Anthropologist Studies Gamers

I recall in general terms when I first saw an ad by an auto manufacturer that used a computer theme for selecting the vehicle. I thought at the time that the PC had come of age. A few years before I had been told by a computer dealer that he didn’t advertise on TV because it wasn’t specific enough to the audience he was trying to reach.

During the same period I was involved in playing role-playing games (see the Energion Game, which is largely of historical interest). We occasionally discusses the educational possibilities of role-playing. What I, at least, never thought of, was having an anthropologist study the gamers, and draw thoughts from that study about the value of fear and humiliation as teaching methods.

But anthropologist Alex Golub, who studies World of Warcraft gamers, has done just that, and has written his thoughts up for Inside Higher Ed, under the title Fear and Humiliation as Legitimate Teaching Methods. How the world has changed! Enjoy it! Go read about gaming at Inside Higher Ed.