I’ve been wrestling with some ideas for a while now, and they seem to have coalesced in my head over a couple of coinciding events. The first was #TvsZ, which I wrote about on Monday (see the Storify of my adventures!). The others were the appearance of three related articles on my Twitter/social media radar. The first is an interview with the founder of Minerva University, a start-up which hopes to be an Ivy-League for-profit online institution.
A scary-looking zombie leapt at me, trying to bite my shoulder. I dodged just in time. Then another attacked. I cried for help and three humans came to my rescue: a former student who has all kinds of zombie-fighting experience, a friend who lives on the other side of the continent, and the other, a person I know only in virtual reality. The battle was a blur, but thanks my rescuers, I survived to see another day.
I played not because I wanted to learn anything, but because I like zombies and Twitter. Many years ago I was very active in a browser-based MMORPG called Urban Dead that still is home to many thousands of zombies and survivors. In fact, over 2 million people have played Urban Dead for at least some period of time. I have also played the Zombie expansion pack for Red Dead Redemption, Undead Nightmare. And, of course, I've seen a few zombie movies; I root for the zombies.
While playing Twitter Vs. Zombies (@Jessifer and @allistelling) I failed as a human and feasted as a zombie. True to it's promotion, this micro-MOOC was "an epic zombiefied experiment in Twitter literacy, gamification, collaboration, and emergent learning" and it was AWESOME! A planned couple of minutes on Twitter became an encapsulating experience that felt part Walking Dead and part undead pun party. I'll definitely look forward to more experiences like this online. Playing with strangers that immediately felt like partners was something very cool. What a strong testimony to the strength of social media to bring others together... for fun, for play, for good, and for gore!
Join us Nov. 9 - 12 for an epic game of Twitter tag. Part flash-mob. Part Hunger-Games. Part Twitter-pocalypse. Part digital feeding frenzy. Collect canned goods, store water, watch your hashtags, and sleep with one eye open.