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If you want kids to learn about how to behave in massive online spaces then don’t rely on school. If you are worried about Facebook – you should be. Games however, are far less scary than many people imagine. There are signficant benefits from choosing an online game world over ‘the web’ as a place for kids to learn about digital-rules. In fact all games have rules and are systemtic in their enforcement, they also happen to be the same rules that govern the behaviour that so many are worried about in non-game spaces. Of course to believe this, you must un-believe the relentless media bias and increatingly, the bain-missing rhetoric called ‘game-ification’.

Games give students solid understanding of digital rules.

  1. Mediation rule – conflict resolution in digital networks
  2. Behaviour constraint rule – what you must do and must not do
  3. Goal achievement rule – goals must roughly correspond to the goals of the individuals in the given role they have in real life
  4. Environmental response rule – how the environment behaves in response to individual action
  5. Social Rules – restitutive social law (social correction) and repressive law (social punishment)

If you spend time in game worlds, these rules are persistently applied. They are aslo far less permanent and forgiving unlike much of web-media that never forgets your mistakes, and doesn’t easily let you retry until you succeed. There are far wose things to see that a bit of blood splatter in a world everyone knows isn’t real.

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