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UW and WoW May 30, 2006

Posted by gordonwatts in computers, physics life.

I like this. Using a fairly unscientific method, the folks that run the Map of World of War Craft (WoW) have determined that of all schools, University of Washington plays the most WoW. I’ve never played; I wonder how many of my students are playing this… But I’m totally fascinated by the cultures that form – and keep wondering two things: can it be used to teach physics (yeah, yeah, I know)? And, can this sort of thing be used as a new way to collaborate? I have no good answers for either. I guess I need to try the game out or something. Not likely to happen soon, I’m afraid.



1. Alex Chen - June 2, 2006

As for the use of computer games to teach physics:



Supercharged. I e-mailed John Belcher, who helped with the project, and he forwarded it to the ones in charge of MIT Games to Teach. Unfortunately, they said that they cannot distribute it out. =(

Computer games. We are only starting to explore their benefits.

2. gordonwatts - June 2, 2006

Alex — the MIT link seems to be broken…

I totally agree with your statement that we are just starting to explore this!

3. Alex Chen - June 3, 2006

Hmm, the site seems to have been taken down.

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://cms.mit.edu/games/education/EM/Intro.htm has the same information.

By the way, these were the replies to my e-mails:

> Hi Alex
> I have not interacted with the supercharged people for awhile, and
> I do not
> know how one gets access to the game. I do have a webpage link,
> but you
> probably have this as well
> http://cms.mit.edu/games/education/EM/Intro.htm
> I am copying this to Henry Jenkins, who heads the CMS program here
> at MIT,
> perhaps he can forward it to someone who knows how to get access to
> the
> game.
> Could I ask what your interest is–are you interested in the
> electromagnetism or the gaming aspects?
> John Belcher
> Class of 1922 Professor of Physics
> MacVicar Faculty Fellow
> http://web.mit.edu/jbelcher/www/


I don’t know if anyone else ever answered your inquiry, which was
forwarded to Henry Jenkins, but for the moment Supercharged is not
available for further use. It was still in prototype form when it
was used here, and never made robust enough to be distributed. I am
relatively new to MIT and don’t know whether the game could
resurrected, but there are no plans to do so at the present time.
Please let me know if I can provide any additional information.

Scot Osterweil

The Education Arcade/MIT
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Building 10-337
Cambridge, MA 02139


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