A good friend of mine has just introduced me to Guild Wars. It’s a MMORPG in the style of World of Warcraft but without the monthly subscription and with (I’m told) more of a focus on puzzle-solving rather than just killin’ stuff (although there is still plenty of hack ‘n’ slash).
Well so far, I’m hooked. I used up the free 10 hour demo in three days and am now having to ration my time online so that I don’t turn into some sort of ubernerdgamergeek. I’ve read a couple or really good papers recently about the potential for using MMORPGs to teach collaborative skills (I’ll post a link when I have a sec) and I can certainly see the potential. What I particularly like about Guild Wars is that you can play with other people online or you can be totally anti-social and play on your own with virtual characters – could be useful in a teaching situation for asynchronous play?
I wonder if there are any virtual gaming environments that are totally puzzle based? Would anyone use them?