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Both massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and the writing classroom are domains in which learning occurs most effectively through simulation. However designers of an MMORPG understand they are creating simulations: teachers of writing, by and large, do not. In fact, the idea that the writing classroom is a simulation space will be anathema to many teachers due to misconceptions about the nature of simulation. Furthermore, the first-year writing class in particular, but also writing programs in general, are hobbled by a conflicting web of institutional responsibilities. Writing programs are often conflicted as to whether they should be teaching students how to use writing to be successful in college, in their lives beyond college, as preparation for entry into a specific discipline, or as a vehicle for critical citizenship. The work of James Paul Gee on videogames, particularly his notion of how to mobilize critical learning in order to engage with a world of situated literacies, has clear application to the writing classroom. And many writing teachers have sought to utilize new media in to offer students a chance to develop practical literacy skills by engaging with "real" publics. This effort has not been without its problems: the use of blogs in particular has run into difficulties when faced with some of the realities of public discourse. The paradoxical result of the denial of the writing classroom as simulation space is not that the class becomes something other than a simulation. Rather, many writing classes simply become badly designed simulations.

Pedagogia Mission Map
Will this be on the test? Return of the Prodigal Publics vs Publicity Different Worlds