WoW! (more) youtube academic literacy

you might notice that i added a sidebar feature that includes a rotating pool of literacy-related videos posted on youtube and videogoogle. i was doing some additional searching for such clips and found the following video.

literacy & world of warcraft (13:10)
(a project assigned by mark warschauer, whose work is well worth checking out, if you haven't done so already)

i suppose we can expect more of this - literacies "homework" online - to come as profs and students explore and blur the lines of what counts as knowledge, work, research, effort... this is of particular interest to me as i venture into these acts of blurring, myself, both in the requirements i design for my classes, as well as in the kinds of academic publishing i'm engaging in (dangling preposition, notwithstanding!).

so i return to this video about world of warcraft (WoW): i learned a lot about the game, rules, and sensibilities of one particular player. much of the 'learning' came from direct dialogue from either the interviewer/video-maker, or the young man being interviewed for a large part of the video. the author also uses captions to add important background information to what is being said, to support the WoW neophyte's comprehension. all of this in service of a question posed at the beginning of the video:
what kinds of social interactions are present in-game? (referring to the inside playing environment of WoW)

but i'm left wondering about the author's stance on, as he claims at the beginning of the video, what "literacies [are necessary] for social interaction to be truly effective?" how is he defining or understanding literacies as existing beyond print - at one point in the video he comments on the literacy opportunities available when typing in-world. the data is there, in his video, but i'm less sure about the analysis. which brings me to a larger question about the representation of analysis in video, audio, and other multimodal and non-print formats...

i find the possibilities are exciting, but they can also be frustrating when the inevitable questions of evaluation and assessment are brought to the surface. we know how to scaffold someone's inclusion of primary and secondary sources when writing literature reviews and other academic papers. but how prepared are we to support our students' as well as our own forays into new academic playgrounds of the fourth kind...?

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