To read this content please select one of the options below:

Scalable learning: from simple to complex in World of Warcraft

Douglas Thomas (Associate Professor at Annenberg School for Communication, USC, Los Angeles, California, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 30 January 2009




The aim of this paper is to examine how a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG), World of Warcraft, serves as complex and, most importantly, scalable learning environment.


The paper looks at the unique properties of World of Warcraft as a complex and scalable learning environment.


The paper finds that by looking at World of Warcraft it can be understood how large‐scale networks of high value can be utilized and leveraged by smaller communities to succeed at team building, organization and talent development within complex and often rapidly changing environments.


By examining World of Warcraft the paper demonstrates a complex social network that is constantly evolving itself, constantly reforming itself, and constantly pruning old useless or outdated information which can be applied to an enormous number of tiny networked communities of interest and practice.



Thomas, D. (2009), "Scalable learning: from simple to complex in World of Warcraft", On the Horizon, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 35-46.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles