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Massively multiplayer online games as new vectors for international cooperation

Abstract : In 2019, ESG (UQAM, https://esg.uqam.ca/) and IAE Gustave Eiffel (UPEC, https://www.iae-eiffel.fr/) decided to design a joint international project management course. The pedagogical objectives were numerous: working in remote teams, working in a multicultural setting, broadening access to international exchanges and offering engaging creative challenges. The health crisis that began in 2020 accelerated the project. Indeed, we experimented several first national courses as early as June 2020 in order to verify the technical and pedagogical feasibility of the project. Initially, we successfully tried Microsoft's Minecraft Education Edition video game. Indeed, Minecraft is a game of pure creativity like LEGO® bricks. There are no scripting constraints. The construction is therefore totally free (sandbox) and the world is composed of blocks that can be destroyed and repositioned endlessly (mining). Crafting is the ability that allows players to design objects or materials not present in their raw state in the world (tools, glass, etc.). Minecraft Education Edition (https://education.minecraft.net/) offers specific functionalities for teachers to facilitate its integration in the classroom. Unfortunately, major constraints quickly became apparent: Minecraft requires rather high computer configurations, the game must be launched on the teacher's workstation to be accessible by students and, above all, the virtual world can only host thirty people simultaneously. In an international context, these constraints were blocking and we then tested the free and open source equivalent of Minecraft: Minetest (https://www.minetest.net/). This game removes all the constraints of Minecraft: the necessary computer configurations are light, the persistent world is accessible via a dedicated 24/7 server and it is possible to integrate more than one hundred participants. Technical tests with small groups were carried out from September to November 2020. The server was fully operational in January 2021 and the first French courses in the world of Minetest began. On 15 February 2021, with colleagues from five universities (India, Ukraine, Germany, France and Canada), we started a first international experiment, unique in the world, involving thirty-six students and ten teachers. The objective was mainly technical in order to ensure that the server would hold the load on an uninterrupted use for almost two months. This technical success will enable us to achieve our initial objectives and to propose to the participants of this experimentation the design of international courses or projects (project management, management, creativity, etc.) for the academic year 2021-2022 and thus propose an innovative modality of university cooperation. The use of MMOs in higher education is part of the EdUTeam learning and research project in game-oriented learning (https://eduteam.fr/) carried out at the Institut de Recherche en Gestion (IRG, EA 2354). This project started in 2016 and is intended to study the value of commercial of the shelf leisure games in higher education. It comprises three sub-projects: EdUTeam Role Playing Games, EdUTeam Wargames and EdUTeam Video Games.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03192634
Contributor : Philippe Lépinard Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 10:55:46 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 4:08:48 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-03192634, version 1

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Philippe Lépinard. Massively multiplayer online games as new vectors for international cooperation. III International Scientific And Practical Forum “Business, Education And Science: Vectors Of Cooperation”, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Apr 2021, En ligne, Ukraine. ⟨hal-03192634⟩

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