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Voyage across a Constellation of Information

Information Literacy in Interest-Driven Learning Communities

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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 Four: An Individual’s Map to Navigating the Constellation

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•  CHAPTER FOUR  •

Noel is an expert, no doubt about it; he has been playing WoW since it was in Beta. He has a multitude of characters at level cap, has previously participated in raiding guilds, and loves to help newer players in the game. One of the ways in which he helps newer players is by sharing specific information resources with them or by sharing with them strategies to find information. Through becoming an expert in the game Noel has also become an expert at finding information related to the game. For him, one of the most interesting parts of the game is to play a character to level cap then start a completely new character (i.e., different race, different class, different specializations). The enjoyment for him comes from learning new play styles, new resources, and new strategies. Below you will see what Noel sees as his information horizon. An information horizon, as described in Chapter 3, is a descriptive explanation of human information seeking and use behavior, or how he views his resources as connected to him and to each other. Within WoW and its surrounding information resources Noel has a very strong sense of himself and the identity that he wants to portray.

Noel built multiple identities (Weber & Mitchell, 2008) as a gamer through many types of interactions as mentor and learner. Role-playing video games (massively multiplayer and single player) like WoW are excellent spaces to study identity formation within games because they...

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