Connected Learning in the Starcraft II Community
StarCraft, a real-time strategy game developed by Blizzard Entertainment, has been labeled by many of its participants as the chess of the twenty-first century. A report published by the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub has interesting findings about this addictive game.
By examining the StarCraft II community from both player and developer perspectives, the understanding of the connected learning principles is deepen. The StarCraft II environment gives participants an opportunity to engage in either competition or mod-based production that is peer-supported and interest powered. StarCraft II offers participants a chance to develop soft skills that seem highly relevant to future work environments, characterized by constant competition and nonstop learning. In such environments, actors who are interest-driven and peer supported are likely to perform better. But, in order to galvanize peer support, learners have to learn to participate deeply and congenially, exercising skills, such as openness toward criticism, initiative, and civic mindedness.
At its heart, the study sets out to link a set of sociotechnical design concerns expressed by the game’s developers with a set of observed learning practices taken up by its players. The player environment in StarCraft II represents a subset of participatory cultures of young geeks and how they are seen in practice in an openly networked environment. Understanding the ways in which such practices might be better enabled from a design perspective is a critical strategy for moving a theory of connected learning forward.
Kow, Yong Ming, Timothy Young, and Katie Salen Tekinbaş. 2014. Crafting the Metagame: Connected Learning in the StarCraft II Community. Irvine, CA: Digital Media and Learning Research Hub