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Monday, January 30, 2006

Class Is In Session

From the "Gee, I Wish They Had Classes Like That When I was in College Department":

Yes, as seen in
this thread on the official forums, a group of students are studying "The Ethnography of On-line Role Playing Games" by playing EQII. You heard me right, they are playing Everquest II for college credit.

Now, that sounds like fun and everything, but it actually looks like a pretty work-intensive class. You can check out the
course description here, the reading material here, and the assignments list here. Now come on, you're only allowed to miss three classes? How the heck are these students supposed to raid for phat lewt with that kind of distraction?

This is the same class (though not the same students) which wrote
research papers on WoW last semester. And they're going to be doing the same thing for EQII. How awesome is that? Okay, kids, you're going to be getting Aggro Me grades as well as your classroom grades so do a good job.

What's even cooler is that all the students are keeping blogs. You can
check them out here. You have the option to read them all simultaneously as one giant blog but I found it a lot more fun to read each one individually.

Their first blog entry assignment was apparently to comment on the "newbie experience" in EQII. It's a pretty nice reference for SOE to take a look at and see what new players think of starting out in the game. Unfortunately, their comments come a little too late as the newbie revamp is pretty much completed.

They go on to do some "roleplaying" on their blogs and it isn't bad at all. This was my favorite:

"I was thrilled when I proved to the Ambassador that I was more then capable of handling myself and I was quickly allowed to head to Qeynos where I was given a room at the local inn. Talk about insulting. A mage of my caliber and birth deserves better then a dank room with a lone table and picture."

Not bad. A lot of the blog entries have a fresh take I find enjoyable, though I'm sure they will devolve into complaints over failed loot rolls and guild drama soon enough.

Well, here's my advice to these aspiring EQII experts:

1. Read Aggro Me daily.
2. Learn 2 Play, Newbs!
3. Repeat as needed.

In all seriousness, I think this is a great and viable idea for a college course.

Luckily, these students are being hosted by
the Vindicators, the guild run by Scott Adams. From what I know of the Vindicators, they are a very helpful bunch who will provide an excellent playing environment for these students to learn and have fun in.

While I do think certain people tend to "over-intellectualize" MMO's and drift more into social experimentation as opposed to fun gameplay, I certainly feel they are a compelling area for academic study. I've read a few of the texts on that reading list myself.

Now where's my Honorary Doctorate Degree in Aggro Studies?


Blogger warm_machine said...

Very cool post! I'm looking forward to reading thier blogs throughout the week. =D

12:33 AM  
Blogger Teh Chunt said...

Yet another reason I have to roll a char on AB... Damn SOE and their 6 character slots!

Seriously though, cool class. Interesting that they chose to roll on AB server. Not only are they jumping into EQ2, they're doing it on the most populated server, which also happens to be RP.

Reading a few of the blogs, the one froggie's blog, Manny A, was funny:

"Since I was a small frogling, I was trained in the art of the metal sword and the spiritual sword (truth and the word of God that is). I am to become a great paladin, honoring my family and my God. My parents named me Exorcimus, Latin for "exorcism", and that is my duty in this world. I am to exorcise the evils of this world and do the will of God."

Someone's got the Jesus in em' real good. I guess if you are going to be a christian frog, Paladin is a natural choice. Will he try to make necromancers repent, or start bible study groups in his Inn room? The possibilities are endless...

12:34 PM  
Blogger warm_machine said...

"Someone's got the Jesus in em' real good. I guess if you are going to be a christian frog, Paladin is a natural choice."

lmfao... that's the funniest thing I've read today. Thanks for the laugh chunt! =D

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Scott Adams said...

After playing EQ2 for 14+ months, reading the studend Blogs really help to me to see EQ2 in a fresh perspective!

It is a blast to have them in the guild. The amount of questions though being asked really show up some of the weak points in EQ2 tutorial. Most of the question interestly enough where aimed at using and modifying the UI!

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Andrew Krausnick said...

I've been keeping up with this site since I heard about it over on the EQ2 forums. Pretty cool to see us get a mention, hope you guys get as much out of reading our blogs as I'm sure we'll be getting out of writing them.

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