World of Warcraft

LQ: 8.2

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Brain grade: 7.8
Fun score: 8.6

Game Type: , ESRB Rating: Teen Platform/Console: , LWK Recommended Age: 14+ Other Requirements: Monthly Subscription / Broadband Internet Connection Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used:

BATTLE.NET

In World of Warcraft, players create a unique character, choosing a race (human, dwarf, orc, troll, etc.), a class (paladin, hunter, shaman, druid, etc.), and a unique profession (blacksmithing, mining, tailoring, and more). They then join one of two factions, either the fearsome Horde or the noble Alliance, two opposing factions that have been at war for ages. From there, players can explore the world, take on quests, raid dungeons for treasure, or hunt down powerful monsters. As they progress in the game, players slowly build up the powers and attributes of their characters.

As an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), parents should moderate their children’s play, limiting game time and monitor interactions with other players. Fantasy-based violence and blood is featured throughout the game, as is the use of alcohol and tobacco. Some female characters wear revealing outfits and crude language is often used by characters and other players. Reading ability is needed to understand quests and item descriptions, as well as the text-based dialogue between players. Due to the game’s reading requirements, online nature, level of violence, blood, crude language and suggestive themes, World of Warcraft is only recommended to players ages 14 and up.


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This Game is Good for Kids Who Need Help With:

Self-Awareness

Understanding our own actions, thoughts and feelings. Improving social skills.

Since there are millions of people that play WoW, players will undoubtedly be interacting with other players frequently. In fact, some quests require that a group of players team up to complete the objective. Furthermore, if players want to raid a dungeon, they must first gather anywhere from five to twenty-five players together, depending on the dungeon’s difficulty. Therefore, players need to practice good Self-Awareness skills if they want to work well within a team, thinking socially and understanding the role they play in the larger group.  Social skills are also needed to work out the numerous disputes that will sometimes arise between players.

Planning

Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.

World of Warcraft helps players exercise good planning skills, requiring them to create a “character build.” The steps involved in creating a strong character build include choosing carefully what the character’s skills will be and deciding which attributes -- like Strength, Agility, or Stamina -- are best paired with those specific skills. For example, after a character reaches level 10, players unlock "skill trees" for every class type, and each class has 3 different skill trees they can specialize in. For example, a Druid can specialize in the Feral (shape-shifting), Balance (spell-casting), or Restoration (healing). To effectively optimize the performance of a character’s class, players will need to plan in advance how they want their characters to play in-game, and create a strategy to best achieve those goals.

Use this PlayTogether guide to learn how you can help your child turn World of Warcraft play time into a positive learning and relationship-building experience. To learn more about why playing games with your children is so important, check out our Science of Play page.

Talk Before You Play

Take a minute to talk with your child about how the Self-Awareness and Planning thinking skills work, and why they are important for success in school and at home.

Set Gameplay Goals

World of Warcraft is an exclusively multiplayer game, however, to play with your child you will need two PCs, two copies of the game, and two monthly subscriptions. Even if you don't plan on playing online with your child, you can still help him choose his character class and construct his build. We also recommend you take some time to play the created character, getting a feel for the game's mechanics. Review the gameplay goals listed below and work with your child to complete each one to help him get the most from his experience.

Gameplay Goals:

  • Reach level 10 and unlock your characters specialization.
  • Complete the first instanced dungeon, "Deadmines."
  • Join a guild or add two players to your friends list.
  • Win one PvP arena match.
  • Choose a profession and reach the journeyman level.

Stop and Reflect

After your child has reached level 10 and unlocked a specialization, stop and take some time to reflect on how World of Warcraft is exercising you child's  Self-Awareness and Planning skills.

  • Meeting and working with new people is an integral part of a massively social game like World of Warcraft. Illustrate the importance of working with new people in a group environment in school or personal life. Provide some examples like collaborating on a group presentation for history class, or working together with kids from other neighborhoods on sports team.
  • To be a successful team member in World of Warcraft, you will need to understand the role of your character. For example, if your character is a healer, it is imperative that you keep an eye on your group members' health bars. How does this concept translate into athletics? For instance, knowing your position on the baseball field, and how being an outfielder, shortstop or second-baseman requires different duties within a team.
  • Efficient planning in World of Warcraft allows the player to project plans for his character far into the future. How can this concept be applied to something practical? For example, creating a road map for high school can help your child through the college application process, deciding early on what major to pursue and choosing appropriate classes to prepare.

Our Make it Real activites are designed to transform your child’s gameplay into real-world improvements in thinking and academic skills. If you’re just getting started with LearningWorks for Kids, we suggest you try them all to find which are the best for you and your child.

Introduce the Thinking Skills

Read over the pages for Self-Awareness and Planning, and then take some time to introduce these Thinking Skills to your child.

Explain That:

  • Self-Awareness is the thinking skill that helps us to understand our actions, analyze our own thinking and articulate our thoughts and feelings.
  • Planning is the thinking skill that helps us to develop a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals. It helps us to do things step-by-step, and to complete long-term projects on time.

Self-Awareness Activity

Practice having conversations in which each person is allowed to say a certain number of sentences before the other person can chime in and respond. This exercise will be useful in developing listening skills, attention and training in waiting to talk. Try out this same strategy when visiting with friends or relatives, with a designated monitor to remind your child to listen first and speak later.

Planning Activity

Clarify goals and objectives. When your child describes a desire to get a toy or to be able to do something new, use an image to help him keep a clear “picture” of it in mind. Ask questions that help to clearly define what it is he wants and how it might realistically be obtained. For example, how will it help you, what will it look like, what will it cost, or what will it require in time and effort?

 

This game also helps kids with:

Reading

In order to make sense of the numerous items, weapons and armor in World of Warcraft, players need to carefully read over their descriptions. Some equipment carries special attributes, like fire-resistant armor or magically-enhanced weaponry. The wide array of items in the game have a diverse range of effects and uses, and in order to understand how to implement them, players must read over the description of each one. Aside from understanding the purpose and use of each piece of gear in their inventory, text-based chat is also available for players to communicate. While doing so is optional, and rules of grammar are rarely followed, players still have the opportunity to read what other players are thinking, which can help them strategize together in battle.

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