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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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1   Four in the case of druids.

1   As a note, there is a vast array of literature regarding designed online learning spaces. These spaces, like Quest Atlantis and River City are collaborative spaces just like Wikipedia or World of Warcraft, except that they have been intentionally designed as educational environments (Barab, Arici, & Jackson, 2005; Barab, Thomas, Dodge, Carteaux, & Tuzun, 2005; Ketelhut, 2007; Ketelhut, Dede, Clarke, Nelson, & Bowman, 2007). Such intent stands in contrast to Wikipedia and World of Warcraft and its information sphere of external sites, in which learning has been shown to occur naturally (Black & Steinkuehler, 2009; Martin & Steinkuehler, 2010; Steinkuehler, 2007; Steinkuehler & Duncan, 2009; Steinkuehler & King, 2009). The exploration of research into designed spaces is outside the scope of this book; and therefore; designed collaborative online learning spaces will be excluded from the discussion of online communities and their information literacy practices.

1   A previous version of chapter 3 was published as: Martin, C. (2012). Video games, identity, and the constellation of information. Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society, special issue: Game On: The Challenges and Benefits of Video Games, Part I, 32(5), 384–392.

2   This is for the most part true but does not apply to bigger world bosses now. They are faction-tagged, meaning any player in a faction can attack the mob while it is still alive and get credit for the kill, and a share of loot. ← 129 | 130...

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