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Finding the Science! in World of Warcraft

Michael Zenke

In amongst articles about explaining chrondrule formation, intracellular signaling, and discussions of hatchling crocodile habits, Science Magazine online is hosting a writeup about a very unique event. The latest "Gonzo Scientist" column is all about the first scientific conference held in the World of Warcraft. Scientists from around the globe descended on Blizzard's gameworld of Azeroth to discuss topics of real scientific import, kill a few hyenas, and even participate in a pirates vs. ninjas dance-off.

The article is as insightful as it is amusing, with author John Bohannon offering real hope for meaningful discource via virtual worlds. From the sounds of things some real work was accomplished via this virtual meeting, with a number of interesting topics discussed. Even the logistics behind setting up the conference (locations in-world, communication methods, etc) make for interesting reading. Check it out, and be especially sure to see the accompanying machinima presentation. It's clear that with respect for not only academic pursuits and scientific education but gameworlds and online cultures, real progress is being made to bridge the gap between utility offline and online.
[Via WoW Insider]

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