Teen Gaming – For profit?

I was excited and a little bummed about David Warlick’s post about the interview with his son while playing World of Warcraft. The reason is Monday I had idea about interviewing my students about web 2.0 and gaming.

You see one of my student has used WOW to make about $5,000. He is in 9th grade! The way he has done it was to spend several weeks developing certain characters and getting them desirable items to use (weapons, spells, armor). Once he has taken the character to a certain point he sells it on ebay. Some how I can see how my class that deals with primarily Word, Excel, and PowerPoint may not be that exciting to him.

Another set of students that I interviewed yesterday participate in gaming tournaments on MLG, as I understand it there are many tournaments that have large purses. For example There is one team called Final Boss ( I think) who won all the tournaments and was offered $1,000,000 contract to stay gaming with MLG for 3 years. Yes, that was $1,000,000, a group of 20 somethings.

Lead by human-highlight reel and tactician Walshy, Final Boss are favored to reach the Championship Match in every event they enter. Strongside’s youthful determination complements the awe-inspiring Ogres, who strike fear into even the toughest opponents through their versatile slaying capabilities. The overall dominance and persistent hard work and sportsmanship of the squad has earned Final Boss a three year, one million dollar contract with Major League Gaming.

I now understand why it has become so important to them. I also found it interesting that the boys were very articulate when describing their gaming experiences. They are all great students, but when a teacher is trying to have a conversation with students it always seems strained. Conversely, ask them to teach you about something they are interested in and the conversation flows.

I used my iSight camera on one of the iMacs my lab to record the sessions and ran it by principal first. I will send home a release form with the boys and if all parties agree, I will post the video on my blog.

A thought comes to mind when talking with these teens, “bravo!” They created an opportunity out doing something they are passionate about. It takes adults so many years to find a joy and turn it into an opportunity.

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