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The global phenomena of online gaming engages millions of people, some playing over 45 hours a week - the equivalent of a second full-time job. Our children are logging over 10,000 hours of gaming time before they are 21 years old; the equivalent of the time children spend in formal classrooms from grades five through 12. Players in one of the most popular online games have logged over 5.3 million years of play time since 2004.
These statistics show that virtual worlds, including online games, have become an important component of modern culture, but their impact on society has yet to be fully investigated. This presentation suggests that virtual worlds offer a new platform for learning and engagement and warrant more scholarly exploration. An historical perspective of virtual worlds, the humble beginnings of video games, as well as a reminder that the academic study of virtual worlds is barely a decade old are all part of the ongoing inquiry into the impact of virtual worlds.
Gamification, the role of play in society, the blur of work and play, and a study where emergent, ephemeral, leadership skills are an outcome from playing online games, are explored with the intent to stir curiosity and promote the need for further examination.
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VCU Libraries Faculty and Staff Presentations