Online Adolescence: Real-Life Development in the Virtual World of Warcraft

Chapter
Part of the International perspectives on early childhood education and development book series (CHILD, volume 8)

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to show how the participation in one specific online community facilitates the development of social competences and promotes the development of skills, both social and practical, that can help or facilitate participation in the adolescents’ everyday life and/or in their development towards adulthood. This is done empirically by interviewing adolescents on how they use and perceive what they learn by participating in an online community in their everyday life or, rather, as a part of their everyday life. The community used in this study is the massiely multiplayer online roleplaying game World of Warcraft. Theoretically we draw upon Lev Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development as a mean to conceive the process of development, mediated through the theoretical work of Jaan Valsiner. This chapter is an interpretation, supported with empirical data and arguments for the assumption: World of Warcraft can be seen as a zone of potential development, where the ways of participation determine if actual development can occur.

Keywords

Social Skill Virtual World Online Community Developmental Task Proximal Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Military PsychologyThe Veteran CentreRingstedDenmark
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen NDenmark

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