Wow and job training

John Seely Brown and Douglas Thomas wrote a very insightful article about World of Warcraft in Wired. Their take is that such kind of multiplayer game is a very relevant training for people's future job.

what takes place in massively multiplayer online games is what we call accidental learning. It's learning to be - a natural byproduct of adjusting to a new culture - as opposed to learning about. (...) When role-playing gamers team up to undertake a quest, they often need to attempt particularly difficult challenges repeatedly until they find a blend of skills, talents, and actions that allows them to succeed. This process brings about a profound shift in how they perceive and react to the world around them. They become more flexible in their thinking and more sensitive to social cues. The fact that they don't think of gameplay as training is crucial. Once the experience is explicitly educational, it becomes about developing compartmentalized skills and loses its power to permeate the player's behavior patterns and worldview. (...) The day may not be far off when companies receive résumés that include a line reading "level 60 tauren shaman in World of Warcraft."

Why do I blog this? what I like here is that the author do not talk about the common misconception about learning with games: you barely learn a content while playing game but rather you learn processes and problem solving tricks (through trials and errors for instance). This article also makes me think of Nick Yee' paper about how video-games blur the boundaries of work and play.