World of Classcraft as a Model for the Classroom
A common dilemma with students is having to decide between focusing in school or playing video games. Shawn Young is looking to fix that.
World of Classcraft (WoC) is a game for the classroom where students can choose one of three classes, gain powers, and face peril. The game follows a rule structure commonly found in that of MMORPG video games like World of Warcraft. When students do positive actions in the class room they can gain experience points, which leads to leveling up, and gaining special abilities. The goal is to turn the entire classroom into a game – not just a few minutes each day at the end of class playing ‘heads up, seven up’.
In WoC, monsters become homework, boss battles become tests, and the classroom becomes an adventure. Helping classmates, answering questions, and other actions will lead to experience points, and every 1000 points the student will level up and gain a power point which can be used to obtain a new ability. Some of the skills can only be used for themselves such as getting a hint on a text, but upper-tier abilities can benefit the entire class. There are even skills to be used with other players so it’s possible to really tap in to the party-based mentality of RPG games.
To make things easier while using this game, the author created a web-based interface to keep track of everything. Teachers can access events, allocate experience points, maintain the roster, and so on. Students can keep track of their status but can not change anything.
By gamifying the classroom as a whole, students obtain a whole new sense of motivation and desire. Obtaining real life powers, the constant randomness, and the chance of risk make the game exciting and always evolving. One of the strongest suits of WoC is the fact that the game can be played with any subject – it will work just as well with math as it would in a science course.
World of Classcraft is still in progress and hopefully will have a beta test in the fall if enough interest arises. The project aims to turn the classroom into an MMORPG that will not only make the class more enjoyable, but more productive as well.
Finally, when a parent asks “What did you do in school today?” their child can confidently say “Well, I became the highest level warrior in class!” and not get in trouble.
Image by Damian Gadal