Many librarians are probably familiar with designing programs that build developmental assets. We help build youth assets like leadership, helping others, and succeeding in school so that there is less of a chance that teens will make destructive choices such as vandalism and drugs.
You may even have heard of asset building in Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMORPGs) and Multi User Virtual Environments (MUVEs) such as World of Warcraft, Entropia Universe, Teen Second Life and more. This article in the May Harvard Business Review, Leadership’s Online Labs, talks about how real world transference can occur as a result of game play – from being leaders in online games to being leaders in the work world.
Leadership in online games doesn’t always have to take the form of quests and raids, teens are likely to be leading meetings in the environment, collaborating with a diverse group of people, and motivating others to complete a task.
A question might be, how do we as librarians support developmental assets, such as leadership, through MMORPG’s or MUVE’s? The answer might be:
- Form a guild and ask teens to sign up
- Be a strategy guide (this is great advice from library consultant Beth Gallaway in how to interact with teens not as experts but as guides)
- Hold your own meetings in an online environment to become familiar with how it works
- Ask teens what they are doing or to show you what they are doing in these environments
- Share your stories here!