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Using WoW in a therapeutic setting

Mike Schramm

Lest you think playing WoW is nothing but trouble (and shame on you if you do), Terra Nova has an excellent story about how WoW is being used in a therapetic setting.

It's great to hear that Blizzard's little game could actually be the key to helping young kids out "socially, academically, and therapeutically." The social benefits are obvious-- even the shyest wallflower can get involved, meet people, and find a group in WoW (it's no substitute for the real thing, as the article says, but it's a step up from no social interaction at all). And it's true that with all the numbers and text in WoW, it's not surprising that figuring those out could translate to better academic work in some cases. If you don't care about aggro, you might not benefit, but if a kid really cares about how to max his DPS or make sure he keeps aggro on the main tank, there's some good number theory going on there. And we've already shown, here on this site, that there's a bias against bad spelling ingame.

But perhaps most interesting is how the shared experience of WoW can be used to build connections to kids who have trouble making connections at all. We're a culture, for sure, because we all know why they call it Lagforge, and we all know (well, eventually we do) where Mankrik's wife is. It's awesome that a therapist can use that connection to create some more real connections, as the story says, between the child and the teacher.

Now let's just see if the media covers a story like this. Or hasn't the suicide in China gotten enough press yet?

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