Saturday, March 22, 2008

"I love unschooled teens!" —Autodidact+Piano

In the online newsletter of the Victoria Home Learning Network is an article on unschooled teens, featuring Abbi Traaseth's recent piano accomplishments. There's a video. Autodidact+Piano

A quote from the article:
My friend Abbi is 13 years old. When I sent her this post to review and approve, she wrote me back saying “I just wanted to say thank you for your beautiful words, and I hope they help to inspire other Unschooling parents to see the joys of their children learning what they like, and at their leisure.”

Links to the Victoria Home Learning Network:


Saturday, March 15, 2008

"Boy Saves Sister from Moose Attack with Skills Learned in Warcraft Video Game"

Quoting two blogposts; follow links to read more!

Boy Saves Sister from Moose Attack with Skills Learned in Warcraft Video Game
Posted Dec 10th 2007 9:06AM by Terrence O'Brien
Filed under: Computers, Video Games
This 12 year-old Norwegian boy saved his sister and himself from a moose attack using skills he picked up in the online role playing game 'World of Warcraft.'

Hans Jørgen Olsen and his sister got into a spot of trouble when they encroached on the territory of one of these antlered cold weather staples (otherwise known as a moose). When the beast went on the offensive, Hans knew the first thing he had to do was taunt it so that it would leave his sister alone and she could run to safety. "Taunting" is a move one uses in World of Warcraft to get monsters off of the less-well-armored team members.

Once he was a target, Hans remember another skill he'd picked up at level 30 in 'World of Warcraft' -- he feigned death. The moose lost interest in the inanimate Hans and wandered off into the woods. When he was safely alone Hans ran back home to share his tale of video game-inspired survival.

Make fun of video games all you want, but if one can teach you a skill that saves your (and your sister's) life, then we'd say that was a video game worth playing.

From Internode Gaming Network

I might not have brought the whole article here, but it was already reported from another site and not quoted. Several interesting things are said, so I'm putting both.

World of Warcraft Skills Save Boy From Moose
By Chienne - Sat Dec 8, 2007 11:57am

All the anti-gaming activists, listen up. When people claim to "learn things" from video games, they're not just talking about a bit of extra hand-eye coordination from first-person shooters. They're not referring to gaining knowledge of economics from playing real-time strategies. They're not even suggesting the improved matching skills from all those Shockwave titles with the coloured dots.

They're talking about a 12 year old Norwegian boy, who survived a moose attack - using skills he learned in World of Warcraft.

Hans Jørgen Olsen and his sister were walking in the woods near their house when they were confronted by the antlered beast, who was a bit miffed at the invasion of his turf, so it attacked them. Olsen reacted quickly, with the sort of reflexes that only come after spending days in Azeroth.

His first task - protect his sister. How to do this? Taunt the beast! The boy yelled at the animal until it was distracted enough to leave his sister alone, so she could run and get help. Downside of this plan - the moose was now paying some grumpy attention to Hans. What was he to do?

Feign death. "Just like you learn at level 30 in World of Warcraft."

I kid you not. Beast, seeing that the boy was no longer interesting, wandered off to greener pastures and to do whatever moose do in Norway. Hans jumped up and ran home to join his sister and tell the whole world about his adventures.

Now - before you criticise a 12-year old for having spent enough time ingame to get to level 30, stop and think. Had he been a lower level, he just wouldn't have had the skillset to survive. Think about that, and maybe pop a copy of WoW on your Christmas list, if you live somewhere with an abundance of moose.

Both posts have lots of comments!

I have no reason to believe the kids are homeschooled, but for anyone thinking games aren't good for anything but "eye-hand coordination" should look again! (There are some recent links and lots of older ones here.)