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Voyage across a Constellation of Information

Information Literacy in Interest-Driven Learning Communities


Crystle Martin

What do orcs, elves, and information literacy have to do with each others? Find out in Voyage across a Constellation of Information as we take an in-depth look at information literacy practices (how people find, evaluate, and use information) in the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft and its online community. This book teases out real-world information literacy practices by following players as they solve their information needs through collective activity, relying on and building a set of individual and collective practices within the online community. Voyage across a Constellation of Information offers educators, information professionals, and researchers an opportunity to get an inside look at the new practices of digital spaces, and lays the groundwork for inclusion of these practices into 21st-century education.
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Chapter Two: Information Literacy: A Mechanism for Charting the Constellation



Many people seek out others with whom to share their interests. With the advent of the Internet, people began to search for others who shared their interests online. Early communities were conducted through email and IRC, live interactive text messaging. Originally, television programs like Star Trek were some of the strongest communities that took root on the Internet. Now interest groups create online communities where they can share their interest in a given topic. For example, knitters came together to form the online community Ravelry, which allows participants a place to share patterns and experiences. Video games have thriving online communities, due to their popularity with people of all ages. The largest online video game, World of Warcraft (WoW), has a large passionate online community. Game communities produce vast amounts of information in a variety of formats, including knowledge compendiums, forums, game walkthroughs, and websites about specializing characters. Information is also available to the community synchronously and asynchronously, and in various modalities, such as video, text, and images.

The information for an online community is like a vast web of nodes or the night sky dotted with stars. Looking into the night sky can be overwhelming, a vast blackness with no way to get your bearing. For millennia people have connected the stars into pictures in order to help with navigation and timekeeping. An analogous approach is needed for information, a way to find the correct information resources and the ← 15 | 16 → connections between...

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