,  and  adding  voice  which  at  times  was   dubbed  with  Skype,  etc.    And  finally,  of  course,  participants  must  learn      


language skills  such  as    using  conversation,  story  telling  techniques,   telenovelas,  emoting  to  develop  the  story,  photo  story  to  prepare  the   actually  recordings,  etc.   Honestly  speaking,  we  expected  about  15-­‐20  participants  and  were   BLOWN  AWAY  by  some  128  registering  on  our  MachinEVO  NING   site.  Why  expect  so  few?  Well,  first  of  all,  because  of  the  pre-­‐requisites  of   having  to  have  had  SL  experience,  then  the  trend  we  have  experienced   away  from  3D  worlds  into  mobile  technology.  Then,  most  of  the  techy   language  teachers  who  would  have  liked  to  be  a  part  of  this  workshop   ran  other  EVO  sessions  themselves  (EVO  is  the  annual  pre-­‐conference  of   the  TESOL  convention,  this  year  in  Dallas,  end  March  2013).  Look  at  this   most  amazing  list  of  EVO  moderators  from  2012.    Mind-­‐blowing  isn’t  it?   On  this  list  you  can  also  see  the  number  of  EVO  sessions.  We  are  one  of   14  (!)  sessions.  Last,  but  not  least,  the  perception  is  that  Second  Life  is   rather  'out'  and  people  often  ask  me  'does  Second  Life  still  exist?'   So,  realistically,  we  counted  on  about  15-­‐20  participants  and  were   amazed  and  happily  surprised  by  128  sign-­‐ups.  Not  only  that,  we  even   saw  some  71  inworld.    Unbeatable!       What  proved  ever  so  valuable  was  organizing  this  big  crowd  of  eager   participants  into  groups.  In  the  end  we  had  10  groups,  which  you  can   see  on  this  Google  docs  list  and  we  really  thank  these  group  leaders  for   making  MachinEVO  a  success.  Some  of  them  had  NO  experience  with   creating  machinimas  and  were  scared  to  take  over  such  a  role  but  they   were  courageous  and  we  made  sure  each  group  had  an  assigned   moderator.  Notwithstanding  even  we,  as  moderators,  had  no  idea  on   how  to  create  such  recordings.  What  pioneer  work!   Due  to  the  technical  challenges  we  were  ever  so  grateful  to  listen  to  our   expert  advisors  Gromit  Mayo  (15  years  as  executive  producer  of  a   commercial  company  and  5  years  SL  experience  and  technical  wiz   kid),  Howdy  Colter  (media  student  in  RL  and  main  cameraman  of,  the  Second  Life  TV  show),  Lowri  Mills  of  LanguageLab,  Charlie   Navarathna  (20  year  RL  video  production  experience  and  video   producer  of  First  Responder,  a  60sec  machinima  said  to  be  played  on   CNN)  and  Jens  Nerido  (15  years  experience  teaching  film  making  to   school  teachers  in  Denmark)  and  Giovanni  Tweak  (20  years  of   video    production  experience,  now  runs  a  language  school  in  SL).  


Most valuable  was  Carol  Rainbow's  contribution  to  MachinEVO,  as  she   busied  herself  running  one  workshop  after  the  other  to  show  educators   all  of  the  practical  skills  on  how  to  record.  Carol  and  Marius  spent   considerable  time  sharing  their  know-­‐how  and  helping  language   teachers  to  learn  all  of  the  practical  skills.  Well,  everybody  helped   everybody  because  truly  speaking;  this  film  making  business  is  a  total   different  trade!  This  was  the  most  amazing  part  of  the  learning  from  this   workshop!   During  the  2012  MachinEVO  course,  we  not  only  saw  many  participants,   but  the  level  of  activities  from  the  participants  was  incredibly  high.  We   had  18  AWESOME  machinimas  as  the  outcome,  and  also  on  our  NING   site,  this  session  was  as  busy  as  it  could  be.  We  had  more  than  10  live   sessions  a  week,  an  amazing  44  blogs,  120  photos,  uploaded  or   produced  86  videos,  and  221  forum  posts  speak  volumes!!!    

  A  very  special  highlight  was  meeting  Bente  Milton  and  Rob  Gould   inworld,  who  created  the  fantasy-­‐documentary  "My  Avatar  and   Me"  which  is  a  Danish  documentary-­‐fantasy  about  Mikkel  and  Mike  in   both  Second  and  Real  Life.  The  film  premiered  on  ZDF/ARTE  March   2010  and  is  shown  at  many  festivals.  Supported  by  New  Danish  Screen,    


MEDIA, ARTE/ZDF,  YLE.  It  is  a  creative  documentary-­‐fiction  film  and  a   film  that  might  expand  your  sense  of  reality.  It  is  the  story  about  a  man   who  enters  the  virtual  world  Second  Life  to  pursue  his  personal  dreams   and  ambitions.  His  journey  into  cyberspace  becomes  a  magic  learning   experience,  which  gradually  opens  the  gates  to  a  much  larger  reality.   Thanks  to  Jens  Nerido,  we  were  able  to  meet  Bente  and  Rob  inworld  and   even  got  the  viewing  rights  for  the  film  which  we  watched  together  in   our  sandbox  on  EduNation.  Very  exciting  indeed!   This  has  been  the  most  exciting  EVO  sessions’  workshop  I  have  ever   experienced  and  I  believe  many  who  were  part  of  this  would  whole-­‐ heartedly  agree.  Considering  the  fact  that  this  was  a  completely  free   workshop,  it  had  a  truly  mind-­‐blowing  result.   This  year,  for  MachinEVO  2013,  we  will  build  on  this  fantastic  expertise   and  add  to  this:  how  to  use  videos  in  class  and  how  to  immerse  our   language  learners  into  creating  their  own  productions.    

  The  2013  MachinEVO  sessions’  workshop  for  video  productions  of   language  learning  conversations  in  second  life  is  just  ending  as  VEJ  goes   to  press.    MachinEVO  2013,  was  again  a   free  EVO*  session  workshop  in  Second  Life  for  language  educators  to   learn  how  to  produce  machinima.  As  explained  above,  the  word   machinima  is  derived  from  machine+cinema  and  is  the  use  of  real-­‐time   3D  environments  for  cinematic  productions.  Moving  pictures,  sound,   and  stories  are  the  most  powerful  way  of  communicating  learning   content.   Again  this  year,  over  a  period  of  5  weeks  (14  Jan  -­‐  17  Feb),  participants   learned  how  to  produce  videos  from  storyboarding  to  final  editing  to    


publishing.  Language  educators  focused  on  how  to  use  these  videos  in   class  and  how  to  immerse  language  learners  in  creating  their  own   productions.   You  can  read  about  the  course,  including  the  participants’  experiences   and  their  work  on  the  MachinEVO  wiki  and  at  MachinEVO.    We  finished   the  second  MachinEVO  workshop  with  95  participants  and  a  great  set  of   13  machinimas  were  produced.     This  year  we  had  4  special  events  with  guests  including  Pooky   Amsterdam,  Draxtor  Despres,  Fluffee,  Natasha  Randt,  Karima  Hoisan,   Mikkel  Stout  and  Rob  Gould  of  “My  Avatar  and  Me.”     The  closing  party  with  machinima   screening  and  dancing  is  on   February  17,  2013  at  11  am  SLT,  as   a  preview  to  the  MachinEVO   Awards  ceremony,  which  will  take   place  on  February  24,  2013  at  11   am  SLT.  The  jury  will  have  one   week  to  nominate  Best  Director,   Best  Machinmatographer,  Best   Special  Effects,  etc.,  and  the   Internet  community  will  be  asked   to  vote  for  the  MachinEVO  People’s   Choice  Award.  The  winners  will  be   announced  on  February  24,  2013  at   the  red  carpet  and  formal  dress  event.  The  Backstage  will  be  open  for  a   press  conference,  and  champagne  will  be  flowing.  Be  sure  to  attend  the   MachinEVO  Awards  Ceremony  with  moderators  Barbara  Novelli  and   Jens  Nerido  at  the  EduNationion  MachinEvo  Platform  or  the  Livestream   Link.    For  more  information  about  the  winners  of  the  2013  MachinEVO   Award  winners  and  to  see  18  completed  machinima  videos  visit  Film   Festival  MachinEVO  2013.    You  can  follow  the  MachinEVO  activities  on   the  MachinEVO  Facebook  site,  too.     [EVO  is  the  annual  pre-­‐conference  series  of  online   workshops  of  the  TESOL   convention,  20-­‐23  March  2013  in  Dallas,  Texas.  MachinEVO   is  one  of  10  EVO  sessions  and  takes  place  on  EduNation  Islands  in  Second  Life.]  


One Billion  Rising  in  Second  Life      

On February  14,  2013,  for  24  hours  the  Second  Life  Global  Community   joined  the  worldwide  One  Billion  Rising  Celebration.  This  was  the   largest  day  of  action  in  the  history  of  V-­‐Day,  the  global  activist   movement  to  end  violence  against  women  and  girls.  V-­‐Day  Founder,  Eve   Ensler,  introduced  One  Billion  Rising  on  YouTube  from  the  Democratic   Republic  of  the  Congo.  Her  goal  is  for  everyone  to  “rise  and  dance  and   change  the  world.”       You  can  learn  more  about  the  One  Billion  Rising  international   organization  and  view  video  from  the  worldwide  events  from  February   14,  2013  at         On  November  18,  2012  “Break  The  Chain”  was  published  on  YouTube.  It   is  a  song  written  and  produced  by  Tena  Clark  with  music  by  Tena  Clark   and  Tim  Heintz,  was  produced  by  Ev  Ensler  and  V-­‐Day,  directed  by  Tony   Stroebel,  and  featuring  dancer  and  choreographer  Debbie  Allen.  For  fun,   and  to  join  the  movement,  you  can  learn  how  to  do  the  “Break  The   Chain”  dance  from  Debbie  Allen  on  YouTube.    But,  be  sure  to  check  out   the  “Break  The  Chain”  machinima  listed  below  to  see  how  it  was   performed  by  the  women  in  second  life.     According  to  the  One  Billion  Rising  SL  blog,  “ONE  BILLION  RISING  began   as  a  call  to  action  based  on  the  staggering  statistic  that  1  in  3  women  on   the  planet  will  be  beaten  or  raped  during  her  lifetime.  With  the  world   population  at  7  billion,  this  adds  up  to  more  than  ONE  BILLION  WOMEN   AND  GIRLS.  On  February  14,  2013,  men  and  women  in  Second  Life  will   join  activists,  writers,  thinkers,  celebrities,  and  people  across  the  world   to  Walk,  Dance,  and  Rise  as  a  show  of  unity,  individual  strength,  and  the    


need for  change.”     “The  Second  Life  event”  according  to  the  wordpress  blog,  featured  “a   four-­‐region  stage  where  200  people  can  dance  together,  surrounded  by   an  area  of  art  installations  and  informational  exhibits.  A  variety  of   performers  will  play  over  the  24-­‐hour  period,  enabling  people  all  over   the  world  to  attend  this  virtual  event  no  matter  their  time  zone.  The   regions  will  have  a  General  maturity  rating  to  allow  all  residents  an   opportunity  to  participate.”  Pictures  were  achieved  on  the  event’s  Flickr   group.   One  Billion  Rising  in  SL  machinima  used  the  incredibly  powerful  song,   “Break  the  Chain”  to  make  the  machinima  “One  Billion  Rising  in  Second   Life.”    As  women  around  the  world  raise  awareness  to  this  critical  issue,   the  women  from  around  the  world  in  Second  Life  also  wanted  to  do   their  part.  Pyper  Dollinger  and  Tatiana  Kurri  did  an  outstanding  job  on   the  dance  they  created  for  this  machinima.  “The  Dazzlers  and  the   Women  of  Second  Life”  beautifully  performed  the  dance.        “Joining  the  world  wide  event  .  .  .  SL  is  having  their  own,”  Equinox   Pinion  of  The  Fruit  Islands  told  us.  She  continued,  “and  we're  [Fruit   Islands]  honored  to  be  a  part  of  it!”    One  Billion  Rising  is  not  only  a   Global  Celebration  but  a  Virtual  Celebration,  too!!!    The  Fruit  Islands   were  one  of  many  sponsors  for  the  One  Billion  Rising  Second  Life  event.   Other  sponsors  included:  Alchemy  Immortalis;  Bits  and  Bobs   Animations;  Cheeky  Pea;  The  Domineaux  Effect;  Dutchie;  Galland   Homes;  Garden  of  Dreams;  Gos  Boutique;  Gwen  Carillon   Designs/Serenite;  Heart  Garden  Centre;  Kaerri;  MadPea;  Maven  Homes;   Meshworx;  Prime;  and  Spargel  and  Shine.  In-­‐kind  sponsors  are:  CaLLie   CLine;  Fruit  Islands;  KittyCatS!;  L’Aize  Days  and  Prim  Perfect   Publications.     Check  out  the  pictures  of  One  Billing  Rising  Second  Life.      


Minecraft, Math  Mage,  and  Mobile:   Games,  Mobile  Apps  and  Edutainment     at  My  School   By  Trish  Cloud  (RL),  Cloudwhosong  (WOW)   @Neemana    

The  growing  popularity  and  desire  for  mobile  device  use  in  the   classroom  coupled  with  the  growing  interest  in  games  based  learning   has  naturally  produced  an  influx  of  apps  which  could  be  used  in  both   settings.  There  is  a  difference,  however,  some  apps  are  purely  games   and  some  apps  are  “edutainment”.       Keeping  engagement  high  in  students  while  challenging  and  teaching  is   the  goal  of  finding  great  gaming  apps.  Right  now  there  are  many  apps   available  that   students  love  and   that  can  be   adapted  for   school  use;  some   of  these  are   Minecraft  PE,   Oregon  Trail,  Cat   Physics,  Zio  Ball,   Zentomino  HD,   Machinarium,   Angry  Birds  (in   Space,  Star  Wars,   or  seasonal),   Stack  the  States,  and  the  Math  Mage.    Depending  on  your  needs,  your   students’  age,  and  the  subject  matter,  there  are  plenty  of  apps  to  choose   from.            


The most  popular  game  being  played  right  now  is  without  a  doubt   Minecraft.  Both  the  PC  version  and  pocket  edition  keep  students   engaged  and  learning,  while  challenging  them  to  use  creative,   collaborative,  and  reasoning  skills  as  they  seek  to  build  in  the  sandbox   environment.  The  pocket  edition,  which  is  available  in  both  iOS  and   Android,  is  nearly  as  complex  as  the  PC  version,  and  with  each   succeeding  update  more  variety  and  flexibility  is  being  built  into  the   app.  A  free  version  is  available;  however,  worlds  cannot  be  saved.       Minecraft’s  potential  in  the  areas  of  Social  Studies,  Language  Arts,  and   Math  are  just  being  tapped.  Teachers  are  having  students’  craft   historical  landmarks,  reconstruct  a  Native  American  village,  or  colonial   settlement.  Students  gain  problem-­‐solving  skills  by  becoming  involved   with  the  how-­‐to’s  of  building  what  they  have  designed.  They  must  build   to  scale,  using  algebra  to  calculate  size  and  perimeter.  Time   management  and  resource  management  is  also  required  even  when   students  are  playing  in  survival  mode  and  it  is  peaceful  so  they  are  not   being  killed  or  losing  all  their  supplies.  All  of  these  factors  come  into   play  when  students  start  building  in  Minecraft.  And  the  pocket  edition   does  allow  saving  of  worlds  and  up  to  seven  students  can  connect  at  one   time  on  their  iPads.     Gameloft  has  come  out  with  their  version  of  the  Oregon  Trail  (still  made   by  the  Learning  Company  who  originally  created  the  game  in  the   1980’s).  In  this  new  version   you  have  choices  you  must   make  in  order  to  get  your   family  to  their  destination.  All   along  the  way  there  are   accidents,  illnesses,   breakdowns,  bad  weather,   hunger,  etc..    Your  job  is  to   make  the  necessary  decisions.   This  game  does  offer  in  app   purchase  to  “ease”  your  way,   but  with  careful  planning  you   can  do  the  game  with  no   purchases  (which  is  how  a   settler  had  to  handle  it).      


How could  you  use  The  Oregon  Trail?  Have  the  students  journal  about   their  travels  in  a  blog  format,  (i.e.,  Kidblog  which  has  an  app),  or   possibly  have  a  group  of  students  take  on  roles  in  the  adventure  where   they  contribute  and  have  a  voice  in  the  decisions  that  are  made   regarding  the  trip.         The  Oregon  Trail  game  does  not  replace  learning  the  historical   significance  of  westward  expansion.  Instead,  what  it  does  is  give   students  an  opportunity  to  experience  that  time  in  an  immersive   environment.  Math  skills  are  employed  to  calculate  how  much  and  how   often  certain  supplies  are  needed  and  how  long  the  coins  will  last.       Other  games  that  test  your  knowledge  of  History  and  Geography  are   games  by  Dan  Russell-­‐Pinson.  Stack  the  States  and  Stack  the  Countries   both  test  your  knowledge  of  US  and  World  Geography.    There  are   challenges  and  rewards  that  keep  students  interested  and  competing   with  one  another  for  who  has  the  most  states/countries.  Presidents  vs.   Aliens  tests  your  American  History  knowledge  of  US  Presidents  by   having  you  shoot  their  heads  at  aliens  that  are  invading  Washington,  DC.        Science  games  like  Zio  Ball  work  with  positive  and  negative  magnetic   fields  moving  a  metal  ball  through  different  puzzles.  This  app  can  be   really  challenging  for  students  of  all  ages  as  they   try  to  manipulate  the  magnetic  fields  to  get  the   desired  outcome.  The  Physics  involved  in  games   like  Angry  Birds  and  Cat  Physics  require   thoughtful  planning  and  some  idea  of  how  force   and  motion  work  in  order  to  get  the  desired   result.       Physics  Monster  pits  your  skill  of  building  simple  machines  in  order  to   feed  the  monster  a  piece  of  fruit.   Along  with  science,  mathematics   come  into  play  in  Angry  Birds.   Students  need  to  use  geometry   to  line  up  their  shots  to  take  out   the  evil  piggies.        


The Math  Mage  has  taken  an   educational  app  and  made  it   a  truly  fun  and  challenging   game.  Made  by  RGH  games,   the  Math  Mage  is  really   challenging.    Students  select   their  difficulty  level.  I  would   suggest  starting  at  easy,   because  you  are  given  a   walk-­‐through  of  how  the   game  is  played.       In  order  to  kill  the  monsters  students  must  solve  the  math  equations.   The  math  equations  get  progressively  harder.  If  they  take  too  long,  the   monster  will  kill  them.  Just  as  in  RPG  there  are  levels.    The  higher  your   level,  the  more  weapons  or  powers  you  have.  But,  then  again,  the   problems  are  harder  to  solve.       KenMaster  is  a  kashiko  game,  a  type  of  mathematics  and  logic  puzzle,   that  is  stimulating  and  increases  in  difficulty  as  you  progress.    Puzzle   games  like  Zentomino  HD  takes  the  fun  of  Pentominoes  (Math  based   puzzle  game  involving  geometric  shapes)  and  puts  it  on  a  handheld   device  for  students  to  solve.       Students  love  to  solve  puzzles,  especially  if  they  aren’t  too  hard.  One  of   the  great  things  about  gaming  apps  is  the  leveling.  These  games  start   you  with  a  simple  puzzle  to  solve  and  gradually  increase  the  difficulty  to   keep  the  player  challenged.  If  it’s  too  easy,  the  student  will  be  bored.   Likewise,  if  it  is  too  hard  the  student  will  just  not  want  to  waste  their   time.       Machinarium  has  a  storyline  and  is  quite  cutely  drawn.  Students  have  to   solve  the  puzzle  in  each  scene  to  move  the  robot  along.  Clues  can  be   attained  by  playing  an  in-­‐game  challenge.  The  story  writing  potential   coupled  with  the  puzzle  solving  aspects  give  this  game  much  potential   for  use  in  the  classroom.       These  are  just  a  few  of  the  great  gaming  apps  that  are  available.  The   vastness  of  apps  that  are  available  in  the  App  Store  or  the  Android  Store    


can be  daunting,  but  I  have  found  the  best  way  to  determine  if  an  app   will  meet  the  needs  of  your  students  is  to  get  the  app  and  play  it.  Going   by  the  reviews  is  not  a  good  gauge  of  whether  an  app  will  work  your   classroom  setting  or  not.  Many  games  that  I  have  thought  would  be   engaging  and  entertaining,  as  well  as  educational  have  left  students   yawning  and  looking  for  other  things  to  do.  In  a  similar  way,  those   games  that  I  thought  would  be  empty  and  superficial  have  entertained   and  engaged  students  for  the  entire  class  period.       Start  by   playing   the  app   yourself.   This   gives   you  an   opportu nity  to   work   through   some  of   the   problem s  or   puzzles   in  the   app.   Next   play  the   game   with  the  students  and  see  what  they  are  doing  with  it.  Once  you  have  a   good  library  of  apps  at  hand  you  can  use  them  as  you  see  fit  to  enhance   what  you  are  teaching  in  the  class.  Often  you  don’t  know  unless  you   download  the  app  if  it  is  a  duplicate  of  one  you  already  have  or  if  it  just   doesn’t  offer  much  unless  you  spend  money  for  the  app.       For  most  schools  spending  money  on  apps  is  a  luxury.  Finding  fully   functional  engaging  FREE  apps  can  be  a  challenge.  When  you  do  find   good  free  apps  they  prove  their  worth.  This  is  just  one  of  the  questions    


that come  up  when  talking  about  using  apps.  Other  issues  include  saving   games,  functionality,  and  the  fun  factor.     Like  most  mobile  devices,  iPad  are  meant  to  be  used  in  a  1:1  setting.   Many  schools,  however,  are  just  adopting  mobile  technology  and  may   not  have  initiated  BYOT  –  which  brings  up  the  matter  of  storage  on   mobile  devices  being  used  by  more  than  one  person.       For  those  who  are  in  BYOT,  most  games  are  available  on  iOS  and   Android  devices,  and  in  both  cases  not  all  games  have  the  ability  to  save   multiple  games  nor  do  they  allow  you  to  completely  reset  the  game.   Learning  to  work  around  these  road  bumps  will  help  avoid  headaches   when  they  arise.  Frequently  the  paid  versions  of  the  games  do  allow  for   multiple  players  or  multiple  save  slots  so  each  student  can  enter  their   name  and  keep  their  own  score.  In  the  case  of  Minecraft  PE,  fortunately   worlds  can  be  saved  individually,  so  multiple  students  could  have   worlds  on  one  iPad  of  Minecraft.       There  are  few  games  that  allow  you  to  save  your  game  and  start  a  new   one.  Finding  games  that  allow  this  and  meet  your  classroom  needs  can   be  a  challenge,  but  a  fun  one.  A  good  rule  of  thumb  is,  if  the  game  is  free   it  is  highly  unlikely  that  you  can  save  it.       Fortunately  most  of  these  games  have  a  minimal  cost.  If  saving  is  not  an   option  perhaps   the  game  will   just  let  you  start   over  –  that   being  the   second  best   option  when   more  than  one   student  uses  the   same  iPad.  This   could  present   you  with  an   opportunity  to   use  a   leaderboard  in    


your room  to  keep  track  of  scores.       Sometimes  the  functionality  of  the  game  can  be  an  issue,  particularly  in   Minecraft.  The  pocket  edition  is  very  functional.    There  are  limitations  at   this  time.  Mojang  is  doing  a  great  job  of  updating  the  app  frequently  to   make  it  more  like  the  desktop  or  Xbox  version,  but  you  still  can’t  do  as   much  on  the  app  as  you  can  on  a  desktop.  And,  the  iOS  version  is  more   locked  down  than  the  Android  version.  Players  can  go  into  the  Android   version  and  make  mods,  which  is  not  possible  on  iOS.  This  shouldn’t  be   a  deal  breaker  for  you  though.  Teaching  the  students  to  be  flexible  and   work  within  the  parameters  adds  challenge  to  the  game.       For  elementary  students,  particularly  kindergarten  and  1st  grade,  where   they  might  not  have  much  experience  playing  desktop  video  games  that   use  a  keyboard  and  a  mouse,  the  pocket  edition  of  Minecraft  has  very   intuitive  controls  and  is  easy  for  the  younger  set  to  pick  up.  Allow  them   to  stay  in  Creative  mode  and  just  build  without  having  to  be  concerned   with  mobs  of  zombies.  When  they  get  some  expertise  built  up  move   them  to  Peaceful  mode  in  Survival  and  they  can  still  build.  Here  they  will   have  to  craft,  but  again,  no  zombies  to  fight  off  or  losing  inventory  if   they  die.  As  with  most  apps,  the  game  controls  are  easy  to  use.  This  is   not  to  say  a  child  can  do  it,  but  it’s  more  like  an  adult  can  do  it!         A  great  plus  that  game  apps  offer  is  that  they  generally  are  not  tied  to  an   Internet  connection,  so  even  if  your  wifi  is  down  you  can  still  play  the   majority  of  the  games.     All  of  these  issues  will  be  moot,  however,  if  the  game  is  not  fun.  What   makes  a  game  popular  whether  it  is  a  board  game  or  video  game  is  the   fun  factor.  What  you  will  find  is  there  are  as  many  different  types  of   game  apps  as  there  are  students,  but,  there  is  always  going  to  be  the   games  that  seem  to  be  popular  with  all  students.       What  are  the  characteristics  of  a  fun  yet  educational  game?  If  you  have   questions,  let  your  students  play  and  get  their  take  on  it.  Better  yet,  play   it  with  them  and  learn  what  challenges  them  and  involves  them.         Students  generally  prefer  an  intrinsic  reward  system  and  a  way  of   leveling  up  so  they  feel  they  are  making  progress  in  the  game.  They    


enjoy simulations,  too.  Plant  Tycoon,  a  game  where  you  run  your   greenhouse  and  nursery,  growing  and  cultivating  plants  to  sell,  is  very   popular  in  school.  Frequently,  I  have  heard  students  talking  to  each   other  about  how  far  along  they  are  in  a  game,  how  they  solved  a   particularly  difficult  section  of  the  game,  and  how  best  they  can  earn  the   coin  they  need  to  keep  the  game  going.  When  you  listen  to  students  talk   you  can  really  see  the  collaboration  as  they  teach  each  other  how  to   work  through  the  difficult  areas.  This  is  when  students  truly  have  fun!   It’s  not  only  the  game,  but  the  flow  and  collaboration  that  are  created  in   the  classroom  that  makes  them  want  to  continue  playing  that  game.         If  you  are  contemplating  incorporating  gaming  apps  into  your   classroom  give  it  a  try.  Having  your  students  explore  a  subject  area  by   playing  a  game  will  often  give  the  student  an  “a-­‐ha”  moment.    Let  them   play  the  game  that  you  have  selected  as  an  enhancement  to  your  lesson.   Ask  them  the  questions  about  how  they  can  relate  the  game  to  what  has   been  instructed.  When  you  see  them  make  connections,  they  will  play   the  game  with  new  understanding.       In  Summary,  often  the  best  way  to  determine  if  a  game  is  right  for  your   purposes  is  for  you  to  play  it  yourself.  But  remember  there  are   limitations  with  free  games,  especially  in  saving  or  resetting  the  game.   Most  games  have  minimal  cost,  and  in  BYOT  situations  many  students   may  already  have  the  game.  Most  game  apps  run  from  the  device  and  so   you  are  not  tied  to  wifi.  If  there  are  network  problems,  some  are  tied  to   the  game  centers  on  devices  (which  is  tied  to  online  play).  You  do  not  ,   however,  have  to  connect  to  the  online  gaming  community  to  play  the   game.  Gaming  apps  cover  a  wide  swathe  of  subjects  and  skills  and  it   doesn’t  have  to  be  from  the  Education  category  to  be  useful.  In  fact,   about  half  the  games  being  used  in  schools  today  are  not  educational   games  per  se.       So,  give  it  a  try.  Give  the  students  a  game  and  tell  them  to  play.  Then   have  students  write  what  they  experienced,  and  share  it  with  others.   Students  enjoy  telling  of  their  conquests  in  games.        


#gamemooc: Game  Based  Learning   Tweetchat   By  Karen  Novak  (rl),  Kavon  Zenovka  (sl)      

So what  is  a  tweetchat?  It  is  a  designated  time  that  people  get  on  to   twitter  and  have  a  synchronous  text  conversation  using  140characters.   For  example,  the  Games  MOOC  and  G.A.M.E.  Gamers  Enhancing   Meaningful  Education  have  a  sixty  minute  tweetchat  every  Wednesday   at  9  pm  ET/7  pm  MT.



You might  be  thinking  –  how  do  you  find  these  tweets  when  on  an   average  day  there  can  be  thousands  of  tweets  happening  every  minute?     Tweetchats  use  a  hashtag.  They  place  the  hashtag  #  before  their   designated  word.  For  the  game  based  learning  tweetchat  we  use   #gamemooc.     We  choose  a  topic  in  game  based  learning  each  week  and  announce  it  on   twitter  on  Monday.  This  gives  people  some  time  to  think  about  the  topic   and  even  do  a  little  reading  and  research  if  they  want.   We  start  the  tweetchat  by  asking  you  to  introduce  yourself.  This  is  just   letting  us  know  who  you  are  and  where  you  are.  Then  we  do  a  few   warm-­‐up  questions  (think  vocab  quiz)  so  we  are  all  using  the  same   terms.  After  that  we  normally  have  4-­‐  5  discussion  questions.  Then  we   wrap-­‐up  at  the  end  of  the  sixty  minutes  with  last  comments  and  ask   everyone  to  re-­‐introduce  themselves.  

If you  would  like  to  join  us  for  the  Tweetchat  –  here’s  the   information  to  get  you  started.   If  this  is  your  first  time  doing  at  tweetchat,  please  go  to   Login  with  your  twitter  account  and  when  prompted  put  in  the   hashtag  #gamemooc.     Using  this  will  allow  you  to  see  any  tweets  that  contain  this  hashtag.     The  questions  for  the  tweetchat  will  come  from  the  @proximalzone   twitter  account.     Games  MOOC  and  G.A.M.E.  Gamers  Enhancing  Meaningful  Education   have  a  sixty  minute  tweetchat  every  Wednesday  at     9  pm  ET/7  pm  MT.      

Hope to  see  you  at  our  next  Tweetchat!                


Calling All  Visioneers!    

By SIGVE  Lowly  High  Grand  Poobah  Emeritus  Scott  Merrick  


Have  you  experienced  an  ISTE   Conference  Virtual  Environments   Playground?  Maybe  more  than   once?       We’ve  been  doing  them  annually   for  years  now,  and  the  event  has   grown  into  one  that  brings  the   enthusiastic  and  energetic  SIGVE   tribe  together  physically  in  one   location  at  least  once  a  year.  It’s   been  an  event  that  ran  for  the   whole  conference  time,  all  three   days  of  the  conference  proper,   and  just  last  year  it  was  pared   down  to  a  single  day.  This  year,   for  ISTE  2013  in  San  Antonio,   Texas,  purportedly  because  there  is  a  highly  increased  demand  for  the   spotlight  amongst  the  20-­‐odd  Special  Interest  Groups  (demand  likely  in   part  because  ours  have  been  so  fun  over  the  years),  we’re  down  to  half  a   day,  Tuesday,  June  25,  2013  from  1:30pm  -­‐  5  pm.       While  that  may  seem  like  a  slap  in  the  collective  virtual  face,  we  SIGVE   folk  are  nothing  if  not  optimistic  and  positive.  We  want  to  make  it  an   explosion!    


As lead  Playground  Facilitator  this  year,  I  want  to  us  to  take  a  serious   look  at  how  we  have  done  playgrounds  in  the  past,  how  we  could   envision  them  as  even  more  exciting  and  even  more  of  a  draw  for  our   members  and  prospective  new  members,  and  how  this  one  will  look  in   the  light  of  all  those  appraisals.    

Join  in  the  discussion.  Visit  our  wiki  at   and  learn  about  past  playgrounds,  read  past  issues  of  VEJ  to  learn  even   more,  and  then  visit  our  Wallwisher  at  to  double-­‐click  and  type  in   your  own  notions  of  how  this  shindig  should  present  itself.  There  are   already  some  interesting  posts  there  and  all  we’re  missing  is  your  own   voice.  Let  ‘er  rip!  And  come  to  our  Tuesday,  5  pm  SL  time  (8:00  EST),   Open  Office  Hours  every  week  until  we  hit  San  Antonio,  to  help  plan  our   best  ISTE  Conference  and  Exposition  EVER.     Thanks  in  advance!  We’ll  know  we  will  see  you  either  in  the  playground,   inworld(s),  or  at  this  year’s  ISTE  SIGVE  Machinima  Festival,  which  is   also  a  GO  and  not  to  be  missed!!!    


Fairy Tales  Do  Come  True  ~  It  Could  Happen  to  You!    

By Mary  Obrien  (rl),  Serena  Offcourse  (sl)  

You are cordially invited to Cinderella’s Ball! Please visit the Fairy Tale Forest on the island of MaineLand on Jokaydia Grid. All students and teachers are invited to come and explore this immersive build.

You will find many favorite characters including The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and Thumbelina. The forest is both magical and interactive - be sure to look for the scavenger hunt notecard just beyond the gate. Fairy tales provide young learners with an opportunity to hear and learn about classic stories. The Common Core


Standards include learning about a story’s themes, characters, and settings. Visiting the Fairy Tale Forest is sure to engage your students in discussions about these important story elements. To learn more about how to log onto Jokaydia Grid, visit When you arrive in Jokaydia you will be on the welcome sim of Scooter. There is a landmark giver to The Fairy Tale Forest under the big tree. You can also find it by searching for MaineLand on the world map. For more information, please contact Mary OBrien on Jokaydia (Serena Offcourse in SL)  


Creating Texture Packs for Art Classes

By Trevor Roe


Welcome back  to  this  magazine,  or  if  you’re  new,  welcome!  Here’s   another  article  for  the  fantastic  Virtual  Education  Journal  once  again!         If  you’ve  opened  an  app  or  played  a  game,  you’ve  used  and  interpreted   textures,  GUIs  and  HUDs.  Minecraft  is  no  exception  to  having  these  and   them  being  vital.  The  difference,  though,  is  that  these  can  all  be  directly   edited  in  this  game!    


Many classes   are   overlooked,   but  none  so   much  as  art   class.  For   many   students,  art   is  a  paint-­‐and-­‐palette  kind  of  class,  though  this  journal  has  made  me   entirely  rethink  that  idea!  Many  Kinds  of  computer  –  animated  art  (Like   ipad  or  pixel  art)  already  exist,  but  Minecraft  offers  a  simple,  low-­‐def   pixel  system  for  its  textures.       Each  “block”  is  16x16  pixels  on  each  side,  and  can  be  individually  edited   to  change  the  look  of  blocks.  Of  course,  with  certain  edits,  the  terrain   pixels     can  be  improved  to  be  more  than  16x  in  pixels.  These  alterations  to   game  textures  are  called  HDfixes.    

Texture  packs  are  packs  where  only  graphics  are  included,  and  they   change  the  way  blocks  and  items  in  the  game  look.  Among  the  fantastic    


gameplay and  simplicity  of  Minecraft,  many  people  appreciate  the   textures  as  the  not-­‐so-­‐complex  pixels  they  are,  and  embrace  this  idea.   Games  like  portal  have  great  graphical  features,  but  again,  the  simplicity   is  appreciated  as  an  aspect  of  Minecraft.     A  great  art  project  for  a  middle  or  high  school  art  classes  would  be  to   assign  certain  textures  to  certain  individuals  or  groups  in  the  class.  Each   texture  takes  no  more  than  5  minutes  to  create,  so  with  a  class  elected   theme,  each  person  or  group  could  create  about  a  dozen  new  textures  in   a  short  amount  of  time.  Even  sounds  can  be  changed,  but  that  process  is   a  bit  more  complex.  In  about  a  week,  without  overlooking  any  items,  a   great  pack  could  be  created  and  even  put  on  the  Internet  for  others  to   use!  An  easy  way  to  edit  these  textures  is  to  use  Paint  or  Paintbrush  (PC   and  Mac,  respectively,)  allows  for  non-­‐transparent  retexturing.     The  look  and  feel  of  video  games  varies,  but  there’s  no  doubt  that  of   simple  3D  textures,  Minecraft  best  allows  for  as  sleek,  rough,  light  or   dark  a  mood  as  your  class  desires.  And  so,  a  conclusion  to  my  artistic   spiel  relating  to  Minecraft.     [Trevor  Roe  brings  a  student’s  perspective  to  virtual  education.  He  is  a   special  reporter  for  the  Virtual  Education  Journal  -­‐  VEJ.]      

SIGVE Speaker  Series  

    On  Tuesday,  February  19,  2013,  over  25  people  joined  Spiff  Whitfield  and  guest   speaker  John  Lester  for  a  lively  discussion.  John  is  Chief  Learning  Officer  at   ReactionGrid,  a  software  company  developing  3D  simulations  and  multiuser  virtual   world  platforms.  His  primary  focus  is  on  collaborative  learning  and  instructional   design,  working  with  academic  and  business  clients  to  develop  immersive  education   environments.  From  2005-­‐2010,  John  worked  at  Linden  Lab,  the  creators  of  Second   Life.  At  Linden  Lab  he  led  the  development  of  the  education  and  healthcare  markets.   Watch  it  at: and the speaker schedule at weebly site Http:// .  


G.A.M.E. ON!  

An Interview  With   Kavon  Zenovka  (SL),  Kae  Novak  (RL)   By  Roxie  Neiro  (sl),  Rosie  Vojtek  (rl)    

I am  very  excited  to  be  interviewing  Kae  Novak  for  this  issue  of  VEJ.  Any   inworld  educator  who  is  a  member  of  ISTE  SIGVE,  has  participated  or   worked  on  VWBPE,  plays  in  World  of  Warcraft,  or   participated  in  the  GAMES  MOOC  has  met  her   avatar,  Kavon  Zenovka.  She  has  relentlessly   helped  many  of  us  learn  and  grow  in  virtual   environments.  I  can’t  begin  to  tell  you  how  much  I   have  learned  from  her  and  how  much  I  admire   her  work,  her  passion  for  teaching  and  learning,   her  enthusiasm  for  virtual  worlds,  and  her   dedication  as  an  educator.  I  hope  you  enjoy  this   interview  as  much  as  I  have  enjoyed  talking  with,   working  with,  and  playing  with  Kavon  Zenovka  (SL),  Kae  Novak  (RL).       Roxie:  Kavon,  please  introduce  yourself  to  our  readers.  Tell  us  who  you  are   and  what  you  do  in  real  life  (rl)  and  virtual  environments.       Kavon:  I’m  Kae  Novak(rl),  an  instructional  designer  for  online  learning  at  a   community  college  in  Colorado.    In  virtual  environments,  I  manage  Front   Range  in  Second  Life  and  play  around  on  Center4EduPunx  on  JoykadiaGrid.  I   am  the  High  Grand  Poobah  or  Chair-­‐Elect  for  ISTE  SIGVE  and  collaborate   with  an  exceptional  group  of  educators  there.    In  addition  to  these  sandbox   virtual  worlds,  I'm  a  guild  officer  for  two  World  of  Warcraft  guilds.  These   guilds  are  the  all-­‐purpose  educator’s  guild  Cognitive  Dissonance  on  the   Alliance  side  and  Inevitable  Betrayal  on  the  Horde  side.    


Roxie: How  did  you  get  started  in  virtual  worlds/environments?  What  was   it  that  kept  you  going  back?     Kavon:  I  had  attended  a  presentation  by  Lyr  Lobo  (Cynthia  Calongne)  at  the   e-­‐Learning  Consortium  of  Colorado.  Lyr  presented  on  Second  Life  and   several  projects  that  she  was  pursuing  in  games  and  simulations.  After  the   presentation,  I  joined  SL  and  started  visiting  the  New  Media  Consortium   (NMC)  islands  and  other  educator  builds.  After  about  6  months,  I  requested   that  my  college  look  at  Second  Life  for  online  learning  and  the  college   purchased  Front  Range  Island  to  start  doing  simulations  for  online  classes.    

Front Range  Island     Kavon:  I  keep  coming  back  to  virtual  worlds  due  to  the  deeper  learning  that   I  observed.  What  I’ve  seen  is  that  immersive  games  and  virtual   environments  offer  a  richness  and  deeper  learning  not  seen  in  a  traditional   text  based  LMS  even  if  you  are  supplementing  it  with  podcast  and  videos.  In   fact,  it’s  even  better  than  a  F2F  classroom  because  it  sometimes  allows  you   to  do  what  isn’t  possible  in  real  life.  Some  examples  from  Second  Life   include  visiting  and  exploring  Dante’s  Inferno  or  flying  up  to  look  at  the   ceiling  of  the  Sistine  Chapel.  We  call  that  NPIRL  or  Not  Possible  in  Real  Life.    


Roxie: How  did  you  get  started  playing  virtual  games?       Kavon:  I  really  wasn’t  into  video  games  in  high  school.  I  played  roll  the  dice   Dungeons  and  Dragons  (D&D).  Until  MMORPGs  (Massive  Multi-­‐player   Online  Role-­‐Playing  Games),  video  games  did  not  have  much  appeal  for  me   due  to  their  limited  social  offerings.  My  first  MMORPG  was  World  of   Warcraft,  which  I  selected  after  reading  Edward  Castronova's  books  on   virtual  economies.     Roxie:  What  are  your  favorite  virtual  games  and  why?     Kavon:  World  of  Warcraft  is.  Not  that  another  MMORPG  couldn’t  take  its   place.  It  was  the  first  virtual  game  that  provided  the  immersiveness  and   social  aspects  that  I  loved  from  D&D.  For  me,  right  now,  it  has  an   interesting  economy,  challenging  end  game  content,  and  I’m  involved  in  a   community  of  educators  there  who  not  only  play  but  also  collaborate   outside  the  game.       Roxie:  In  this  issue  we  have  captured  some  of  our  reader’s  favorite  Fiero   moments.  Please  explain  briefly  what  a  Fiero  moment  means  to  you  and   give  us  an  example  of  one  of  your  favorite  Fiero  moments.     Kavon:  Fiero.  Well,  it’s  a  term  we  use  a  lot  when  teaching  about  games   based  learning.  Nicole  Lazzaro  is  the  earliest  person  I  have  seen  using  it  to   describe  the  satisfaction  and  enjoyment  of  hard  fun.  Fiero  is  the  moment   where  a  player  /  learner  successfully  overcomes  challenges.  In  games,  this  is   overcoming  the  monster  or  finishing  the  quest.  In  the  classroom,  this  is   mastery  of  difficult  concepts  and  resolving  problems.  It  is  that  moment  that   you  see  in  soccer  games,  when  the  player  scores  and  they  continue  to  run   around  with  their  arms  up.     Kavon:  Actually  in  the  guild  I  play  in,  we  have  an  expression,  “Don’t  steal  my   fiero!”  It  means  -­‐  don’t  make  it  easy  for  me,  I  want  to  learn  how  to  do  it.  For   a  lot  of  gamers,  the  die  and  do  over  part  is  how  we  learn.  My  favorite  fiero   moments  happen  when  I  am  playing  with  members  of  my  guild  and  it  is  so   difficult  that  all  of  our  characters  die.  This  is  called  a  wipe.    


Wipe   Roxie  [laughing]:  Kind  of  like  the  song,  “wipe-­‐out?”       Kavon:  Then  we  stop,  research  anything  we  can  find  on  the  Internet,  talk,   strategize  and  try  it  again.  And  then  the  same  thing  happens  again,  but   we’ve  made  a  bit  of  progress.  So  we  strategize  more  and  we  change  up   what  we’re  doing  and  then  we  finish  the  dungeon  or  overcome  the  last   monster  or  challenge  in  the  raid.  That’s  the  fiero.    It’s  not  easy,  it’s  not   nerfed,  and  it  has  to  at  some  point  feel  nearly  impossible.       Roxie:  Whatever  “it”  is  sounds  like,  in  the  moment,  it  is  a  major,  perhaps   life  changing  -­‐  at  least  for  the  player(s),  accomplishment!  So,  can  you   establish  a  sense  of  community  while  playing  the  game,  even  in  a  virtual   world?  If  so,  How?     Kavon:  Absolutely,  in  fact  many  of  the  MMORPGs  require  a  community  to   play  end  game  content.  It’s  not  that  different  from  any  community  that   meets  regularly.  MMORPGs  like  World  of  Warcraft  require  players  to   collaborate  with  others  to  quickly  navigate  the  game.  In  fact,  there  is  a   whole  series  of  built  in  rewards  in  WoW  to  promote  and  maintain    


collaboration in  the  form  of  faster  leveling  in  a  group,  access  to  better  gear   (dungeons  that  required  5  players),  and  team  oriented  achievements.       I  see  that  virtual  environments  like  MMORPGs  and  other  virtual  worlds  have   become  the  third  place  for  many  people.  It  is  not  home  and  it  is  not  work;   however,  it  is  a  place  to  gather  with  your  friends,  socialize  and  engage  in   immersive  entertainment  and  hard  fun.       Roxie:  I  like  that  –  a  “third  place”  –  kind  of  reminds  me  of  the  television   series,  “Cheers”  -­‐    “Where  Everyone  Knows  Your  Name!”    So,  like  “Cheers”,   do  you  make  friends  while  playing  virtual  games?  Or,  is  it  always  “us/me”   against  “them/enemy”?    

WOW  Picture  of  Gameplay     Kavon:  For  me,  it’s  rarely  us  or  them.    In  the  games  I  play,  I  am  usually   competing  against  myself.  Most  of  the  guild  groups  I’m  in  focus  on  beating   our  last  attempt  whether  that  was  a  win  or  lose.  There  is  a  continuous  focus   on  efficiency  and  effectiveness  in  gaming.  Most  players  are  looking  at   several  areas  of  improvement  consistently.  They  usually  focus  on  their  game   play  to  see  how  they  can  improve  individually  or  they  are  looking  at  group   play.  In  group  play,  players  are  looking  at  what  value  do  they  bring  to  the    


group and  what  can  they  do  to  ensure/assist  in  the  overall  success  of  the   team.       Roxie:  How  do  you  balance  competition  with  collaboration?  Or,  is  it  all   about  the  winning  and  getting  to  the  next  level?     Kavon:  Actually  in  games  like  World  of  Warcraft,  the  designers  take  care  of   this  for  us.  WoW  requires  collaborative  groups  of  10  to  25  individuals  to   work  together  to  be  successful  and  gather  the  best  gear  in  the  game.  Teams   are  competitive  and  there  have  been  cross  faction  tensions;  however  most   of  the  competitive  focus  is  on  how  fast  does  a  group  clear  a  dungeon.    This   is  especially  true  with  the  new  Challenge  Mode  Dungeons  that  WoW   introduced  with  Mists  of  Pandaria.  With  Challenge  Mode  Dungeons,  groups   of  five  players  have  their  gear  normalized  so  everyone  running  the   Challenge  Mode  is  on  equal  footings.  This  removes  any  advantages  from   gear  and  is  truly  an  evaluation  of  mastery  of  game  mechanics  and  strategy.       Roxie:  Are  all  the  virtual  games  violent?  If  so,  how  do  educators  deal  with   violence  with  their  students?       Kavon:  Some  video  games  contain  violence.  However,  there  are  options  for   educators  that  wish  to  use  games  and  remove  as  much  violence  as  they  can.   Educators  can  focus  on  a  specific  area  of  a  game  where  there  is  minimal   violence.  An  example  would  be  focusing  on  the  economy  or  business  aspects   of  a  game  and  not  requiring  students  to  participate  in  fighting  or  normal   gameplay  violence.       Kavon:  Overall,  I  think  the  most  important  thing  is  for  the  educator  to   provide  the  context  of  the  game  in  the  educational  setting.  Students  look  to   the  educator  for  guidance  on  what  is  allowed  and  not  allowed  in  class.   Many  games  offer  non-­‐violent  opportunities  to  play  and  be  successful  in   games.  Students  could  select  healing  roles  or  focus  on  the  crafting  side  of   the  game  and  purchase  materials  off  the  auction  house.  The  key  is  that  the   educator  needs  to  play  the  game  and  identify  the  various  options  when  it   comes  to  gameplay.      


Roxie: What  are  some  of  the  best  practices  that  teachers  are  using  with   students  while  engaging  them  in  virtual  games?       Kavon:  The  big  thing  is  that  educators  cannot  look  at  games  as  an  epack   that  they  can  just  plug  into  their  class.  Game  based  learning  requires  a   carefully  scaffolded  approach  that  ramps  students  up  from  simple  easy  to   play  games  to  the  more  complex  end  game  content  that  generates  wicked   problems  and  hard  fun.       Roxie:  I  love  that  phrase,  “wicked  problems  and  hard  fun!”  We  need  more   of  that  in  the  education  for  learners!     Kavon:  The  educator  has  to  play  the  game  to  know  the  content  and  how   they  see  it  fitting  into  their  core  competencies  and  learning  objectives.  One   of  the  most  successful  implementations  I  have  been  part  of  had  students   starting  off  with  games  like  Free  Rice  and  Budget  Hero  and  ending  with   World  of  Warcraft  and  Second  Life.  The  key  was  that  we  slowly  immersed   the  students  throughout  the  semester  using  planned  projects  and   assignments  that  directed  students  through  to  the  more  complex  games  at   the  end  of  the  semester.    Each  activity  and  project  tied  back  to  core   competencies  and  class  learning  objectives.       Roxie:  Are  there  any  significant  research  findings  about  the  benefits  of   using  games  with  students  that  teachers  can  use  when  they  advocate  for   games  in  the  classroom?     Kavon:  Absolutely,  I  would  suggest  they  look  up  Jim  Gee  and  Sasha  Barab   from  Arizona  State  University  and  the  work  that  they  have  done.  Then  I   would  also  suggest  Constance  Steinkuehler,  Kurt  Squire  and  David   Williamson  Shaffer  from  the  University  of  Wisconsin.       Roxie:  Tell  us  about  the  GAMESMOOC.  What  is  it?  How  did  it  get  started?     Kavon:  The  Games  MOOC  is  a  synchronous  and  asynchronous  online  open   course.  The  site  has  had  a  total  of  144,  246  visits  as  of  today!  We  have   209,488  page  views.  The  Games  MOOC  is  on  an  asynchronous  LMS  –like  site    


Kavon: This  is  actually  a  gaming  community  site  that  we  adapted  for  the   course.  We  livestream  Google  Hangout  on  Air  as  a  quick  overview  each   Monday  morning.  We  do  a    #gamemooc  Tweetchat  each  Wednesday   evening.  On  each  Thursday,  we  livestream  a  discussion  or  panel  of  guests   through  Google  Hangout  on  Air  and  also  through  Second  Life.  If  there  is  any   opportunity  to  livestream  a  games  based  learning  activity  being  done  by   another  educational  group  during  the  time  of  the  MOOC,  we  do  it.     Kavon:  We  have  had  sessions  in  World  of  Warcraft,  Minecraft,  Second  Life   and  OpenSim.  Participants  had  the  choice  of  logging  into  those  and  playing   with  us  or  watching  through  the  YouTube  livestream.    

Games MOOC    


Kavon: The  first  version  of  it  was  A  Virtual  World,  Education  and  Games   Tour  at  P2PU  A  number  of  educators  who  had  been   organized  virtual  worlds  conferences  felt  that  a  once  a  year  event,  while   great  outreach,  left  educators  isolated  until  the  next  year.  So  we  decided  to   do  something  about  it.       Kavon:  This  MOOC  was  four  weeks  with  a  different  educator  leading  each   week.  Stasia  Weston  started  us  out  the  first  week  with  a  Virtual  World   Tours.  The  second  week,  Tanya  Martin  worked  with  us  on  Machinima.    I  had   MMORGPs  for  the  third  week  and  Chris  Luchs  did  the  fourth  week  which   was  called  “The  Bleeding  Edge.”     Kavon:  After  that  it  snowballed.  First  along  with  Tanya  Martin,  Vasili   Giannoutos,  we  created  a  two  week  Machinima  course  on  P2PU  to  get  people  ready  for  the  ISTE  Machinima  contest  and   then  an  ARG  Academy  where  Joseph  Doan,  Jerry   Buchko  and  Catherine  Flippen  joined  us  in  facilitating  it.     Kavon:  So  when  the  Colorado  Community  College  System  had  an  Immersive   Learning  and  Game  Based  Learning  faculty  grant  challenge,  I  was  able  to   use  what  I  learned  there  and  with  help  from  Chris  Luchs  and  Kate  Hagerty   apply  for  a  grant  to  do  three  versions  of  a  Games  Based  Learning  MOOC.       Roxie:  What  projects  and  events  have  you  and  members  of  the   GAMESMOOC  accomplished  or  held?         Kavon:  We  were  accepted  and  are  now  listed  in  the  US  Department  of   Education’s  Connected  Educators  Project’s  Community  Directory­‐based-­‐learning-­‐mooc/   Participants  in  the  Games  MOOC,  spun  off  G.A.M.E.  which  is  network  hub   for  Gamers  Advancing  Meaningful  Education.  G.A.M.E.  currently  produces  a   monthly  webinar  hosted  by  Laurence  Cocco,  Director,  Office  of  Educational   Technology,  New  Jersey  Department  of  Education.  This  webinar  is  “It  Takes   A  Guild  –  A  Guild  of  Educators.”    


Kavon: We  are  very  proud  of  two  games  based  learning  grants  written  by   our  participants  that  were  just  funded  for  this  year.  Sherry  Jones,  who  won   the  “Cataclysmic”  award  in  the  Games  MOOC  was  funded  for  Rhetoric  and   Composition:  The  Persuasive  Power  of  Video  Games  as  Paratexts.  Chris   Luchs  and  Kate  Hagerty  won  a  grant  to  do  a  game  based  learning   Hackathon  for  introductory  computer  science  classes.       Roxie:  FANTATIC!  CONGRATULATIONS!  So  many  accomplishments!  I  hope   our  readers  will  check  out  the  websites  and  resources  that  you  are  sending   their  way  during  this  interview.  Your  webinars  and  Google  hangouts  are   very  informative  –  EXCELLENT  JOB  and  KUDOS  to  everyone  working  with   you!  I  have  heard  you  talking  about  creating  badges  for  learners  to   demonstrate  their  knowledge  and  skills.  What  badges  have  members   earned  and  what  did  they  have  to  accomplish  to  earn  a  badge?     Kavon:  Games  MOOC  participants  have  earned  two  badges.  We  have  a   “Brave  Beginner”  badge  for  people  new  to  games.    Also,  out  of  Connected   Educator  Month  last  August,  we  designed  a  “Networked  Educator”  badge.     With  the  Networked  Educator  badge,  we  based  it  off  Dr.  Lisa  Dawley’  Social   Network  Knowledge  Construction  matrix.    Badge  earners  had  to  show  that   they  curated  content  and  that  they  contributed,  created,  and  led  the   dissemination  of  information  on  games  based  learning.     Roxie:  What  have  you  and  others  learned  from  being  a  part  of  the   GAMESMOOC?       Kavon:  For  us,  M  stands  for  modest  compared  to  some  of  the  large  Stanford   and  MIT  MOOCs.  A  business  professor  out  of  U  of  Penn  taught  an  80,000   person  Gamification  MOOC  through  Coursera,  we  have  had  400   participants.  It’s  really  about  the  interaction  between  an  online  community   of  learners.  This  may  say  it  best.  “Coursera  gamification12  is  totally  LMS.   OTOH  #gamemooc  has  morphed  into  a  wonderfully  supportive  guild  of   educators.”  This  tweet  came  from  a  librarian  who  took  our  Games  MOOC   and  also  took  the  Coursera  Gamification  MOOC.       Roxie:  You  are  right.  That  quote  sums  it  up  perfectly  –  and  nothing  says  it   better  than  word  of  mouth,  or  should  I  say  word  of  tweets,  to  spread  the  


word! So,  if  someone  wants  to  participate  in  the  GAMESMOOC,  how  do   they  join?     Kavon:  Well,  the  third  iteration  is  starting  on  Monday  March  18,  2013.    The   topic  of  this  iteration  is  Apps,  AR  (Augmented  Reality)  and  ARGs  (Alternate   Reality  Games).  It’s  very  easy;  all  you  need  to  do  is  to  go  to  and  signup.    For  our  summer  MOOC,  we  will  be   doing  immersive  environments,  which  will  focus  on  MMORPGs  and  virtual   worlds.     Roxie:  I  just  signed  up  –  and  hope  that  many  of  our  readers  will  do  so  as   well.  As  you  know,  I  can’t  always  get  fully  engaged  because  of  my  rl  work,   but  I  love  to  lurk  and  watch  what  all  of  you  are  learning  –  and  that  has   always  been  OK.  I  noticed  when  I  signed  up  that  you  may  have  a  summer   conference  on  game  based  learning.  That  should  be  very  exciting  and   something  to  look  forward  to.  So,  what  is  the  future  of  Gaming?         Kavon:  I  really  don’t  look  at  it  as  the  future  of  gaming.    Instead  I  look  at  as   the  future  of  education.  I  think  education  especially  online  education  will   need  to  be  as  immersive  and  engaging  as  games  are.       Roxie:  If  someone  has  never  played  a  virtual  game,  where  and  how  can   they  get  started?  What  is  the  best  game  for  beginners?       Kavon:  If  they  have  never  played  any  type  of  online  game,  I  like  to  start   people  with  Free  Rice.  It’s  easy  to  play,  educational  and  it  is  engaging.  If   someone  is  looking  to  play  an  immersive  game,  like  an  MMORPG  then  I   would  suggest  that  they  look  for  at  the  network  of  educators  who  game.  I’d   tell  them  to  start  by  just  asking  a  question  in  the  SIGVE  listserv.    For  SIGVE   weekly  Connected  Educator,  we  send  out  a  listing  of  events  being  done  in  or   about  virtual  worlds  and  games.  Also  at  the  bottom  of  the  listserv,  we  send   out  the  sites  for  all  the  organizations  doing  outreach  and  professional   development.       Kavon:  I’d  also  tell  them  to  take  a  look  at  the  “It  Takes  A  Guild”  playlist  on  YouTube.    G.A.M.E.  (Gamers  Advancing   Meaningful  Education)  has  been  doing  monthly  


recordings of  teachers  who  have  brought  games  into  their  classroom.  Lastly,   there  are  a  few  educator  gaming  guilds.  Cognitive  Dissonance  is  a  large  all  purpose  guild  for  World  of  Warcraft.     Inevitable  Betrayal  does  what  we   like  to  call  tourism  for  educators  in  World  of  Warcraft  and  has  developed  a   number  of  introductory  videos  entitled  Inevitable  Instruction.     Roxie:  Awesome!  There  is  so  much  to  learn  on  those  websites!  So,  for  you   personally,  what  online/virtual  activities  are  keeping  you  up  late  at  night?   What  projects  and  activities  are  you  working  on  now  and  in  the  future?     Kavon:    Games  MOOC  III  –  Apps,  AR  and  ARGs  starting  from  March  18  –   April  22.    The  Games  MOOC  IV  –  Immersive  Environments  -­‐  Summer  Date   TBA.    The  SIGVE  Machinima  Fest  at  the  ISTE  annual  conference!  Monday,   June  24  from  5:30  –  6:45  pm.    We  will  be  having  our  annual  Machinima   Fest!  We’ll  be  opening  up  the  Machinima  contest  portion  in  late  February   and  will  be  doing  a  Machinima  Open  Online  Course  through  P2PU  at  the   end  of  May  also!     Kavon:  Another  activity  is  the  Connected  Educator  Event  for  August  2013.   That  is  currently  in  the  brainstorming  stage.  I  know  this  may  seem  like  an   “interesting”  fusion  but  with  a  couple  of  innovative  educational  leaders,  we   have  been  talking  about  leadership,  assessment….  and  games.       Roxie:  Is  there  anything  else  that  I  didn’t  ask  you  that  your  want  our   readers  to  know  about  games  in  education?       Kavon:  There  isn’t  an  easy  button  when  it  comes  to  games,  not  the  games   that  are  really  worth  it.  Gamification  is  a  marketing  term  to  incentivize   activities.  Look  for  something  deeper  than  behaviorism  when  designing  your   courses.    I  do  subscribe  to  Jim  Gee’s  idea  of  chocolate  on  broccoli.    We  see   this  all  the  time  with  homework  managers  that  do  automatic  grading.   While  it  frees  up  time  for  the  teacher,  are  the  students  learning  the  content   or  just  becoming  experts  in  pattern  recognition?      


Take a  look  at  meaningful  education  with  games.  For  great  overview  of   gamification,  take  a  look  at  this  video  of  Dr.  Scott  Nicholson,  Director  of   “Because  Play  Matters  Game  Lab”  at  Syracuse  University.  Then  look  at   these  interviews  with  educators  on  Minecraft,  World  of  Warcraft,  Portal   and  MMORPGs.  These  are  videos  have  extraordinary  classroom  teachers   who  use  games  for  teaching  and  learning.       Roxie:  Thank  you  Kavon/Kae  for  all  of  these  wonderful  resources.  They  are   going  to  be  very  helpful  for  anyone  wanting  to  get  started  exploring  gaming   in  virtual  online  environments.  As  always,  you  have  given  us  so  much  to   think  about.  I  hope  that  our  readers  will  join  in  some  or  all  of  the  activities   that  you  listed  that  will  be  starting  soon.  I  also  hope  that  everyone   attending  the  ISTE  2013  Conference  in  San  Antonio  this  year  will  attend  the   Machinima  Fest  this  year!  It  has  become  an  annual  highlight  of  the   conference!    Thanks  again  for  taking  the  time  to  talk  with  me  today  and   KEEP  UP  THE  GREAT  WORK!!!!!!          


Introduction to  a  WoW  Guild   By  Izzy  Karu    

By  now,  in  this  issue  of  VEJ,  you  have  read  about  the  number  of   educators  playing  The  World  of  Warcraft.  Teachers  are  using  WoW   successfully  in  their  classrooms  to  help  students  learn.  So,  you  have   decided  to  get  an  account,  install  the  client,  create  a  character,  or  “toon”,   and  take  the  plunge.    There  you  are,  a  level  1  WoW  toon  dropped  off  in   the  starter  location   appropriate  for  your  selected   race.    Now  what,  what  do  you   do?     If  only  you  were  in  a  guild!      


A guild  is  a  chartered  organization  in  WoW.    Think  of  it  as  a  village.  In   the  village  you  have  the  village  elders  who  offer  the  wisdom  of   experience.    You  also  have  gathers,  and  craftsmen  who  provide  the   resources  you  need  to  progress  through  the  game.      

But  more  importantly,  you  have  a  family  that  shares  in  your  struggles,   triumphs,  discoveries  and  growth,  both  as  a  character  and  person.     So,  take  the  plunge,  join  a  guild,  and  let  the  fun  and  learning  begin!               Hope  to  see  you  soon  in  WoW!      


Peterson Schools  Get  Serious     About  Playing  Games    

Game-­‐based learning  refers  to  the  integration  of   gaming  mechanics  into  educational  experiences.    

By David  W.  Deeds,  Cuajimalpa  Campus  

What  exactly  is  meant  by  “humanistic  education”?  Trying  to  arrive  at  a   consensus  regarding  a  definition  brings  to  mind  the  fable  about  the   blind  men  describing  an  elephant:  the  guy  holding  the  trunk  thinks  it’s   like  a  snake,  the  dude  with  his  arms  wrapped  around  a  leg  swears  it’s  a   tree,  etc.    A  website  named,  appropriately  enough,,   succinctly  suggests  that  humanistic  education  simply  features  “learning   activities…[that]  are  oriented  toward  improving  self-­‐awareness  and   mutual  understanding  among  people.”  The  academic  world  has   borrowed  the  corporate  term  “soft  skills”  to  discuss  such  desirable   student  qualities,  which,  not  coincidentally,  correspond  with  the   International  Baccalaureate  Learner  Profile  attributes:  being  caring,   principled,  open-­‐minded,  etc.    



The question  for  educators  has  always  been:  How  is  it  possible  to  instill   and  nurture  such  nebulous  characteristics  in  students  while  teaching   them  no-­‐nonsense  subjects  such  as  computer  programming?       The  answer  is  now  known:  game-­‐based  learning.      

According  to  the  2012  K-­‐12  Horizon  Report,  an  annual  publication  of  the   New  Media  Consortium  that  predicts  adoption  of  educational   technologies,  game-­‐based  learning  will  be  mainstream  in  all  schools  by   as  early  as  2014.  Having  learners  engaged  in  game-­‐based  learning  is  not   only  “beneficial  [for  their]  cognitive  development,”  but  also  fosters   “collaboration,  communication,  problem-­‐solving  and  critical  thinking.”       Games  provide  an  “open-­‐ended,  challenged-­‐based”  social  aspect  to   learning  that  prepares  students  “for  their  continued  education  and  the   workforce,”  (i.e.,  for  21st  century  survival  and  success).  “When   embedded  into  the  curriculum,  [games]  offer  a  path  into  the  material   that  allows  students  to  learn  how  to  learn  along  with  mastering  the  


subject matter.”  The  evidence  is  indisputable:  playing  games  in  school  is   highly  effective  as  well  as  enjoyable.    

As  everyone  knows,  students  love  to  play  games,  and  it’s  this  “fun   factor”  which  ironically  sums  up  the  biggest  objections  many  teachers,   administrators  and  parents  stubbornly  maintain  to  this  innovative   approach.    Higher  education  institutions  have  been  utilizing,  3D  virtual   worlds,  for  example,  with  amazing  results  for  years.  But,  K-­‐12   organizational  dinosaurs  largely  remain  reluctant  to  accept  that   education  doesn’t  have  to  be  boring  and  painful  to  be  beneficial.  The   game-­‐based  revolution  is  going  to  happen  with  or  without  these   misguided  skeptics,  however,  this  advancement  is  inevitable.       Clark  Aldrich,  in  Learning  Online  with  Games,  Simulations  and  Virtual   Worlds,  states  that  game-­‐based  learning  represents  “a  permanent   transformation  of  the  educational  landscape…due  in  part  to  interactive   environments’  ability  to  produce  better  traditional  academic  results.”       Please  note:  “better  traditional  academic  results.”  


Petersons Schools’  overarching  goal  of  providing  our  students  with  a   genuine  “21st  century  education”  will  ultimately  be  achieved  via  a  two-­‐ pronged  strategy:  (1)  a  transformation  to  being  exclusively  an   International  Baccalaureate  institution;  and  (2)  the  implementation  of  a   completely  student-­‐centric  approach  to  teaching,  which  necessarily   involves  the  adoption  of  game-­‐based  learning.       So  far  it’s  been  primarily  the  Cuajimalpa  campus  that  has  been   experimenting  with,  e.g.,  3D  virtual  worlds,  but  soon  our  other  locations   will  be  joining  this  movement  as  training  and  other  preparation   progress.       Currently,  Second  Life  and  OpenSimulator,  both  “immersive/virtual-­‐ learning  environments,”  are  being  used  as  integral  parts  of  the   Information  Technology  in  a  Global  Society  (ITGS)  and  Computer   Workshop  courses,  respectively.  Second  Life,  formally  known  as  a   “Massively  Multiplayer  Online  Game  (MMOG),”  was  introduced  by  the   Linden  Labs  company  in  2003  and  includes  thousands  of  education-­‐ related  institutions.  The  platform  features  its  own  economy  and   currency,  with  average  quarterly  holdings  exceeding  US  $25  million.      

Second  Life  is  a  “public  grid”  (“grid”  just  means  a  lot  of  computers   connected  together)  restricted  to  users  16  and  older.  So,  for  all  other   students  it’s  necessary  to  maintain  an  OpenSimulator  environment,   which  offers  both  the  security  of  access  control  and  the  benefits  of  


interaction with  others.  OpenSimulator  is  “open  source”  software  and  so   it’s  not  nearly  as  advanced  as  its  commercial  cousins,  but  organizations   such  as  Dreamland  Metaverse,  Peterson’s  host  company,  contend  it  will   ultimately  become  the  MMOG  of  choice  for  schools,  primarily  because  of   its  ability  to  create  and  maintain  a  completely  private  virtual  learning   environment.    

Both  Second  Life  and  OpenSimulator  offer  sophisticated  Computer   Aided  Design  (CAD)  tools,  an  Integrated  Development  Environment   (IDE)  for  programming,  etc.  But  it’s  the  communal  characteristics  of  the   potential  work  that  matter  most:  students  not  only  practice  project   management  on  a  local  scale,  but  they’ll  soon  also  be  communicating   and  collaborating  with  learners  around  the  (real,  or  is  it  virtual?)  world.       Imagine  our  students  hosting  and  visiting  learners  from  other  schools,   other  countries,  even  continents.  Both  Second  Life  and  OpenSimulator   have  been  utilized  for  “cross-­‐curricular”  efforts,  meaning  that  recent   projects  involved  Art  and  Music  classes  as  well  as  Technology.  Soon  all   Peterson  campuses  will  be  using  one  or  both  of  these  platforms,  for   student  courses  as  well  as  teacher  professional  development.       Peterson  Schools’  cybercampuses  are  open  and  available  to  all  our   teachers  and  students.  ITGS  learners  will  soon,  as  part  of  their  final   project,  be  training  people,  starting  at  the  Cuajimalpa  campus  and  then   extending  to  the  others.  “Others”  includes  everyone  around  the  globe!        


Unlike Second  Life  and  OpenSimulator,  environments  in  which  the   primary  goal  is  to  create  a  virtual  world  from  the  cyberground  up,  Quest   Atlantis  offers  a  prebuilt  platform  via  which  students  focus  on   completing  missions  or  tasks  via  narrative  “toolkits.”  Quest  Atlantis  is   designed  to  engage  students  9-­‐16  years  of  age  in  “transformational   play,”  meaning  that,  again,  they  are  learning  “hard  skills”  while  also   developing  their  abilities  regarding  communication,  collaboration,  etc.      



All the  storylines  involve  social  action,  whether  it’s  solving  a  bullying   problem  or  saving  a  town  from  the  plague!  More  than  50,000  students   on  six  continents  have  completed  “quests”  over  the  past  four  years.       Peterson  teachers  at  two  different  campuses  will  have  started  their   training  toward  becoming  qualified  Quest  Atlantis  teachers  by  the  time   this  journal  has  been  published.  Quest  Atlantis  is  completely  free  and   it’s  hoped  that  all  Peterson  middle  school  teachers  and  students  will  use   it  soon.  Sometime  during  2013,  the  traditional  Quest  Atlantis  will  be   replaced  by  a  spectacular  3D  version  that  will  rival  most  commercial   games,  while  still  offering  all  the  usual  educational  benefits.  Atlantis   Remixed,  as  the  new  Quest  Atlantis  will  be  known,  will  focus  even  more   on  the  skills  needed  to  solve  problems,  both  real  and  surreal.    

Second  Life/OpenSimulator  and  Quest  Atlantis  aren’t  considered  games   in  the  traditional  sense,  but  there’s  never  been  any  doubt  about   Minecraft!  With  more  than  eight  million  registered  users  worldwide,   Minecraft  is  one  of  the  most  popular  diversions  for  young  people  ever.   How  to  effectively  use  the  environment  for  education  remained  elusive   until  the  recent  introduction  of  MinecraftEdu,  a  “mod”  (modification,  or   version)  created  exclusively  for  schools  by  programmers  working   directly  with  the  Minecraft  staff.        


MinecraftEdu offers  all  the  benefits  (including  the  fun!)  while  allowing  a   teacher  to  maintain  control  via  an  intuitive  server  interface.       MinecraftEdu  is  often  jokingly  referred  to  as  “Second  Life  Lite,”  because   it  offers  younger  students  the  ability  to  easily  create  elaborate   structures  while  focusing  on  the  design  versus  the  mechanics.  It’s  also   easier  to  “start  from  cyberscratch”  because  different  maps  (actually   called  “seeds”)  are  available  to  provide  different  environmental  factors,   such  as  a  mountainous  or  wintery  landscape.  Kids  as  young  as   kindergartners  can  create  their  own  virtual  environments,  then  take   their  teachers  (and  parents)  on  tours  of  their  creations.       Peterson  Schools   has  a  campus-­‐wide   license  to  use   MinecraftEdu  so   there  will  be  no   software  costs   involved.  It’ll  just  be   a  matter  of  installing   the  program  on   different  local  area   network  servers  and   computer  lab  PCs.    


How successful  has  game-­‐ based  learning  been  at   Peterson  Schools  so  far?       Some  student  quotations   should  provide  some   perspective:  

  10th  Grade  Computer  Workshop:     “Many  people  think  that  games  are  useless.  They  certainly  don't   know  that  games  put  our   minds  in  action  every   second.  There  are  lots  of   things  to  learn  from  games.   Games  are  not  just  the   future  of  entertainment,   they're  also  the  future  of   learning.”   -­‐-­‐  Joaquin  Berarducci       “As  technology  develops,  we  open  the  doors  to  a  new  dimension.   In  each  stage  of  our  development,  computer  games  make  our  lives   easier.  They  are  what  will  make  the  new  world  of  tomorrow.”   -­‐-­‐  Melyssa  Montes    

11th Grade  ITGS  Class:     “ITGS  is  my  favorite  class.  You   are  your  own  teacher,  you  are   responsible  for  your  own   learning  process,  and  that's   what  education  should  be  all   about.    Students  have  the  right  


to have  a  fun  class  once  in  a  while.  With  ITGS,  you  actually  learn   and  have  fun  at  the  same  time!”   -­‐-­‐  Diego  Figueroa     “Being  able  to  combine  what  happens  on  the  Internet  with  the   real  world  through  art,  and  that  way  create  a  learning   environment,  is  one  of  the  most  innovative  and  effective  methods   I've  seen,  because  it  connects  the  student  with  the  lesson  through   something  he's  interested  in.  This  is  education's  way  to  say   ‘Welcome  to  the  21st  century.’”   -­‐-­‐  Ilan  Eichner      

  Peterson  Schools  is  just  getting  started  with  game-­‐based  learning.  Our   progress  will  be  covered  via  the  website  and  other  venues,  so  stay   tuned.  More  coming  soon!    

[This article  originally  appeared  in  Peterson  Schools  Magazine.  Reprinted   with  permission.  Peterson  Schools  is  a  private  K-­‐12  institution  with  more   than  2,000  students  at  four  campuses  around  Mexico  City.  David  is  the   Technology  Integration  Specialist  for  the  organization.]      


Second Life Physics Lab Physics is different here! By Renato P. dos Santos (rl), Otaner Merlin (sl)

Despite my  best  efforts,  I  am,  unfortunately,  unable  to  remember  how  I   got  to  know  about  Second  Life!     In  my  personal  diary,  I  have  found  an  entry  saying  that  on  April  23th,   2007  I  got  the  idea  of  starting  a  research  project  about  physics  teaching   in  SL.  Another  entry  says  that  I  created  my  account  on  the  11th  of  May   and  started  promoting  SL  to  my  friends  and  colleagues,  as  many  of  us   have  probably  done.     I  soon  noticed,  however,  that  SL  Physics  is  neither  real-­‐world  Physics   nor  the  Newtonian  Physics.  I  decided  to  study  and  explore  these   differences  for  some  kind  of  ‘alternative  physics’  teaching  (dos  Santos,   2009),  having  Papert’s  microworlds  in  mind.     One  of  my  friends  was  able  to  bring  Emiliano  de  Castro,  former  Kaizen   Games  CMO  (once  a  Brazilian  SL  developer  and  partner,  creator  of  the   Mainland  Brasil),  for  a  talk  in  our  Institution  and  I  had  the  privilege  to   discuss  with  him  how  to  implement  ‘alternative  physics’  in  SL.     On  July  4th,  2008,  I  purchased  a  small  parcel  of  512  sqm  in  the  Pavet   region  of  Second  Life  and  began  to  build  a  crude  and  small  laboratory  to   perform  experiments  with  Second  Life  Physics.  Since  then  I  have  had  to   move  it  to  bigger  and  bigger  parcels  as  the  Lab  evolved  due  to  the  well-­‐ known  prim  limitation.       Second  Life  Physics  Lab  (SLP  Lab)  is  now  a  Physics  and  Mathematics   teaching  research  laboratory  that  is  being  built  at:      

68     Aiming  for  wider  dissemination  to  the  youth  community  who  attend  SL,   as  well  as  taking  in  account  the  strongly  visual  game  culture  of  many  of   its  users,  SLP  Lab  was  set  as  a  11-­‐floor  'space  station'  hovering  30   meters  above  the  terrain  (Figure  1).      

Figure 1 - Second Life Physics Lab themed as a space station.

Visitors  may  find  the  land  pleasurable  by  itself  for  its  nice  flower  fields,   trees,  garden  benches,  a  nice  20  meter  pond  with  fishes  and  the   soothing  sound  of  water  stream,  and  even  a  gazebo  with  the  teleport  to   the  Lab  (Figure  2).  One  has  just  to  ‘sit’  on  the  black  disk  to  be   transported  to  the  Lab  entrance.     To  investigate  the  feasibility  of  building  devices  that  do  not  follow  the   laws  of  Newtonian  mechanics  in  SL,  the  first  simulation  I  built  was  a   ‘Buridan’s  Cannon’,  which  can  simulate  cannonballs  following  two   different  motion  theories,  Newtonian  mechanics  or  the  well-­‐known   Buridan’s  Theory  of  Impulse  (impetus)  (Crombie,  1957,  p.  251),  at  user    


choice, through  a  control  panel  (Figure  3).  The  operation  of  this   Buridan’s  Cannon  can  be  seen  in  video  (dos  Santos,  2010a)  or  be   experienced  at  4th  floor.    

Figure 2 - SLP Lab garden and gazebo

The  next  one  was  the  Lander  Simulator  (Figure  4),  inspired  on  Jim   Storer’s  1969  classic  Lunar  Lander  computer  game.  From  a  physics   teaching  point  of  view,  to  succeed  in  this  ‘serious  game’,  to  be  able  to   land  safely,  the  player  needs  to  master  the  concepts  of  force,   acceleration  and  speed  and  their  relationships  -­‐  in  short,  Newton's   Laws.  The  operation  of  this  Lander  Simulator  can  be  seen  in  video  (dos   Santos,  2010b)  or  be  experienced  at  Lab’s  7th  floor.     A  few  other  Physics,  Math  and  Chemistry  gizmos  are  available  to  the   public  at  the  Lab’s  other  floors.  


Figure 3 - Trajectory of a projectile according to Buridan’s Impetus Theory

I  have  realized,  however,  that  if  SL  shows  itself  as  a  viable  and  flexible   platform  for  microworlds  and  simulations,  then  on  the  other  hand  one   has  to  learn  its  sometimes  cryptic  and  not  well-­‐documented  Linden   Scripting  Language  (LSL),  without  which  one  fatally  ends  up  with  an   especially  inane  kind  of  gigantic  Lego.  From  my  own  experience  with  it,   I  supposed  that  this  would  discourage  most  Physics  teachers  that   probably  will  not  be  willing  to  invest  so  much  time  learning  LSL  only  to   build  simple  educational  simulations.       Aware  of  this  shortcoming,  I  decided  to  build  TATI,  The  Amiable  Textual   Interface  for  Second  Life,  which  would  translate  simple  Logo-­‐like   commands  into  the  sometimes-­‐cryptic  LSL  commands  that  would   generate  the  desired  objects  in  SL.  


Figure 4 - Lander Simulator

Papert  proposed  a  Piagetian  learning  path  into  Newtonian  laws  of   motion  (1980,  p.  123)  by  means  of  a  sequence  of  four  types  of  objects:   geometry,  speed,  acceleration  and  Newtonian  Turtles  (1980,  p.  128).   For  compatibility,  TATI  is  also  able  to  generate  the  two  basic  types  of   primitives  in  Second  Life,  physical  objects  and  non-­‐physical,  in  a  total  of   six  types  of  objects  to  its  user.   Examples  of  objects  created  by  TATI  are  shown  in     Figure  5:  a  blue  cube  of  non-­‐physical  type,  a  plane  of  velocity  turtle  type,   and  a  yellow  cone  of  physical  type,  which  is  lying  on  the  ground  as  it  is   subject  to  gravity.  It  was  found  appropriate  to  theme  the  TATI  as  a   'wizard  hat'  so  that  objects  are  rezzed  over  it  'like  magic'.  Various   examples  of  the  operation  of  TATI  can  be  seen  in  video  (dos  Santos,   2012).    


TATI and   TATILogo  are  in   final   developments   now,  but  will   soon  be  released   to  a  limited  and   selected  group  of   volunteer  users  to   perform  usability   and  acceptance   tests.   Figure 5 - Examples of objects created with TATI

References   Crombie,  A.  C.  (1957).  Criticism  of  Aristotle  in  the  Later  Middle  Ages.   Augustine  to  Galileo:  the  History  of  Science  a.d.  400-­‐1650.  London:   William  Heinemann,  Ltd.   Papert,  S.  A.  (1980).  Mindstorms  -­‐  Children,  Computers  and  Powerful   Ideas.  New  York:  Basic  Books.   dos  Santos,  R.  P.  (2009).  Second  Life  Physics:  Virtual,  real  or  surreal?   Journal  of  Virtual  Worlds  Research,  2(1),  1–21.  Retrieved  from   dos  Santos,  R.  P.  (2010a,  July  30).  Alternative  Physics  in  Second  Life   [Blog  post].  Second  Life  Physics  blog.  Retrieved  July  30,  2010,  from­‐physics-­‐ in-­‐second-­‐life.html   dos  Santos,  R.  P.  (2010b,  December  17).  Lander  Simulator  in  Second  Life   Physics  Lab  [Blog  post].  Second  Life  Physics  blog.  Retrieved   December  17,  2010,  from­‐simulator-­‐in-­‐ second-­‐life-­‐physics.html   dos  Santos,  R.  P.  (2012,  May  13).  TATI  -­‐  The  Amiable  Textual  Interface   for  Second  Life  [Blog  post].  Second  Life  Physics  blog.  Retrieved  May   13,  2012,  from­‐ amiable-­‐textual-­‐interface-­‐for.html        


Lights, Camera,  Nominations:     SIGVE  at  the  Eddies   By  Kae  Novak  (RL),  Kavon  Zenovka  (sl)  

The Edublog  Awards    or  “Eddies”  are  a   community  based  initiative  started  in  2004  to  create  resources  for   educators  on  how  educational  technology  and  social  media  are  used  in   different  contexts  with  a  range  of  different   learners.   Each  year,  the  Edublog  Awards   nominations  are  gathered  through  a   process  where  educators  can  nominate   favorite  blogs  and  sites  in  a  wide  range  of   categories.    The  nomination  process   requires  that  the  blog,  social  network  or   online  events  be  publically  nominated  on   an  educational  blog  and  self-­‐nomination  is   not  allowed.  For  2012,  there  were   approximately  2000  nominations  in  20   categories.   Each  year,  judges  review  the  nominations   and  a  list  of  finalists  is  chosen.  This  year,   SIGVE  was  nominated  for  the  “Best   Social  Network  for  Educators  2012”,   selected  as  a  finalist  and  was  named  in  the  top  5  Best  Networks!        

In addition  to  SIGVE,  we  had  several  members  also  nominated.  To  take  a   look  at  all  of  the  amazing  SIGVE  members  who  were  finalists,  please  go   to  this  link  for  their  blogs  and  sites:    


Also a  special  shout-­‐out  to  the  following  SIGVE  members  who  made  the   top  5  in  their  respective  categories:     Teacher  Blog   ctrl  +  alt+  teach   Catherine  “Cat”  Horton  Flippen     Individual  Blog   Grid  Jumper’s  Blog   Tanya  Martin     Administrator  Blog   This  and  That   Jon  Castelhano     Congratulations    and  a  big  thank  you  to  all  nominees,  finalists,  and  all  of   you  who  voted  to  make  this  possible!    

-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐ Gamers  Represent!     Game  Based  Learning  Finalist  for  2012  Edublog  Awards!     The  finalists  in  the  Edublog  Awards  2012  were  also  well  represented  by   educators  (who  are  also  gamers)  using  blogs,  social  media,  MOOCs  and   Google  Hangouts  to  advance  meaningful  education.       G.A.M.E.  Gamers  Advancing  Meaningful  Education     G.A.M.E.  was  a  finalist  in  Edublog  Awards  in  the  following  categories:   Podcast:  Gamers  Advancing  Meaningful  Education  –  “It  Takes  A  Guild  –   A  Guild  of  Educators”  Series   Open  Professional  Development:  Gamers  Advancing  Meaningful   Education  –  “It  Takes  A  Guild  –  A  Guild  of  Educators”  Series    


Social Network:  Gamers  Advancing  Meaningful  Education   Gamers  who  were  finalists  for  individual  categories:   Lifetime  Achievement:  Marianne  Malmstrom    -­‐  Virtual  Worlds,  Games   and  Minecraft  Maven   Best  Individual  Blog  Post:  Gridjumper’s  Blog  –  It’s  About  Time  and   Space  (25)­‐about-­‐time-­‐and-­‐space/   Games  Based  Learning  MOOC   The  Games  MOOC  or  Games  Based  Learning  MOOC  was  also  a  finalist   in  social  media  and  blogging  categories.   Best  Class  Blog:  Games  MOOC     Best  Group  Blog:  Games  MOOC   Individual  Tweeter:  @proximalzone     Twitter  hashtag:  #gamemooc     And  additionally  games  were  represented  in  the  Best  Mobile  App   category:   Mobile  App:  WoW  Armory­‐ armory/  


Educational Games  for     Social  and  Environmental  Causes      

By Carl  Solutionary  (sl)    

Games are  one  of  the  most  dominant  and  influential  forms  of   entertainment  of  our  times.  Easily  exceeding  the  revenue  of  blockbuster   movies,  World  of  Warcraft  has  grossed  more  than  US  $10  billion  and   titles  such  as  Super  Mario,  Grand  Theft  Auto,  and  Call  of  Duty  grossed   over  US  $1  billion  each.  Educational  games  are  a  significant  market  with   1000’s  of  available  titles.     As  virtual  worlds  add  game  support  such  as  Second  Life’s  Advanced   Creator  Tools  and  Pathfinding,  development  is  beginning  on  new  kinds   of  in-­‐world  games.  Since  these  are  very  early  days,  the  purpose  of  this   article  is  to  introduce  readers  to  social/environmental  educational   games,  and  invite  you  to  participate  in  upcoming  virtual  world  gaming   projects,  discussions,  and  eventually  courses.     As  a  Humane  Educator,  I  am  particularly  interested  in  how  games  can   be  applied  to  social  causes  and  environmental  education.  I  was   surprised  to  discover  the  wealth  of  relevant  games  and  contests  (See   Announcements).     In  the  Internet  Resources  below,  I’ve  listed  game  titles  and  URLs  for  15   social/environmental  games  (all  of  which  I  highly  recommend)  in  3   general  categories:  (1)  Cultural  Education  Games;  (2)  Civics  Policy   Games;  and  (3)  Active  Citizenship  Games.  Cultural  Education  Games   help  us  to  learn  about  people,  their  psychology,  and  societies  through   experiencing  alternate  realities  and  cultures.  Civics  Policy  Games  are   simulations  that  allow  us  to  call  public  policy  shots  and  experience  the   consequences  of  our  choices.  Active  Citizenship  Games  build   consciousness  about  social  justice  causes.      


All of  the  Internet-­‐based  games  are  free,  and  some  installed  games  have   free  demonstrators.  The  balance  of  this  article  introduces  an  example   game  from  each  of  these  categories.      

Figure 1  Inside  the  Haiti  Earthquake  –  a  Video/Photo  Game    

(1) A  Cultural  Education  Game:  Inside  the  Haiti  Earthquake  uses  video   clips  and  photographs  to  tell  the  story  of  the  ongoing  humanitarian   crisis  in  Haiti  (Figure  1).  Set  in  the  timeframe  just  after  the  devastating   Earthquake,  the  game  captures  peoples’  confusion  and  desperation.  As   player,  you  assume  one  of  three  roles:  journalist,  aide  worker,  or   survivor,  and  the  game  takes  you  through  a  role-­‐based  scenario  that   includes  text  messaging,  conversations,  and  many  decisions  that   determine  the  scenario’s  outcomes.  It  is  very  interesting  to  play  the   game  again  choosing  an  alternate  role.  This  game  conveys  a  realistic   understanding  of  the  real-­‐world  issues  that  are  still  playing  out  years   later,  today  in  Haiti.  Other  similar  video/photo  games  that  I  recommend   include  -­‐  On  the  Ground  Reporter:  Darfur,  Homeland  Guantanamos,  and  


an Amnesty  International-­‐endorsed  game  called  Curfew  (See  under   Active  Citizenship  Games).     (2)  A  Civics  Policy  Game:  Climate  Challenge  is  a  card-­‐based   environmental  policy  game  (Figure  2).  You  are  the  leader  of  Europe,  and   set  policies  for  each  decade  from  1990  through  2100.  You  must  balance   your  public  approval  rating,  with  your  financial  resources,  water  supply,   food  supply,  and  climate  impact.  You  can  choose  government  actions   from  available  cards,  including  policies  and  programs  affecting  the   nation,  trade,  agro-­‐industry,  local  areas,  and  households.  The  game  is   very  instructive  about  choosing  tradeoffs  and  understanding  pros  and   cons  of  each  policy.  There  is  a  significantly  more  complex  successor  to   Climate  Challenge  called  Fate  of  the  World,  an  installed  game  available   for  purchase.  Another  card-­‐based  civic  policy  game  that  I  recommend  is   Win  the  White  House.  Peacemaker  is  an  installed  game,  which  focuses   on  Arab-­‐Israeli  policies.       Figure  2  Climate  Challenge  is  a  Card-­‐based  Policy  Game  


(3) An  Active  Citizenship  Game:  September  12th:  A  Toy  World  portrays   a  fictional  city  somewhere  in  the  Middle  East,  which  is  populated  by  a   large  number  of  wandering  civilians  and  a  few  so-­‐called  terrorists,   easily  distinguished  by  their  clothing.  The  player  can  fire  missiles  into   the  city  to  try  and  eliminate  terrorists,  but  every  time  you  do,  more  and   more  civilians  are  converted  to  terrorists.  It  is  a  simple,  active  game   with  a  moral:  violence  begets  more  violence.  Other  highly  engaging,   active  games  that  I  recommend  include:  Phone  Story,  Dys4ia,  and  The   Arcade  Wire:  Airport  Security.    

Figure 3  September  12th:  A  Toy  World  is  an  Action  Game  with  a  Moral    

Announcements: Upcoming  Social  Cause  Game  Contests     Global  Game  Jam  is  a  social  cause  game  development  event  on  January   25-­‐27,  2013.  Over  270  website  teams  compete  by  developing  games   supporting  social  causes  in  this  marathon  event:        


TechSoup, the  sponsors  of  NonProfit  Commons  in  Secondlife,  are   conducting  the  Windows  8  Apps  for  Social  Good  Contest  deadline  February  28,  2013.  Entries  can  include   educational  games  for  social  causes.  Click  the  Hacker  Helper  link  for   important  instructions.     About  the  Author     Carl  Solutionary  (carlicann  Resident)  is  a  Humane  Educator  at   Rockcliffe  University  in  Second  Life.  Carl  also  manages  a  free  shop  of   educational  resources  promoting  Humane  Education  on  Etopia  Island,   the  sustainability  education  community.  Visit  Carl’s  educational   resources  on  the  web  at:  including   access  to  1000’s  of  free  lesson  plans  supporting  social  consciousness   and  sustainability.     Internet  Resources     Key  to  Game  Types:  None  of  the  games  I  found  were  based  in  virtual   worlds,  but  many  are  available  online  (web-­‐based  versus  installed   games).  Several  of  the  games  use  video  clips  and  still  photographs  to  tell   their  stories  (video/photo  based  games).    Some  games  limited  character   movement  to  2  dimensions  (e.g.  platformer  or  maze/pong  games).   Other  games  are  based  on  dealing  or  choosing  cards  (card  games).   Several  games  emphasized  dynamic  user  engagement  (e.g.  fun  games),   and  others  taught  through  assessments  (quiz  games).  The  games  listed   are  web-­‐based  unless  annotated  with  (install).     (1)  Cultural  Education  Games     Inside  the  Haiti  Earthquake    (video/photo)     On  the  Ground  Reporter:  Darfur  (video/photo)     Elude  (platformer)     A  Closed  World  (maze)        


Hunt for  the  Noor  Stone  (quiz)­‐bam-­‐ islam/game.html     Dys4ia  (fun)  (maze/pong)       (2)  Civics  Policy  Games     Climate  Challenge  (card) enge/     Fate  of  the  World  (install)  (card)  –  Purchase  Only     Win  the  White  House  (card)­‐white-­‐house     PeaceMaker  (install)  –  Click  “Play  the  Demo”  for  Free  Demonstrator       (3)  Active  Citizenship  Games     September  12th:  A  Toy  World  (fun)  –  Web-­‐based;  Works  on  MS   Windows     The  Curfew  (video/photo)     Unmanned  (quiz)     Phone  Story  (fun)     Homeland  Guantanamos  (video/photo)  –  Click  “Skip  Intro”  to  Play     The  Arcade  Wire:  Airport  Security  (fun)     Directory  of  1500  Educational  Games     Second  Life  Game  Platform  Technologies  and        


The Virtual   Pioneers  have   completed   another   .  .  .  It  Was  A  Very  Good  Year!   amazing  year   in  their  quest   to  provide   By  Spiff  Whitfield  (sl),  Andrew  Wheelock  (RL)   anyone   interested  in  history  and  culture  a  way  to  explore  and  learn  in  Second   Life.    Our  group  has  gone  through  a  variety  of  cosmetic  changes  over  the   years,  but  we  have  consistently  stayed  true  to  our  mission.     This  year  brought  change  on  several  fronts.    One  of  our  most  successful   upgrades  for  this  year  was  the  creation  of  a  more  dynamic  webpage  for   our  members  to  keep  track  of  our  events  and  happenings.    We  have   tried  several  variations  of  website,  but  the  Weebly  site  is  the  easiest  and   most  manageable.    Please  check  us  out  at  for  all  of  our  news  and  updates.     Another  happy  change  for  this  year  was  our  new  location.    As  you  may   have  known,  we  moved  our  headquarters  from  the  University  of  Maine’s   Black  Bear  Island  to  Eduislands  9.    A  special  thanks  to  the  University  of   Maine  for  offering  us  their  space.    They  were  kind  and  gracious   hosts.    They  were  going  to  downsize  their  islands  and  we  would  have   been  homeless  were  it  not  for  Eduislands  offering  us  a  parcel  on   Eduislands  9.    Fleet  Goldenberg,  has  been   a  wonderful  supporter  and  promoter  of  our  efforts  and  uses.    His  work   with  Eduislands  has  been  one  of  true  collaboration  and  bonhamie.    We   are  so  grateful  for  his  quick  action  to  find  us  a  comfortable  location  with   adjoining  parcel  of  ISTE’s  SIGVE  space.    We  have  found  that  it  has   created  a  true  fellowship  of  like-­‐minded  educators  that  can  easily  work   from  one  region  to  another  to  share  and  collaborate.     With  our  new  website  for  sharing  and  an  educationally  viable  location,   we  went  about  our  business  of  arranging  tours,  having  presentations,   and  enjoying  some  light  hearted  discussion  for  our  bi-­‐weekly  Meet  and   Greet  sections.      

Virtual Pioneers  



See below  for  our  year  in  review  of  locations  and  topics.    Please  visit   these  locations  to  see  and  learn  more.    Serena  Offcourse  has  been  an   amazing  scheduler  for  us  and  has  done  an  incredible  job  of  providing   tours  that  are  timely  and  unique.    Big  thanks  to  Serena!     -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   January  29th   We  began  our  year  at  the  lovely  Victorian  home  of  Virtual  Pioneer,   TwelfthNight  to  discuss  our  recent  conference,  what  worked  and  what   didn't  work  -­‐  gathering  ideas  for  next  year.  We  put  on  our  best  Victorian   clothes  and  chatted  over  a  cup  of  tea.    Twelfth  has  been  a  wonderful   member  who  contributes  and  walks  the  walk  when  it  comes  to  virtual   environment  work  and  play.     -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   February  12th    -­‐  Nodaway   The  Nodaway  sim  celebrates  the  people,  places,  and  connections  of  one   family  and  community.    Using  photographs,  diaries,  and  local   newspaper  accounts,  this  sim  tells  the  story  of  this  family  in  a  small   Missouri  town  from  the  1890s  through  the  1950s.  Ashbrook  Llewellyn   was  our  tour  guide  and  gave  us  a  thought  provoking  evening.       February  26th    -­‐  Peru­‐Fnb5OSVbGo     Amparo  Delvalle  lead   us  on  a  tour  of  Machu   Picchu,  a  real-­‐life   reproduction  of  the   ancient  ruins  of  the   Inca  Citadel  of  Machu   Picchu,  a  rigorous   simulation  of  a  60%   real  Citadel,  built  as   part  of  the  University   San  martin  de  Porres   of  Perú.  We  learned    


about the  history,  origin  and  use  of  one  of  the  world's  archaeological   wonders.            -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   March  11th    -­‐  St  Patrick's  Day  Tour   This  tour  led  us  to  the  beauty  and  wonder  of  Ireland  in  1712!     Located  in  the  Ocean  Realms  sims,  DUBLIN  and  IRELAND  offers  urban   and  country  locales  including  the  historic  Brazen  Head  pub,  the  Abbey   Ruins,  Dunseverick  Castle,  the  Standing  Stones,  and  a  Gypsy  Camp!     A  fun  tour  had  by  all.     -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   March  25th  -­‐  Empyreal  Dreams~The  Art  Anthology   Virtual  Pioneer,  Cyrus  Hush,  gave  us  a  tour  of  Empyreal  Dreams~The   Art  Anthology.    This  is  ultimately  going  to  be  twelve  builds   commemorating  famous  works  of  literature.    They  are  up  to  five...  Rime   of  the  Ancient  Mariner  (Coleridge),  The  Bluebell  (Bronte),  The  Raven   (Poe)  Les  Miserables  (Hugo)  and  the  newest  addition  -­‐-­‐Owl  and  the   Pussycat  (Lear).    Cyrus  is  a  first  class  tour  guide  and  didn’t  disappoint   with  this  tour!                                        


-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐ May  6th  -­‐  Principato  di   Melioria,  Villa  Vesuviana   Lady  Sere  Timeless   invited  us  to  Principato   di  Melioria,  Villa   Vesuviana.  This  is  an   interpretation  of   Palladio’s  Villa  Rotonda  that  has  inspired  more  architecture  than  any   other  single  building  in   history.  We  visited  this   role-­‐play  of  a  fictional   Italian  Court  in  1780   south  of  Napoli.         -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   May  20th    -­‐  Afghanistan   Virtual  Museum   This  museum    provides  a   fully  interactive  and   immersive  experience  to   learn  more  about   the    history,  culture,  art  and  people  of  Afghanistan.  This  museum  is  rich   in  information,  images,  and  more.           -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   June  3rd      -­‐  Welcome  to  Greece     Mariposa  Melodee  lives  in  Greece  in  RL  and  in  SL.    She  shared  a  bit  of   her  country's  history,  culture,  and  beauty.  Starting  with  the  Acropolis,   then  to  Plaka,  and  then  to  Athens  -­‐  we  visited  the  Presidential  House,   Monument  of  Unknown  Soldier,  Odeon  of  Herodes  Atticus,    and  a  Greek   Orthodox  Church.  We  ended  at  the  beautiful  Aegean  Sea.     -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐    


June 17th  -­‐  Buona  Pesca  Archipelago   Cesta  Franizzi  led  us  on  a  tour  of  Buona  Pesca  Archipelago.  These   beautiful  Medieval  Realms  and  Role-­‐plays  are  surrounded  by  open   sailable  waters  covering  twenty-­‐seven  adjoining  regions.       -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   July  1st  -­‐  Colorado  North   Join  Downy  (Downunder  Snoodle)  for  a  tour  of  this  Authentic  1869  Wild   West  Role-­‐play  based  in  Western  Colorado.  We  visited  several  replica   builds  including  The  Mahany  House,  one  of  the  "five  oldest  buildings"  in   Georgetown,  Colorado,  built  during  the  silver  rush.       -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   July  15th    -­‐  Victorian  Summer  Party     (With  some  modern  modifications..)   This  was  a  great  gathering  where  we  had  some  fun  and  fellowship  all   wearing  Victorian  Era  Swimsuits.     -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   July  29th  -­‐  Flying  Tigers  in  SL   Jessii  Warrhol-­‐Giano,  Guarocuya  Giano  and  the  FLYING  TIGERS  (the   largest  aviation  group  in  SL)  provided  an  amazing  tour  of  their  sim.  This   venue  is  host  to  a  replica  of  the  WW2  Memorial  in  DC  and  The  History  of   Aviation  Aircraft  Museum.  Our  tour  included  a  WW2  themed  aerial   combat.  This  group  was  inspired  by  the  efforts  of  the  original  Flying   Tigers,  they  fly  to  honor  all  veterans  and  are  dedicated  to  pursuing   camaraderie,  goodwill,  cooperation  and  harmony  within  the  SL  aviation   community.       -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   August  12th  -­‐  Adventure  in   Dominica   TwelfthNight  again  guided  us   to  the  island  Antiquity   Dominica.  Highlights  of  the   tour  included:  The  Cabrits   Garrison,  Fort  Shirley  and  the   many  natural  highlights  of  this    


beautiful island.    We  also  visited  The  Pirate's  Lair  -­‐  Hideout  for  the   Pirates  of  Antiquity.      Dominica  has  a  long  legacy  of  piracy  over  the   years.    It  was  also  the  location  for  several  of  the  "Pirates  of  the   Caribbean"  films.       -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   August  26th  -­‐  Second  Life  Photography  Tips     Ansel  Artful  is  an  instructor  at  Builders  Brewery  who  has  spent  many   hours  developing  his  excellent  understanding  of  photography  in  both  RL   and  SL.    In  this  introduction  he  shared  some  tips  to  improve  your  ability   to  take  great  pictures  while  on  Virtual  Pioneer  Tours.       -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   September  9th  -­‐  1920  Chicago   Starla  Moorlord  (starla.huntress)  was  our  host  for  this  sim  based  on  the   1920's  in  the  City  of  Chicago.  This  Roaring  20's  style  sim  is  the  home  of   gangsters  and  dolls.    We  were  even  treated  to  a  Gangster  hit  job!    Oh  the   clean  fun  of  role-­‐play  and  history  sims.    



-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐ September  23rd  -­‐  Photohunt  at  Mont  Saint  Michel   This  was  a  Self  Guided  Tour  and  Photohunt  at  Mont  Saint  Michel  -­‐  a   rocky  tidal  island  in  Normandy,  France.  It  is  located  approximately  a   half  a  mile  off  the  country's  northwestern  coast.    This  island  has  held   strategic  fortifications  since  ancient  times.  Since  the  8th  century  AD  it   has  been  the  seat  of  the  monastery  from  which  it  gets  its  name.       -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   November  4th  -­‐  O'Hare's  Gap  5:30  pm  SLT   Willy  and  Meg  Sandalwood  shared  their  Rural  Irish  Village  of  O'Hara's   Gap.  It  is  1939  and  the  war  between  the  Axis  powers  and  the  British  is   on.    Strategic  positions  were  needed  to  observe  British  shipping  and  the   Axis  powers  know  that  much  of  the  convoy  activity  to  and  from  England   must  pass  through  the  narrow  gap  between  North  Ireland  and  Scotland.   This  sleepy  little  Irish  Village  provides  a  good  staging  point  to  watch   this  activity.      The  Blarney  Castle  and  Blarney  Stone  could  be  seen  and   kissed!    



-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐ November  18th  -­‐  Tour  of  London  Village    

Darkling  Leechfinger  (leechfinger)  provided  for  us  a  tour  of  London   Village.  This  fun  filled  place  is  one  part  London,  and  one  part  English   fandom.  There  are  some  famous  landmarks  such  as  the  Tower  Bridge,   London  Eye,  and  the  BT  Tower.  In  addition,  there  are  tributes  to  English   shows  Sherlock  Holmes  and  Doctor  Who.       -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   December  2nd  -­‐  Ancient  Alexandria   Cleopatra  VII  of  the  Ptolemies  (pharaohcleopatra,  was  our  guide   of  Alexandria,  an  ancient  world  role  playing  sim,  set  around  35  BCE,  at   the  time  of  Cleopatra  and  Mark  Antony.    Alexandria,  Egypt  was  founded   by  Alexander  the  Great  in  331  BCE.    At  this  time,  Alexandria  was  the   most  beautiful,  wealthiest,  and  most  educated  city  on  the  planet.   Highlights  of  this  tour  included  the  Palace,  the  Market,  an  Arena,  a   Hippodrome,  a  Bedouin  camp,  a  Roman  Fortress,  and  a  temple.    


-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐ December  9th  -­‐  PRESENTATION   +++  The  Renaissance  Hunt  +++     Hunt  organizer,  Perryn  Peterson,  discussed  the  second  Renaissance-­‐ themed  Grid-­‐Wide  hunt.  He  offered  some  "Hunt  Tips'  for  new  hunters   and  answered  questions.  This  exciting  SL  event  had  Renaissance  and   Medieval  gifts  to  find  hidden  in  over  100  participating  shops.         -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐   December  16th    -­‐VP  Winter  Event     +++Historical  Costume  Party+++     Our  last  event  brought  us  together  again  for  some  fun  mingling  skating,   and  snowball  throwing.    Good  clean  entertainment.    

As  you  can  see,  the  Virtual  Pioneers  like  to  learn,  share,  and  collaborate   in  a  variety  of  settings.    2013  is  underway  and  we  already  have  some   great  sims  planned,  like  a  return  to  Harlem  1920,  and  Medieval   Dee.    Please  look  for  us  inworld  or  follow  our  Weebly  site.     Spiff       Be  sure  to  check  out  our  flickr  group  site  to  see  pictures  of  our  events!    


NPC Meeting Feb 22nd

The NonProfit  Commons  weekly  meeting  featuring  web  pioneer  Aliza   Sherman  (Cybergrrl  Oh)  who  will  take  us  on  an  interactive  exploration   of  using  QR  codes.  You  can  read  the  chat  from  the  meeting  and  visit   NonProfit  Commons  inworld  and  on  the  NPSL:  Nonprofits  in  Second  Life   website.    

The QR Code Mantra  


Aliza Sherman @alizasherman

            According  to  the  NPSL  website,  “QR  Codes  can  be  a  compelling  and   effective  marketing  tool  when  used  thoughtfully  and  integrated   carefully  into  a  campaign.  Nonprofits  can  benefit  from  incorporating  QR   codes  appropriately  into   marketing  collateral  and   communications  flow,   especially  to  bridge  offline   with  online  actions.”     Aliza Sherman @alizasherman

        During  this   session,   participants   learned  about   some  of  the   best  tools  for   generating   and  managing   QR  code   efforts.      


NPC Audience

My Friend, Buffy Beale


Cybergrrl Oh & Rhiannon Chatnoir

Participants also  saw  some  examples  of  QR  codes  –  both  effective  and   ineffective  ones.  Can’t  wait  to  see  how  these  participants  begin  to  use   QR  codes  in  SL!              


Achieving Fiero Moments in Collegial Learning & Gaming Communities By Rosie O’Brien Vojtek (rl), Roxie Neiro (sl) Bob Vojtek (rl), BJ Gearbox (sl) Motivation is  a  funny  thing  –  what  motivates  one  person  or  group  of   people  may  not  work  for  the  next  person  or  group.  But  from  our   research  and  experiences  (Vojtek&  Vojtek,  2009,  Corwin  Press)  we  have   learned  that  the  more  the  following  ten  strategies  are  embedded  within   the  culture  of  a  school  or  classroom,  a  virtual  community  like  ISTE   SIGVE  in  Second  Life,  or  a  guild  in  WoW  for  example,  the  more  likely  the   group  is  going  to  be  able  to  work  together  collegially,  and  the  more   likely  they  will  be  to  achieve  what  we  call  optimal  performance  and  what   the  gaming  community  calls  a  Fiero  Moment.         We  define  optimal  performance  as  the  state  in  which  individuals  within   the  school  community  are  enthralled  in  complex,  job-­‐embedded   educational  work  and  learning  experiences  that  serve  a  greater  purpose,   have  a  clear  and  specific  focus,  provide  knowledge  and  feedback  about  the   results  of  educator  effort,  intrinsically  captivate  educator  attention,  are   balanced  between  the  challenge  of  the  activity  and  the  knowledge  and   skill  of  the  individual,  and  clearly  make  a  difference  in  helping  all  students   achieve  personalized  and  collective  learning  goals  (Vojtek  &  Vojtek,  2009,   p.  30).     Optimal  Performance  is  what  Csikszentmihalyi  calls  “Flow,”  what   Maslow  calls  “Self-­‐Actualization,”  what  runners  call,  “The  Zone,”  and   what  gamers  call  “Fiero  Moments.”       So,  what  are  the  characteristics  that  must  be  met  to  achieve  Optimal   Performance  or  a  Fiero  Moment?  We  list  them  as  the  following.       The  People/Players:   • Are  actively  engaged/enthralled  in  complex,  job-­‐embedded  or    


• • • •

game-­‐embedded/immersed learning  or  work.   Are  engaged  in  work  that  serves  a  greater  purpose  or  a  greater   good  (e.g.,  working  collaboratively  in  WoW  to  survive  and  help   each  other  or  on  a  school  goal  to  ensure  students  achieve   statewide  assessment  goals).   Know  and  can  articulate  the  clear  and  specific  focus  and  goal.   Are  provided  with  specific  and  immediate  feedback  about  the   results  of  their  efforts  and  actions.   Are  intrinsically  captivated  by  the  mission  and  work  they  are   doing.   Have  the  knowledge  and  skills  necessary  to  complete  the  task  or   activity  and  the  knowledge  and  skills  they  possess  are  balanced   against  the  complexity  of  the  task,  so  that  the  task/activity  is   neither  too  difficult  nor  too  easy.   Realize  that  what  they  are  doing  is  making  a  difference  in  helping   them  to  achieve  their  personal  or  collective  goals.  

Game  developers  “get  it!”  They  understand  that  if  they  are  going  to   enthrall  and  captivate  their  players,  they  need  to  embed  the  above   characteristics  of  optimal  performance  into  their  games.  For  example,  as   players  acquire  the  knowledge  and  skills  they  need  to  achieve  their   goals,  they  experience  success  –  a  Feiro  Moment,  and  thus  move  on  to   the  next  level.         We  do  not  do  this  enough  in  real  life!  Especially  in  the  classroom  when   we  are  teaching  our  students.    Maybe  that  is  why  it  is  so  difficult  for  us,   as  educators,  to  build  and  sustain  the  momentum  (enthusiasm  and   enthrallment)  of  games;  or  as  administrators,  to  build  a  collegial   learning  community  with  educators  that  is  able  to  achieve  the  optimal   levels  of  performance  described  above;  or  as  learners,  experience  those   potential  real  life  Fiero  (ah-­‐ha,  got  it,  can  do)  moments  in  the  classroom!       But,  what  if  we  could?       What  if  we  could  structure  these  Optimal  Performance/Fiero  Moment   principles  into  the  important  work  we  do,  everyday,  whether  it  be  in   the:  virtual  environments;  the  gaming  environments;  the  work  we  do   with  teachers,  colleagues,  and  peers  as  a  collegial  learning  community;   or  by  engaging  students  in  the  daily  classroom  curricula?      


There are  10  highly  effective,  essential  strategies  that  teachers  and   administrators  can  use  to  motivate  and  inspire  students,  teachers,  or   members  of  their  WoW  guild,  to  build  collegial  learning  communities   and  help  them  achieve  optimal  performance.  It  doesn’t  matter  whether   you  use  these  in  your  classroom  with  students,  with  the  teachers  in  your   school,  with  your  colleagues  to  build  an  inworld  group,  or  with  your   guild  in  WoW.    The  10  essential  strategies  are  the  same  and  are  just  as   effective  in  all  of  these  environments.  The  more  you  are  able  to  embed   them  into  your  culture  and  make  them  the  norm  (norm  goes  without   saying  –  it  is  just  the  way  you  operate),  the  more  likely  you  are  to  create   those  Fiero  Moments  in  real  life  and  in  virtual  worlds  and  games.     The  10  strategies  are  (in  no  order,  except  for  number  one,  which  is  the   same  as  Maslow’s  survival  skills):     1. Quality  of  Life  –  Everyone  within  the  group  must  have  their  basic   life  skills  and  needs  met.  In  Second  Life  for  example,  until  an   avatar  learns  how  to  move,  has  the  appropriate  dress,   understands  the  culture,  etc.,  they  have  not  achieved  a  quality  of   life  that  helps  them  sustain  their  involvement  in  the  virtual  world.   Often  people  pop  into  second  life  and  quit  because  they  do  not  feel   comfortable  (achieve  the  quality  of  life)  that  sustains  their   participation.  This  is  why  ISTE  SIGVE  has  spent  so  much  time   nurturing  newcomers.   2. Mission  –  People  need  to  know,  understand  and  be  able  to   articulate  the  important  work  (i.e.,  goals,  actions,  and  desired   results)  they  wish  to  achieve.  Mission  is  that  morally  compelling,   important  work  that  the  individual  or  the  group  is  pursuing.   Everything  that  the  person/group  is  doing  is  important  to   furthering  that  mission.     3. Communication  –  There  must  be  a  shared  vocabulary  and  clearly   established  definitions.  There  must  be  clarity  in  purpose  and   channels  for  dialogue  among  members.  Information  must  be  open,   honest,  and  transparent.  People  must  be  on  the  same  page  with   the  same  information.     4. Relationships  –  Relationship  matter!  People  need  people!    We   love  when  Barbara  Streisand  sings,  “People  who  need  people  are   the  luckiest  people  in  the  world.”  Cultivate,  nurture,  and  build    


those relationships!  Together,  we  can!   5. Accountability  –  Make  sure  that  when  you  develop  the  goals,   action  plans,  and  result  indicators  that  everyone  of  the   stakeholders  has  input  and  is  listened  to.  Take  time  to  build   consensus  around  what  is  important  and  what  you  are  going  to  do   about  it.    This  creates  ownership  in  the  task.  Then,  and  most   importantly,  make  sure  everyone  holds  themselves  and  each   other  in  the  group  responsible  and  accountable  for  accomplishing   the  mission  and  goals.     6. Competence  and  Capacity  –  Not  only  do  individuals  need  to   increase  their  own  knowledge  and  skills  (competences),  but  also,   they  need  to  share  that  knowledge  and  skills  with  the  rest  of  the   group  to  build  the  collective  capacity  of  ALL.   7. Autonomy  –  Make  sure  that  everyone  knows  and  understands   the  clearly  identified  and  articulated  boundaries  (including  rules)   and  then  grants  each  other  the  freedom  and  authority  to  make   informed  decisions.  As  in  games  like  WoW,  sometimes  this  works,   and  sometimes  it  doesn’t.  When  it  doesn’t,  people  need  to  be   granted  the  ability  to  pick  themselves  up,  dust  themselves  off,  do   some  research,  revise,  and  try  again.  This  is  what  it  takes  for   successful  gamers  to  move  on  to  the  next  level.  This  is  what  it   takes  for  successful  schools  to  improve.     8. Empowerment  –  Even  though  we  think  we  can,  in  games  and  in   real  life,  none  of  us  can  do  it  all!  It  is  important  that  we  delegate   the  responsibility,  distribute  the  leadership,  grant  the  authority,   and  allow  others  to  do  the  work.  Then  we  get  out  of  the  way!   Make  sure  people  have  the  competence  and  self-­‐confidence  they   need,  and  then,  when  they  do,  empower  them  to  do  the  work,  and   watch  what  they  become!       9. Positive  Interdependence  –  None  of  us  are  as  smart  as  all  of  us.   It  takes  all  of  us,  working  together,  to  achieve  our  goals.  We  are  a   team  .  .  .  we  win  or  lose,  sink  or  swim,  and  we  are  all  in  this   TOGETHER!  To  survive,  to  be  successful,  we  need  each  other!  We   are  a  community.  We  are  a  family.  We  are  a  guild.  We  are  one!  We   must  make  sure  there  is  “UNITY”  in  the  “COMMUNITY.”   10. Results  –  Getting  results  means  achieving  the  individual  or   groups’  morally  compelling  mission  and  goals.  Goals  must  be  kept   realistic,  attainable,  and  measurable.  Be  sure  to  celebrate  the  little   accomplishments  along  the  way.  When  you  don’t  get  the  results    


you were  looking  for,  step   back,  take  a  deep  breath,   investigate  and  analyzing   what  happened  –  what  went   wrong,  and  then,  have  the   courage  to  try  it  again.  And,   when  you  do  achieve  success   (that  Fiero  Moment),   celebrate!  After  celebrating,   pick  yourself  up,  dust   yourself  off,  and  move  on  to   the  next  level  (in  the  game  or   in  the  complexity  of  your   work)  and  in  the  words  of   Jerry  Garcia  “Keep  on  Truckin’”     The  best  of  games  incorporate  the  above  10  strategies  for  building   collegial  communities  to  engage  and  enthrall  their  players.  Educators   in  WoW  and  other  online  games  will  tell  you  that  these  are  all   elements  that  keep  them  coming  back,  day  after  day  (and  in  the  case   of  WoW)  night  after  night  to  PLAY!     Like  game  developers,  our  job  thus  becomes  embedding  these   elements  into  the  work  we  do  in  virtual  environments,  social  media,   online  learning,  and  daily  classroom  face-­‐to-­‐face  learning.  The  more   these  10  strategies  are  embedded  within  our  schools’  cultures  and   classrooms  every  single  day,  the  more  likely  educators  and  students   will  be  to  achieve  optimal  performance  –  those  FIERO  Moments!         [For  more  information,  see   “Motivate!  Inspire!  Lead!  10   Strategies  for  Building  Collegial   Learning  Communities”  by   RoseAnne  O’Brien  Vojtek  and   Robert  J.  Vojtek,  2009,  Corwin   Press].      


Walkabout By Matt  Poole  aka  Cyrus  Hush   -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐ -­‐  

Chapter 4:    The  Blake  Sea     Greetings,  intrepid  explorers!    Sandwiched  between  and  extending  east   of  Satori  (the  Japanese  continent)  and  the  continent  of  Nautilus  lies  a   network  of  interconnected  islands  and  waterways  collectively  referred   to  as  the  Blake  Sea  and  United  Sailing  Sims.    Although  technically  not   considered  one  of  the  original  Second  Life  continents,  Blake  Sea  and  USS   are  a  continent-­‐sized  group  of  contiguous  simulated  environments,  all   more-­‐or-­‐less  devoted  to  a  maritime  theme  and  all  designed  for  easy   inter-­‐sim  touring.    There  are  some  wonderful  sights  and  surprises  here   that  we  would  otherwise  miss,  so  let's  check  'em  out,  shall  we?  


Right...  so  in  addition  to  day  and  night,  sun,  moon  and  clouds,  Second   Life  has  winds  of  varying  direction  and  intensity.    With  a  virtual  sailboat   of  the  right  design,  it  is  possible  to  tack  against  these  winds,  steering   and  adjusting  the  angle  of  one's  sails  in  order  to  maximize  forward   thrust...  and  even  engaging  in  races  and  epic  sea  battles  against  other   virtual  sailboats  and  pilots  in  contests  that  match  not  only  how  fast  your   prim  sailboat  can  move,  but  also  technique  and  strategies  for  taking  best   advantage  of  the  course  and  the  winds.    In  order  to  do  this  you  need  a   bunch  of  contiguous  low-­‐lag  water  sims  to  accommodate  race  courses.     You  will  also  probably  need  stores  that  sell  sailboats  of  various  designs.     Around  these  marinas  and  tracts  of  water  will  spring  up  nautical   communities,  and  that  is  basically  how  the  Blake  Sea  came  to  be.    

Since the  early  days  of  Second  Life  the  maritime  character  of  the  Blake   Sea  sims  has  expanded,  opening  up  new  realms  of  boat  design  and   expansive  harbors,  docks  and  communities  all  built  around  the  concept   of  sl  sailing  to  some  extent.    One  of  the  great  things  about  water  sims  is   that  they  tend  to  have  low  lag.    This  of  course  makes  for  much  a  better   vehicle  experience  -­‐-­‐easing  the  hand-­‐off  from  sim  to  sim  on  lengthy   vehicle  voyages.    It  also  makes  for  more  fun  exploration!  


In our  last  installment,  we  were  exploring  the  continent  of  Jeogeot  and   discussing  the  Linden  Department  of  Public  Works  (aka  the  Moles).    The   Moles  are  of  course  the  resident  builders  that  Linden  Labs  has  recruited   to  create  wonderful  little  works  of  art  and  sprinkle  them  throughout  the   public  areas  of  Second  Life.    Their  handiwork  is  quite  well  represented   in  the  Blake  Sea,  and  in  particular  at  our  starting  point  for  this  issue's   safari  -­‐-­‐Nautilus  City.  

103 -­‐  Byth/156/201/22   [Note:  You  land  in  the  water,  so  be  sure  to  fly  up  to  see  Nautilus  City  and   be  sure  to  rezz  a  rideable  dolphin.]       One  could  argue  that  Nautilus  City  is  part  of  the  continent  of  Nautilus   because  of  the  name,  but  it  is  just  as  close  to  Satori  and  the  areas  are   stylistically  and  functionally  very  different.    Shaped  like  a  key  and   bisected  by  a  great  canal  that  opens  from  the  east  and  runs  west  to  the   great  Citadel,  Nautilus  Island  has  many  interesting  neo-­‐classical   buildings,  particularly  bordering  the  canal.    The  many  statues  of   dolphins,  seahorses  and  Greek  sea-­‐gods  remind  me  a  bit  of  a  certain   southern  US  beach  boardwalk.    Some  people  dismiss  Nautilus  Island  as  a   Linden-­‐owned  planned  community  that  is  laggy  and  overtly   commercial,  but  it's  worth  visiting  just  to  check  out  the  architecture.     Like  a  beach,  there  are  often  concerts  and  special  events  held  here...  in   particular  at  a  spot  just  beyond  the  southern  wall  of  the  Citadel,  close  to   the  shore.     Turning  east,  we  head  out  into  the  ocean...    

104 Sea  -­‐  Crows   Nest/128/128/2     The  great  expanses  of  water  finally  give  you  a  chance  to  set  your  draw   distance  to  1000  and  really  get  a  good  look  at  a  seascape  with  some   scale  to  it.         Sprinkled  throughout  the  Blake  Sea  are  lonely  outposts,  like  the   lighthouse  at  Crow's  Nest.    Just  as  in  real  life  these  sentinels  serve  as   landmarks  and  beacons  for  sailors.    They  also  make  great  picnic  spots   and  photographic  backgrounds.         Often  they  will  have  a  small  area  with  rez  permissions  to  allow  you  to   pull  a  boat  out  of  inventory  and  sail  away.  Sometimes  they  will  also  have   freebie  sailboats  and  instructions  to  give  visitors  a  taste  of  the  maritime   world.      

105 Catalina/171/130/22  

Heading  north,  we  soon  strike  a  rather  busy  sim  that  is  filled  with   planes  taxiing,  taking  off  and  landing.    This  is  Hollywood  Airport,  on  the   simulated  parcel  of  Santa  Catalina.    There  are  of  course  lots  of  airports   in  SL,  but  few  that  are  this  busy  and  none  that  are  quite  this...  serious   about  aviation.    A  quick  look  at  Parcel  Details  shows  that  this  sim  is  set   to  the  Flying  Tigers  aviation  group.    This  means  nothing  to  me...  but  a   proffered  note  card  explains  the  history  and  significance  of  the  Flying   Tigers.       Prior  to  the  US  entrance  into  WWII,  the  Japanese  military  was  wreaking   havoc  in  the  Pacific.    Although  the  US  was  not  officially  involved  in   hostilities  at  the  time,  a  group  of  volunteers  (ok  mercenaries)  from  the   US  and  other  countries  formed  the  Flying  Tigers...  several  squadrons  of   fighter  aircraft  that  were  defending  Chinese  and  Southeast  Asian  targets   from  Imperial  strikes.    Apparently  these  fighters  made  quite  a  name  for   themselves  before  becoming  an  official  part  of  the  US  military  after   Pearl  Harbor.    They  were  the  ones  who  came  up  with  that  snaggle-­‐ toothed  shark  face  that  could  often  be  seen  painted  on  WWII  fighters.     The  Flying  Tigers  in  SL  is  composed  of  aviation  aficionados,  veterans  of   the  US  and  other  countries'  armed  forces  and  anybody  else  who  is  


nostalgic about  WWII  aviation  technology.    Billed  as  the  largest  aviation   group  in  SL,  they  are  committed  to  fraternity  and  camaraderie.      

How cool  is  that?    The  next  sim  to  the  north  is  Virtual  Hollywood...  we   definitely  need  to  check  out  Virtual  Hollywood.


After being  greeted  by  a  likeness  of  Marilyn  Monroe,  we  pass  down   some  steps  to  a  lagoon.    The  central  lagoon  is  surrounded  by  a  walkway   with  kiosks  honoring  Best  Movie  awards  of  past  decades.    There  are  also   exhibits  depicting  individual  stars  and  a  recreation  of  the  Hollywood   Bowl  as  well  as  the  Hollywood  sign.     There  is  a  linear  corridor  of  open  water  sims  that  runs  east  to  west   through  the  middle  of  Blake  Sea.    As  we  follow  this  corridor  we  soon  spy   a  lush,  verdant  sim  to  the  north  that  warrants  further  investigation.         The  aptly-­‐named  Greenhouse  is  largely  taken  up  by  an  enormous   Victorian  greenhouse,  complete  with  an  enclosed  lake,  waterwheel  and   an  aerial  lounge  area.    The  whole  place  is  peaceful  and  beautiful...  filled   with  the  sounds  of  running  water  and  surrounded  by  fields  full  of   flowers.         A  partially  submerged,  abandoned  and  sadly  out  of  place  seaplane  was   idling  at  the  edge  of  the  enclosed  lake  on  the  day  of  my  visit  -­‐-­‐thus   highlighting  the  importance  of  finding  and  reclaiming  or  at  least   deleting  any  items  lost  during  your  voyages  of  discovery.  

108 Neck/86/65/26     Looking  at  the  World  Map,  the  greater  Blake  Sea  region  extends  several   pseudopods  from  the  central  corridor  that  form  separate   neighborhoods.    These  neighborhoods  are  often  but  not  always   residential  and/or  rental  regions.      One  such  region  to  the  north  is  the   New  England  Sims.         Angling  north  and  west,  we  cruise  by  many  lighthouses,  boats  and   marinas  until  we  come  to  a  sim  called  Bearskin  Neck.    This  region   beckons  us  to  land  and  investigate  the  ancient  VW  bus,  bonfire  and   catamaran  we  can  see  on  the  shore.         On  the  surface  this  place  appears  to  be  peaceful,  quiet  and  rather   simple...  filled  with  the  sound  of  waves  and  seabirds...  with  not  much   going  on.    However,  further  inspection  shows  that  nothing  could  be   further  from  the  truth!    Sprinkled  around  the  sim  are  a  dozen  or  so   "anywhere  doors"  that  will  lead  you  to  parts  unexpected.    From  tree-­‐ houses  to  Steampunk  airship-­‐meeting  spaces  to  Rick's  American  Cafe   from  the  movie  Casablanca,  this  sim  will  keep  you  busy  for  quite  a  while   if  you  start  poking  around.    Also,  it  is  just  one  of  the  dozen  or  so  New   England  sims  to  visit!  

109   Returning  back  the  way  we  had  come  and  pushing  further  east  we   eventually  come  to  the  Second  Norway  group.    Second  Norway  consists   of  a  number  of  regions  connected  to  the  Blake  Sea  whose  primary  theme   is  Scandinavian  or  Norwegian.         Taking  a  cruise  through  Second  Norway  is  like  taking  a  trip  through   northern  Europe.    Besides  the  ubiquitous  lighthouses  and  boats  we  see   snowy  mountains  and  deep  valleys  where  icicles  adorn  the  buildings   and  kerosene  heaters  and  wood  stoves  abound.    

110 Fjord/218/110/25     With  Norge  as  the  nominal  "capital,"  this  21-­‐sim  spread  provides  ample   opportunity  to  absorb  Scandinavian  culture.    The  Scandinavian   educational  system  is  one  of  the  best  in  the  world  and  English  is  taught   to  most  children  right  along  with  their  native  tongues,  the  result  being   that  although  clearly  the  majority  of  the  signs  and  communications  are   in  Norwegian,  English  translations  are  usually  provided  as  well.    


111   We  pause  for  a  hearty  meal  of  lamb  and  salmon  but,  as  there  are  no   signs  of  either  Thor  or  Loki  we  decide  to  press  on... Run/110/187/23     We  take  another  lengthy  cruise...  sailing  southward.    As  we  cross  the   central  Blake  Sea  corridor  we  enter  a  largely  residential  area  known  as   the  Sailors  Cove  sims.    These  are  beautiful  and  nautical  again.    There  is   snow  on  the  ground  and  on  the  tree  branches,  and  the  theme  is  not  as   tropical  as  the  United  Sailing  Sims  further  south.    There  is  a  lot  to  see   and  do  here  as  well,  but  unfortunately  we  are  on  a  timeline  so  we  press   on...  

112 MID/119/79/53    

Sailing back  into  the  central  Blake  Sea  corridor  we  thread  our  way   through  picturesque  islands  and  yachts  until  we  turn  hard  to  port  and   head  south  following  a  single  line  of  sims.    Suddenly  an  enormous  white   mass  looms  ahead,  glistening  in  the  moonlight,  flags  flying  in  the  breeze.     It's  the  Galaxy!         The  SS  Galaxy  is  the  biggest  cruise  liner  in  Second  Life.    Taking  up  three   sims,  it  doesn't  actually  cruise  anywhere,  but  if  you  want  to  rent  a   stateroom,  dress  up,  dance  and  live  in  the  lap  of  luxury,  this  is  one  of  the   best  places  in  SL  to  do  so.    Not  being  a  terribly  luxurious  fellow  I  just   take  a  couple  of  pictures  and  move  on.       The  next  sim  to  the  south,  Galaxy  Quest,  is  worth  a  look,  however.      Here   can  be  found  the  Robert  A.  Heinlein  Crooked  House  exhibit,  as  well  as  a   very  interesting  planetarium  that  also  shows  a  streaming  video  of   Heinlein's  1994  movie  The  Puppet  Masters  (Hollywood  Pictures),   starring  Donald  Sutherland.    (I  guess  the  builder  likes  Heinlein!)    

113 Lee  Point/227/73/53     Heading  back  north  and  on  to  the  west,  we  take  another  southerly   tributary  to  an  enormous  mountain  ridge  that  is  almost  as  big  as  the   Galaxy.         Here  you  can  rez  a  free  pony  and  follow  a  riding  trail  around  the   mountain  or  up  to  a  gleaming  white  dome  on  the  northern  tip  of  the   ridge.    This  is  the  famous  Palomar  observatory!     Palomar  was  the  biggest,  most  important  ground-­‐based  optical   telescope  in  the  world  until  the  Keck  I  on  Hawaii's  Mauna  Kea  


superseded it  in  1992.  It  remains  a  major  resource  for  astronomy  today,   and  an  important  part  of  the  scientific  history  of  the  20th  Century.         While  I  was  visiting  I  ran  into  a  fellow  named  Mark  Twain  White,  who   built  this  and  many  of  the  other  Blake  Sea  sims.    He  was  very  pleasant   and  hospitable,  and  he  invited  me  to  come  back  and  check  out  the   Palomar  exhibit  after  he  had  finished  adding  more  interactive  content  in   a  week  or  two.    I  will  pass  that  invitation  along  to  you!     Once  again  we  have  whipped  through  a  major  Second  Life  land-­‐mass   (ok  sea-­‐mass).    As  you  can  see,  the  Blake  Sea  and  United  Sailing  Sims   have  a  lot  of  amazing  content  to  offer  visitors.         There  of  course  huge  swaths  of  land  and  sea  that  we  didn't  even  touch  -­‐-­‐ any  bit  of  which  could  hold  amazing  treasures  that  like  a  sandcastle   could  be  gone  tomorrow.    But,  hopefully,  you  now  have  had  enough  of  a   taste  of  the  Blake  Sea  area  to  know  which  spots  you  might  want  to  come   back  to  and  explore  more  fully  on  your  own.     Thank  you  for  your  excellent  company  on  this  adventure.    Until  next   time,  be  well!     Your  friend,     Cyrus           “Sitting  at  the   Galaxy  Pool  Deck   Bar  –  helped  me   forget  about  the   Blizzard  of  2013  –  at   least  for  a  little   while!”    Roxie  Neiro  


Inevitable Betrayal: An Educator’s Guild By  Kae  Novak,  Mellody  Collier  and  Chris  Luchs  

Guild Invitation

While the  name  of  the  guild  may  at  first  sound  a  little…well…  enigmatic..       Inevitable  Betrayal  is  based  off  a  famous  or  infamous  line  from  the   science  fiction  and  geek  culture  favorite,  Firefly  series.  The  guild  was   initially  formed  for  the  2011  Global  Goblin  Gathering  between  the   Jokaydians  and  the  Center4EduPunx.  The  game  of  World  of  Warcraft   had  just  come  out  with  a  new  character,  goblins,  and  educators  from   Jokaydia  and  the  Center4EduPunx  wanted  to  investigate  and  play  with   these  new  characters.     For  those  new  to  games,  World  of  Warcraft  (WoW)  is  a  Massively  Multi-­‐ Player  Online  Roleplaying  Game  that  is  also  known  as  an  MMORPG.   With  over  10  million  paying  subscribers  worldwide,  WoW  is  the  largest    


paid subscription  MMORPG.  Each  subscriber  pays  $14.99  per  month  to   continue  accessing  this  virtual  world  and  engaging  with  its  content  and   other  players.  World  of  Warcraft  also  has  a  free  version  that  allows   players  to  advance  to  level  20  out  of  90.    

Character Sheet

Players create  characters  or  “toons”.  For  each  character  they  choose   which  faction  to  play  on,  Alliance  or  Horde.  The  WoW  virtual  spaces  are   divided  up  by  real-­‐time  geographic  location  (United  States,  Europe,   Oceania,  Latin  America,  Brazil  among  others)  and  then  are  divided   further  by  realms.  Inevitable  Betrayal  is  a  Horde  guild  on  the  Sisters  of   Elune  realm.     While  it  is  possible  to  play  solo,  many  characters  choose  to  form  in-­‐ game  groups  known  as  guilds.  A  guild  shares  a  private  text  chat  for  its   members,  has  a  guild  bank  to  place  in  game  objects  and  can  work   together  for  in  game  perks  and  achievements.  There  are  different  types   of  guilds.  They  are  often  categorized  as  social,  casual,  progressive   (seeking  achievements)  and  then  serious  end  game  content  guilds   known  as  raiding  guilds.  Inevitable  Betrayal  has  taken  a  twist  on  that   and  calls  itself  an  Educator’s  Tourism  Guild.  Inevitable  Betrayal  tries  to   function  as  a  guide  on  the  side.     This  idea  of  being  guides  has  developed  further  as  explained  by  Guild    


Officer, Mellogy  Collier,  “Educators,  parents  and  perpetual  students,  we   all  come  together  in  Inevitable  Betrayal  to  explore  and  promote  the  use  of   MMORPG’s  like  World  of  Warcraft  and  Guild  Wars  2  to  demonstrate  that   creativity,  collaboration,  community  and  FUN  are  an  integral  part  of   improving  the  education  and  learning  of  every  student  in  a  classroom   today.  While  some  are  intrigued  and  others  skeptical,  it  only  takes  a  few   moments  in  game  for  them  to  realize  the  massive  potential  at  their   fingertips.  Whether  they  are  interested  in  Language  Arts,  Mathematics,   Assessment  or  Neural  Development,  there  is  an  educational  avenue  for   everyone.  We  have  many  members  willing  to  collaborate  and  publish  their   findings  throughout  many  circles  in  education.  We  are  a  beacon  in  a  sea   that  can  at  times  be  still  and  stagnant  or  rough  and  fraught  with  “killer”   waves.     After  the  Global  Goblin  Run,  Inevitable  Betrayal  went  on  to  participate   in  Virtual  Worlds  Best  Practices  in  Education  (VWBPE)  in  2011  and   2012.  They  were  the  Horde  side  hosts  of  Week  3  of  the  Virtual  Worlds,   Games  and  Education  Tour  at  P2PU  in  2012.  They  also  gave  tours  in  the   Games  MOOC  I  and  II  as  well  as  the  Virtual  Worlds  and  Games   UnSymposium  in  November  2012.  Inevitable  Betrayal  members   produce  the  Azerothian  Financial  News  and  Horde  Holiday  Tours.  

Mists of Panderia

With  the  World  of  Warcraft  game  expansion  in  Fall  2012,  Inevitable    


Betrayal has  also  expanded  and  is  currently  a  level  20  guild.  It  is  a  part   of  G.A.M.E.,  Gamers  Advancing  Meaningful  Education.      Since,  Inevitable  Betrayal  is  a  group  of  educators,   instructional  designers,  and  educational  technologists;  we  just  can’t   seem  to  help  ourselves.  We’ve  started  weekend  seminars  for  beginners   in  World  of  Warcraft.  These  seminars  take  place  in  World  of  Warcraft   and  are  recorded  live  over  Google  hangout.  Our  “Inevitable  Instructors”   Webinars  are  accessible  on  YouTube.  

WoW Hangout     If  you  are  interested  in  a  tour  of  World  of  Warcraft,  Machinima  or   virtual  goods  and  virtual  economies  contact  us!  Guild  members  have   organized  the  virtual  worlds  exploration  streams  for  VWBPE  from  2009   –  2012  that  have  taken  educators  into  Club  Penguin,  Minecraft,   EveOnline,  TeraOnline,  War  Hammer  and  numerous  other  virtual   worlds.  We  always  want  to  talk  to  and  collaborate  with  educators  using   or  curious  about  MMORPG  for  play,  professional  development  and  in    


the classroom.  Contact  us  at     And,  the  exploration  continues….     Report  from  the  Front:  Cognitive  Betrayal  Outpost  in  Guild  Wars  2  

GW2 Character We  are  in  the  barren  wastelands,  that  frigid  mountain  passes,  and  the   verdant,  rich  valleys  throughout  the  world  of  Tyria.  Here  we  have  come   to  continue  our  exploration  with  the  “Cognitive  Betrayal”  guild  started   by  myself,  Mellody  Collier,  with  the  support  of  my  guildees  from   Inevitable  Betrayal,  on  Devona’s  Rest.       Guild  Wars  2  (GW2)  is  a  Massively  Multiplayer  Online  Role-­‐Playing   Game.  It  is  a  sequel  to  Guild  Wars  and  takes  place  250  years  later  in  the   shattered  world  of  Tyria.  While  Guild  Wars  2  offers  quests,  it  is  unique   in  that  it  employs  a  “dynamic  events”  system  that  is  constantly  changing   your  gaming  experience  based  on  the  actions  of  the  players.      


Another unique  aspect  of  GW2  is  the  personal  story.  Your  choices   determine  how  the  game  plays  out  for  you.  No  two  players  will  have   exactly  the  same  experiences.  These  concepts  are  carried  over  into  the   Dungeons  with  each  dungeon  being  divided  into  story  mode  and   explorable  mode.       For  those  that  like  the  challenge  of  competitive  play  there  is  Player   versus  Player  and  World  versus  World.  Cognitive  Betrayal  is  founded  on   the  same  principals  and  created  to  further  promote  the  same   philosophies  as  its  counterpart  in  World  of  Warcraft,  Inevitable   Betrayal.     If  you  would  like  to  read  about  our  adventures,  you  can  follow  us  in  the   Inevitable  Betrayal  Google  +  community  or   learn  more  about  us  as  a  work  in  progress  at  the  G.A.M.E.  shivtr  site      

  Last night, Loweedo using her alternate identity of Lorido, entered Mogu'shan Palace a level 89 and emerged a level 90. The first step to becoming a true Inevitable Betrayal Double Agent. Posted by Que Jinn February 18, 2013 at    


A Digital  Game  Based  Learning  MOOC:   ‘Rhetoric  and  Composition:   The  Persuasive  Power  of  Video  Games  as  Paratexts’   By  Sherry  Jones  and  Kate  Guthrie  Caruso    

Abstract   “Rhetoric  and  Composition:  The  Persuasive  Power  of  Video  Games  as   Paratexts,”  an  Advanced  English   Composition  course,  will  explore   rhetorical  discourse  of  Adventure  and   Role-­‐Playing  Games  (RPG)  and  socio-­‐ cultural  meanings  that  influence  the   persuasive  content  and  design  of  those   games,  while  emphasizing  rigorous   writing  analysis  and  game  creation   through  critical  thinking  and  research.  The   course  will  run  as  a  hybrid  class  at   Arapahoe   Community   College   (ACC),   Sherry  Jones   based  in   Littleton,  Colorado,  and  as  a  Massive  Open   Online  Course  (MOOC)  using  a  combination  of   social  media,  commercial  off  the  shelf  games,   and  immersive  simulations.  Workshops  will   be  provided  to  Arapahoe  Community  College   (ACC)  and  the  Colorado  Community  College   Kate  Guthrie  Caruso   System  (CCCS)  to  assimilate  Digital  Game-­‐


Based Learning  (DGBL)  into  other  Advanced  English  Composition  classes.     Project  Overview The  Advanced  English  Composition  course,  “Rhetoric  and  Composition:  The   Persuasive  Power  of  Video  Games  as  Paratexts,”  will  actively  engage   students  through  the  analysis  of  video  games  as  paratexts,  with  focus  on   examining  the  relationship  between  virtual  reality  depicted  in  video  games   to  real  life  situations  influenced  by  cultural  and  social  issues  (both  in   creation  and  through  playing),  to  enhance  and  clarify  the  skills  needed  to   write  and  understand  composition  rhetoric  and  develop  digital  and  new   media  literacy.         Paratext,  meaning  beyond  the  written  word,  refers  to  any  text  external  to   the  text  itself  that  influences  the  text’s  meaning.  Video  Games  are  a  type  of   paratext  in  which  their  content  and  construction  extend  beyond   themselves  and  impose  meaning  on  the  physical  world,  as  well  as  being   influenced  by  external  events.       In  terms  of  a  rhetoric  and  composition  course,  we  will  teach  students  to   analyze  video  games  as  paratexts  (specifically  the  composition  of  the  video   game  through  the  lens  of  game  mechanics  and  dynamics),  and  to  conduct   research  on  the  various  rhetorical,  cultural,  and  social  situations  which  the   video  games  are  designed  to  address.  Through  immersive  gaming,  students   will  complete  a  series  of  short  writing  assignments  and  long  form  essays   analyzing  the  rhetoric  and  composition  of  video  games.    These  papers  will   focus  on  identifying  cultural  and  social  situations  that  influence  video  game   design  (and  the  rhetorical  appeals  that  video  games  employ  in  order  to   address  those  cultural  and  social  situations),  the  implicit  and  explicit  claims   made  by  the  video  games,  the  purpose  of  the  video  game  (in  terms  of  game   genre  and  topic),  and  the  intended  audience/market  of  the  video  games.


Blended Learning/Flipped  Classroom  Model We  have  selected  the  blended  learning/flipped  classroom  model  for   conducting  English  Composition  hybrid  MOOC.    We  find  that  the  blended   learning/flipped  classroom  model  is  especially  helpful  for  ACC  students  who   require  additional  face-­‐to-­‐face  reinforcement  and  motivation  to   successfully  complete  the  course.  However,  participants  may  take  the   MOOC  only  portion  of  the  course  for  non-­‐credit  (meaning  they  do  not  need   to  be  registered  ACC  students  nor  do  they  need  to  register  for  the  course   through  ACC).     As  with  any  flipped  classroom  model,  technology  will  be  an  integral  piece  of   the  course.  Through  recorded  lectures  and  online  discussions  (podcasts,   vodcasts,  and  use  of  Google+  Hangout,  for  example)  students  will  become   more  proficient  in  the  use  of  technology  and  immerse  themselves  in  the   language  and  knowledge  of  Game-­‐Based  Learning  as  well  as  add  to  their   proficiency  of  college  level  writing,  research  techniques,  and  critical   analysis.    Our  focus  will  include  the  study  and  use  of  Adventure  games,   game  design  with  game  mechanics,  immersive  virtual  worlds  (for  instance   the  option  of  holding  the  online  portion  of  our  class  in  places  like  Second   Life  or  “meeting”  in  Google+  Hangout),  as  well  as  the  integration  of  COTS   into  the  learning  and  analysis  process.    We  will  use  both  synchronous  and   asynchronous  learning  models  throughout  the  semester.

MOOC Credit  and  Compensation  (Future  Considerations) Currently,  we  are  conducting  data  driven  research  on  possible  methods  for   providing  students  credit  for  taking  the  MOOC,  as  well  as  considering   possible  MOOC  compensation  models  that  can  benefit  Arapahoe   Community  College  (ACC)  and  the  Colorado  Community  College  System   (CCCS).


Digital Game-­‐Based  Learning  (Digital  Games  and  Technology  Selected) Students  will  play  Commercial  Off  The  Shelf  games  (COTS)  with  focus  on   Role-­‐Playing  Games  (RPG)  and  Adventure  Games,  create  RPG  games   themselves,  and  produce  writing  that  analyzes  and  demonstrates  clear   understanding  of  rhetorical  discourse  utilized  by  the  technology.    We  plan   to  actively  engage  students  in  face  to  face  and  online  classes  by  asking   them  to  play  video  games  in  class  and  online  (we  will  use  hardware  such  as   PC  Laptops  and  Playstation  PS3  160  GB  Console,  and  softwares  such  as  3D   GameLab,  COTS,  RPG  and  Adventure  games.  "Some  of  the  Adventure   games  we  will  assign  for  the  course,  "The  Longest  Journey,"  "Siberia,"   "Bioshock,"  "Fallout  3,"  "Journey,"  "Flow,"  and  "Flower,"  are  selected  for   their  rich  narratives  and  virtual  environments  that  respond  to  rhetorical,   social,  and  cultural  influences,  and  are  thus  suitable  for  academic   discourse."

Gamification of  the  MOOC Gamification  of  the  MOOC  through  badges,  experience  points,  rewards,   and  other  game  mechanics  will  help  increase  student  motivation,  as  grades   alone  will  not  be  sufficient  as  a  sole,  motivating  factor.  Students  will  more   likely  complete  assignments  that  resemble  fun,  game-­‐like  missions,  and  will   become  more  competitive  in  completing  assignments  when  badges  and   achievement  points  are  associated  with  assignment  completion  (for  both   game  based  missions  and  writing  assignments).    Furthermore,  to  ensure   students  receive  constant  enforcement  to  continue  the  MOOC,  we  intend   to  provide  students  continuous  feedback.  It  is  our  hope  that  students,   through  the  experience  of  immersive  gaming,  will  become  more   enthusiastic  learners.    Essentially,  the  goal  of  higher  student  retention  is  at   the  forefront  of  the  need  for  gamification  of  the  MOOC,  since  we  believe   that  students  will  become  invested  in  the  games  they  are  playing,  and  thus   more  likely  to  complete  the  game-­‐based  assignments  as  well.


By using  the  game  principles  such  as  winning,  conflict,  rules,  goals,  players,   motivation,  constant  feedback,  practice,  intensity,  and  choice/involvement,   students  will  learn  that  games  are  a  concrete  way  to  explore  the  critical   thinking  and  writing  process.    This  will  happen  both  through  the  use  of   COTS  as  mentor  texts  and  the  study  of  written  texts  that  explore  these   concepts  further.  Students  will  evaluate  and  come  to  understand  the  game   mechanics  that  professional  game  designers  employ  to  create  games.  Then,   students  will  be  challenged  themselves  to  use  the  tools  taught  to  them   through  these  mentor  texts,  as  well  as  through  podcasts  and  vodcasts   created  specifically  for  further  comprehension  and  engagement  with  the   technology.    With  the  idea  in  mind  that  most  games  employ  implicit  thesis   statements  and  arguments,  students  will  be  asked  to  consider  and  critically   think  in  order  to  understand  and  express  the  explicit  meanings  that  should   be  apparent  in  their  written  texts.

Rigor of  Assignments Through  the  study  of  rhetorical  devices  and  appeals  of  video  games  as   paratexts,  students  will  complete  three  essays:  a  Rhetorical  Analysis  Essay,   Evaluation  Essay,  and  Proposal  Essay,  to  demonstrate  their  understanding   of  the  rhetorical  and  cultural  situations  that  influence  the  construction  of   video  games.  Finally,  students  will  create  argumentation-­‐based  persuasive   RPG  games  that  are  contextualized  by  current  social  and  cultural  issues   with  different  rhetorical  devices,  so  to  keep  their  audience  actively  involved   in  both  the  cultural  complexities/context  of  the  game  and  the  challenges   that  they  set  forth  for  their  audience;  students  can  design  games  using   software  such  as  RPG  Maker,  which  provides  a  platform  for  RPG  game   creation,  but  gives  students  full  control  over  the  game’s  development  for   their  final  project  at  the  end  of  the  semester.    Through  reflective  writing   exercises  and  immersive  gaming,  students  will  come  to  recognize  the   multiple  contexts  that  contribute  to  the  construction  of  the  video  game,   and  demonstrate  this  explicitly  in  their  essays.


Collaboration Inter-­‐Department  and  Inter-­‐College Collaboration  will  be  a  theme  consistently  held  throughout  the  course,  as   we  will  be  working  with  Arapahoe  Community  College’s  (ACC)  English   Department,  with  the  help  of  ACC’s  E-­‐Learning  Department  to  create  and   run  the  course.    We  see  this  collaboration  as  a  tool  to  continue  to  foster   creativity  and  assessment  inter-­‐department  and  later,  inter-­‐college  within   the  Colorado  Community  College  System  (CCCS).    Students  will  also  be   asked  to  collaborate  with  each  other  to  further  bolster  their  learning   successes  by  workshopping  texts  (both  written  and  multi-­‐modal),  and  by   contributing  to  discussions  online  and  in-­‐class  as  they  work  to  further   understanding.  

Goals In summer  of  2013,  we  will  roll  out  of  the  first  version  of  the  course  with  25   students  enrolled  through  ACC  as  well  as  a  version  of  the  MOOC  going  live   online.    The  course  will  be  co-­‐taught  by  Sherry  Jones  and  Kate  Guthrie   Caruso.    This  will  happen  after  we  spend  the  Spring  2013  planning,   developing  and  researching  the  course.       In  the  Fall  of  2013  we  will  run  two  courses  of  25  students  each  and   implement  the  MOOC  full  scale.   The  overall  goal  of  this  course  is  to  get  students  actively  involved  in  multi-­‐ model  texts,  expose  them  to  the  use  of  video  games  in  the  classroom,   create  a  fun  learning  environment,  and  directly  address  and  complete  the   learning  objectives  for  the  Advanced  English  Composition  Course.     Eventually  it  is  our  goal  that  the  DGBL  MOOC  will  be  made  available  to   students  throughout  the  Colorado  Community  College  System  (CCCS).  


When the  Games  MOOC  first  started  up,  it  was  quite  a  huge  endeavor  to   take  on. I’m  sure  Kae  will  tell  you  that  there  was  a  lot  of  trial  and  error  to   get  to  where  we  are  today  .  .  .  Well,  her  and  Chris,  of  course.  They  both   have  been  running  things  quite  tight  with  the  limited  help  at  their  disposal,   though  they  grin  and  bear  it,  I’m  sure.   Gridjumper,  Izzy,  Aevalle,  others  (and  myself  included)  have  been  lending  a   hand  when  we  can  with  our  hodgepodge  of  skills  and  talents,  even  so  much   as  to  making  it  on  to  the  Games  MOOC  Advisory  Board;  everything  seemed   to  manage  somehow  when  this  all  began.  (Please  know  that  if  I  didn’t  list   your  name  I  am  very  sorry.  There  are  plenty  of  other  people  who  have  been   a  huge  help  in  contributing  time,  resource,  and  talent  to  the  GAMES  


MOOC.) If  you  don’t  know  what  a  MOOC  is,  it  stands  for  “Massively-­‐Open-­‐Online-­‐ Course”,  though  Kae  has  always  said  it  stands  for  “modest”  in  our  case.   Sure,  we  don’t  get  the  hundreds  upon  thousands  of  participants  like  the   free  courses  that  are  done  by  Harvard  or  Purdue  get,  but  getting  over   twenty  people  was  plenty  (we  actually  had  about  50  people  each  time).     So  like  most  MOOCs,  the  group  was  “winging  it”  on  how  to  do  courses  and   collaboration  while  teaching  the  extremely  diverse  subjects  of  Games  with   an  educational  affluence,  of  course.  Heck,  we  were  educators  catering  to   other  educators  as  it  were,  and  we  were  trying  to  do  our  best.     Everyone  immediately  knew  that  we  would  be  “Open  Course”  –  meaning   open  to  everyone.  The  problem  of  time  zones  became  a  big  deal.  Sure  we   had  people  mainly  in  the  U.S.,  but  we  had  others  scattered  across  the  globe   from  the  UK  to  Australia  on  different  occasions.  We  wanted  to   accommodate  everyone,  and  have  something  for  everyone,  even  if  that   meant  having  different  sessions  from  odd  hours  of  the  night  to  early   mornings.    For  example,  I  recall  coming  in  extra  early  one  Saturday  Morning   for  one  event.   And,  now  that  I  think  about  it  .  .  .  that  was  a  big  problem  for  us,  as  well.  We   tried  to  do  so  much  that  it  tired  a  lot  of  people  out.  After  three  different   iterations  of  the  original  GAMES  MOOC  (also  known  as  “A  Virtual  Worlds,   Games  and  Education  Tour)  on  P2PU,  to  the  ARG  (Alternate  Reality  Games)   MOOC,  and  then  straight  to  the  Machinima  (filming  real  time  games)   MOOC,  it  is  no  wonder  that  one  of  our  other  plans  fell  through  and  gave   way  to  a  kind  of  sabbatical  syndrome.  We  all,  kind  of  just  stopped  .  .  .  and  .  .   .  waited  for  September  to  continue  the  MOOCs.     Sure,  the  break  gave  us  time  to  reflect  and  rest  (after  all  we  were  making   peoples’  brains  explode  practically  every  session).    But,  setting  out  to  do   something  and  then  not  proceeding  with  it,  was  a  real  let  down.     We  learned  from  that.  We  no  longer  were  doing  more  because  we  were   trying  to  cater  to  everyone’s  needs.  We  did  more  for  us,  and  what  we   wanted  to  see  happen  with  the  course.  As  Kae  said  often,  “…this  kind  of   thing  was  unprecedented  and  trying  to  compare  it  to  something  else  is  a    


mistake waiting  to  happen.”  The  Assessment  Specialist  working  with  Kae  at   the  time  would  agree  with  that.  Trying  to  meet  the  expectation  of  others   just  didn’t  work  for  us  in  the  long  run.   Spending  that  first  bit  of  time  after  the  end  of  that  March,  from  the  end  of   the  Virtual  Worlds  Best  Practices  Conference  to  the  end  of  that  summer,   was  a  learning  experience  for  everyone  (probably  the  most  understated   sentence  in  this  entire  article).     We  were  certainly  “grid-­‐jumping”  as  it  were  as  we  darted  from  virtual   worlds,  to  games,  and  to  massive  multiplayer  online  (MMO)  games.    We   played  with  programs  ranging  from  video  capturing  to  video  editing.  Our   occasional  romps  took  us  through  Minecraft,  Kitely,  and  Joykadia,  to  name   a  few.  How  anyone  was  able  to  follow  along  is  beyond  me!    We  threw  a  lot   at  our  participants.  They  participated  on  their  own  freewill  to  be  put   through  all  the  tortures  that  could  easily  be  a  hell  for  some  people.  But  we   did  all  that  and  more,  with  plenty  of  treats  along  the  way!     Education  is  a  journey,  not  just  for  the  mind  and  body,  but  also  for  the  soul   of  a  lifelong  learner.  Those  that  stuck  through  to  the  very  end  became  great   friends  and  have  become  regulars  in  the  educational  circles  in  Second  Life   (SL),  World  of  Warcraft  (WoW),  and  other  educational  forefronts.  Granted   we  had  our  fair  share  of  “lurkers.”  I  was  tempted  at  the  start  of  every   MOOC  to  say,  “look  to  your  left  and  look  to  your  right,  one  of  you  won’t  be   making  it  through  this…”  As  I  said,  I  was  tempted  to  say  such  a  thing,  but   lurkers  were  always  welcomed  and  we  were  always  glad  to  get  to  meet   new  people  offering  different  inputs  and  insights.  [See  note  below  from   editor] Moving  to  the  present,  the  Games  MOOC  has  become  more  formulated   into  something  that  has  rubrics  and  requirements.  I  hate  to  phrase  it  with  a   certain  “standard,”  but  its  reached  a  point  where  arranging  and  organizing   events  has  become  second  nature  to  us.     A  couple  of  notable  changes  are  the  switch  from  P2PU  to  the  shivtar  portal   guild  site,  the  introduction  of  badges  and  the  weekly  Twitter  chats/Google   hangouts.  Most  of  the  major  changes  were  from  our  Advisory  Board   meetings  where  we  all  sat  down  (in  Google  Hangouts)  and  really  got  down   to  brass  tacks  about  what  was  going  well  in  the  Games  MOOC  and  what    


needed to  be  changed.     Changing  the  learning  management  system  (lms)  was  probably  the  hardest   thing  for  all  of  us  to  admit  that  it  needed  to  happen.  We  were  hesitant  to   change,  as  well.  Kae  was  probably  thinking  it  was  for  the  better.  Chris   hasn’t  complained  about  it  too  badly  because  collecting  quantitative  data   is,  after  all,  about  the  same.     This  decision  to  change  came  about  from  having  more  of  a  focus  on  the   game  WoW.  It  became  our  prime  example  because  we  could  show   gamification  and  teambuilding  through  easier  means.    Most  of  the   organizers  had  at  least  a  level  1  or  up  to  level  20  character  on  the  Sisters  of   Elune  server  in  the  starting  area  (some  even  going  as  far  as  reaching  the   new  level  90  cap).     Shivtar  was  originally  intended  to  be  a  Guild  (the  in-­‐game  groups/clubs  in   WoW)  database  with  forum  and  badge  capabilities  through  Mozilla   backpack  core  standards.  This  has  also  expanded  into  the  real  world  with   participants  forming  bonds  with  other  educators,  such  as  the  Inevitable   Betrayal  Guild  on  the  Horde  side  on  the  aforementioned  server,  which  was   formed  over  two  years  ago  with  people  who  already  saw  the  learning   potential  of  games  before  we  did.    


After a  presentation  by  the  great  James  Paul  Gee  about  gamification,  the   idea  acted  as  resurgence  through  the  educational  community  like  wild  fire.   We  too,  were  looking  to  incorporate  game  design  into  the  Games  MOOC   back  in  the  P2PU  rendition.  The  site,  however,  didn’t  offer  that  sort  of  thing   we  needed,  thus  adding  another  positive  chalk  mark  on  Shivtr.  Even  though   it  was  a  hard  decision,  it  was  made  for  the  better,  as  we  switched  to  the   more  Game-­‐friendly  lms,  Shivtr.     The  last  major  change  for  all  of  us  was  the  new  requirement  of  either   having  to  attend  or  comment,  on  or  during,  the  live  sessions  that  were   scheduled  once  or  twice  a  week  in  the  evenings.     Back  in  the  P2PU  we  met  frequently  in  SL  at  Front  Range  to  do   introductions  before  speeding  off  into  other  programs.  True,  SL  was  a  great   place  to  meet,  but  more  and  more  participants  became  weary  (I  would   think)  of  doing  the  whole  SL  program  and  then  going  into  multiple   programs/games  soon  after.    For  many  people,  just  getting  situated  in  SL   became  a  task  in  and  of  itself.     So  we  still  have  that  SL  option.    We  live  stream  the  Google  Hangouts  in  the   Diner  on  ISTE  for  those  that  want.  Between  Youtube  and  Twitter  the   competition  is  clear.  It  is  fun  to  see  which  media  people  lean  to.     Anyway,  the  weekly  meetings  have  topics  that  revolve  around  most  of  the   readings,  links  to  other  pages  of  interest,  and  additional  resources  located   on  the  Shivtr  site.  The  bulk  of  the  discussion  happens  live  with  easily  twenty   or  more  people  attending.  In  its  current  episode,  we  are  seeing  over  500   participants  with  an  astonishing  growing  number  of  1700  posts  and   beyond.     Having  regulated  meetings  at  predictable  dates  and  times  was  a  must.  On   P2PU,  it  was  practically  a  free-­‐for-­‐all  trying  to  schedule  meetings  so   multiple  people  could  come  on  different  days.  Sure,  it  was  the  summer,  but   a  line  needed  to  be  drawn.     For  myself  going  from  a  head  first  volunteer  of  moderating  and  facilitating   to  a  reserved  Advisory  Board  member  and  seeing  how  the  Games  MOOC    


has evolved  and  changed  really  does  make  me  happy  to  be  a  part  of   something  so  profound  as  the  Games  MOOC.    There  are  no  words  to   express  my  gratitude  to  my  fellow  educators  –  who  are  trying  to  make  that   difference  that  everyone  talks  about  but  rarely  follows  through  with  it.   We’ve  all  seen  our  rounds  of  facilitators  and  supporters.  We  also  all  see   ourselves  excited  about  meeting  the  newer  challenges  and  future   technologies  that  will  continue  to  make  this  hard  work  worthwhile.     To  sign-­‐up  for  the  third  iteration  of  the  Games  MOOC,  click  here:  This  course  will  begin  on  March  18,  2013  and  run   for  six  weeks  until  April  22,  2013.  Our  topic  for  Games  MOOC  III  is  Build  the   Game  using  Apps,  AR  and  ARGs.  The  focus  of  this  MOOC  will  be  creating  a   game  or  gaming  project  for  your  course.  Depending  on  your  class,  you  may   choose  to  use  a  little,  a  lot,  or  no  technology  at  all.  This  course  will  have  us   exploring  all  the  options.   [Special Note to Bluebarker and the GAMES MOOC Gang. I, Roxie Neiro, one of your biggest fans, am also one of your biggest lurkers. LOL Keep up the GREAT work – as, even as a lurker, I have learned so much from all of you!]  

Dancing Pandas  in  WoW!  You  Gotta  LOVE  ‘Em!!!!    



Profile for Edovation

Virtual Education Journal Winter 2013  

Got Game? Let's Play! This issue of VEJ explores the power of using games in education.

Virtual Education Journal Winter 2013  

Got Game? Let's Play! This issue of VEJ explores the power of using games in education.

Profile for edovation