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ERIC Number: EJ842342
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1552-3233
Leveraging Identity to Make Learning Fun: Possible Selves and Experiential Learning in Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs)
Lee, Joey J.; Hoadley, Christopher M.
Innovate: Journal of Online Education, v3 n6 Aug-Sep 2007
In this article, Joey J. Lee and Christopher M. Hoadley argue that not enough attention has been given to video games' role in identity development and exploration, important corequisites for learning. This oversight has resulted in the failure of many attempts at edutainment, in spite of the acknowledged potential of video games to engage students in meaningful learning. After discussing the potential role virtual worlds can play in adolescent identity formation and the link between identity and engagement, Lee and Hoadley offer a case study of a five-week course in which fourteen middle-school-age students participated in two massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) as a way to explore issues of diversity and technology design. Students assumed alternate identities, changing their gender, age, or ethnicity, and used those virtual experiences as a springboard for class discussions, project work, and assignments. At the end of the course, the students, most of whom had originally described a lack of diversity in their home neighborhoods, demonstrated a new sense of empowerment and a greater sophistication in understanding other cultures and technology after their experiences with MMOGs. Notably, students expressed a high degree of engagement and motivation while learning about technology and user-centered design in the process. In light of this case study and based on other games and activities that many willingly undertake based on their own perceptions of identity, Lee and Hoadley suggest that identity may be the key to transcending the engagement/learning tradeoff in educational gaming. (Contains 4 exhibits and 1 table.)
Fischler School of Education and Human Services. Nova Southeastern University, 1750 NE 167th Street, North Miami Beach, FL 33162. Tel: 800-986-3223; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A