[Humanist] 24.849 literature brought virtually to life

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Apr 5 09:36:46 CEST 2011

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 24, No. 849.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2011 08:15:18 -0700
        From: Martin Holmes <mholmes at uvic.ca>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 24.840 literature brought virtually to life
        In-Reply-To: <20110402072904.B3E1E12361E at woodward.joyent.us>

On 11-04-02 12:29 AM, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
>> On 3/28/2011 1:16 AM, Daniel Allington wrote:
>>> Having a research interest in what Bradley Bleck calls 'text-based
>>> virtual realities' (below), I was wondering whether anyone else on
>>> the list has tried using MOOs and related forms of programming (eg.
>>> Inform 7 or its multi-user offshoot, Guncho) for teaching in the
>>> humanities.
>>> Somehow I find the idea of students building a MOO to be rather more
>>> exciting than the idea of them staging plays in Second Life. But
>>> perhaps I'm just showing my age...

I used to use MOOs and MUDs a lot for language teaching in the mid 90s. 
We would put the students in a lab, and log them all into the same MOO, 
then have them do communication games that were basically designed for 
conversation practice, but in the text-based environment. They were 
performing real-time interactions, so it was a little bit like speaking 
practice, but they were also able to monitor their outgoing "speech" and 
check it before sending it. To some extent it provided writing practice 
too. And the students all had motivation to read and understand each 
other's text. It was very successful in those days, but I don't know how 
much students today would take to something so graphically impoverished.


Martin Holmes
University of Victoria Humanities Computing and Media Centre
(mholmes at uvic.ca)

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