MMO’s I have stated can be a possible learning device for students in the skills they wish to learn. I manage to find a few good examples of the use of MMO’s in education such in the learning of a foreign language, learning of literature and getting an understanding of economics.
It is possible to provide a experience with an MMO similar to a student going abroad in the learning of a language such as French or German. MMOs as I have said contain dynamic environments where users of the game interact to complete actions in the game. Most people in an MMO use a text chat to communicate and in some servers running an MMO a certain language is main language for the server. If you went on to a french server you will witness a lot of other players communicating in french rather then in English which would be the same as standing in the middle of France. If a student where to continuously play the MMO on the server of the language they want to learn then they can learn the language by communicating with the other players.
MMO’s offer a lot of menu’s that can be Tutorials or a lot more commonly a piece of text relating to a story in the game that relates to a quest. These text are surprisingly very long and like part of a text in a book which is why a person who is reading the text must have some knowledge of story telling to follow. Games are a new medium of story telling and like books and film should be reconsidered as a new art-form by those involved in English or literature.A college named VanderBuilt University do provide a literature course using a MMO to help teach students.
In this course I mentioned the MMO they are using is based off of lord of the rings which is a very popular book series and looked upon highly in the liturture community. The course uses the MMO, the books and the films to teach storytelling in different areas. This is one way that MMOs are being used in the classroom to teach students skills.
Certain MMO’s have their own form of economy which includes a MMO known as Eve Online which is a game about gathering resources and using them in making of ships and such. A cheif economist who designed the in game economy Eyjolfur Gudmundsson who said that the game offers a lot of research data for people studying economics. It is also believed that games like Eve Online can help study human behavior based on the decision making of the community in the game.
MMO’s can be used in the classroom to teach certain skills to students but from what I found on the use of games in the classroom is that there is the chance that students can get addicted to the game rather then use it to learn to a point. It also depends how adaptive the MMO can be to the lessons being thought such as the example of the lord of the rings MMO was only applied due to the fact that it had related books and films. I know myself from playing an MMO in the pass that it can be a timely task and if there is not enough time to teach the student how to use the MMO to learn then It could end up being a game of catch up to stay on track in material covered.