StarCraft II

The Powerful Combination of Interests and Peer Culture

April 5, 2014

The connected learning model emphasizes the importance of peer culture and interests in fueling members’ participation and learning in the rich activities and opportunities these communities create. In interest-driven communities, it is the passion or interest that leads people into joining the community (Gee and Hayes 2010). As a researcher who has focused on interest-driven communities, I sometimes take this for granted. But the depth of what this means to members - that they are able to find a communit Read More...

Supports for Help and Feedback in Peer-Supported Communities

March 3, 2014

As I’ve described in a previous post focusing on the professional wrestling community, the Wrestling Boards, help and feedback are key ingredients to an active peer-supported community. Peer-support is one of the three main spheres of the connected learning framework. But what enables help and feedback? Analysis of the Leveling Up case studies suggests two major supports for help and feedback: community design and community culture. Community design refers to the way in which online communities intentiona Read More...

On-ramps, Leveling Up and Recognition: How the StarCraft 2 Community Deepens their Interests

December 9, 2013

The StarCraft community is one of the most productive gaming communities, spearheaded by community leaders who earn recognition by expressing their passion for the game through creating gaming content or organizing gaming events.  Many active community members become community leaders, recognized content producers, and top level players.  We found that some of the most productive and recognized community members had support for their gaming interest at an early age, which transitioned into deeper engageme Read More...

To Geekdom! What Can StarCraft II Tell Us About Attaining Geek-hood?

June 10, 2013

Not long after I first participated in the StarCraft community, I fell in love with it. I admire its members’ activism, congeniality, and camaraderie. The players built the community infrastructure including organizations, learning ethos, social networks, and other programs. The StarCraft II community reveals one possible model of how peer-supported and academically relevant learning may manifest in grassroots and openly-networked settings.


Widow Mine Math

March 22, 2013

 By Lone (right) and mitosis (left) on

Consider a circle drawn on a track field to have a radius of 5 feet.  If you had to run across the circle within a span of 1.5 seconds, what is the maximum cord length that you could traverse within the span of that time?


What We Can Learn From the StarCraft II Elites

March 4, 2013

In early February of this year, I visited a middle school near a historic district in Chinatown. The school is one hundred years old with a rich colonial history. I met Gary, the head of information technologies at the school, who is also a math teacher.  Gary mentioned to me he wants to develop an app to help their 800 students learn about the school’s heritage. In the past, the school had students fill up a booklet by answering a list of twenty or so predetermined questions, like naming a celebrity alumni.


A Delicate Tension: Where Gaming and Education Intersect

February 19, 2013

Guest blogger biography: Stephen Paolini is a junior at Winter Park High School in Winter Park, Florida. His interest in the concept of interest-driven community stems from his experiences with his unique family structure and the International Baccalaureate program, an internationally constructed college prep program created to provide a rigorous all-around curriculum. With a passion for connected learning, Stephen has always been interested in gaming, education and the integrated role they play in a modern society. 


Learning to Learn: The StarCraft II Way

December 14, 2012

When we discuss learning, some people attend primarily to the learning content, such as physics or math. They may raise their eyebrows when the content to be learned is a game. But it is not learning content that concerns me in this blog. It is about how we can learn to learn. In many contexts, take StarCraft II for example, there is no assigned teacher whose exclusive role it is to teach. Therefore, learners learn based on productive social interactions with peers. In StarCraft II, learning is such a social process.



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