Sense-making Strategies of reflection in the Virtual World of a Massively Multi-User Online Role-Playing Game
This chapter proposes the notion of virtual exploratories to denote a designing strategy for a virtual framing of activity that requires mutually coordinated action. The underlying assumption is that such framing may support the informal learning and reflective practices of actors, and especially so, if the framing is provoking and challenging. Some of the advanced virtual worlds may inspire the design of provoking and challenging exploratories, and especially the Massively Multi-User Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG). A first step towards the conception of a strategy for reflective designing is currently pursued in an ongoing empirical research project on “Actors and Avatars Communicating in Virtual Worlds”. This chapter presents some of the preliminary findings from the ongoing research and the methodological approach is also briefly introduced, that is, the sense-making ontology and triangle (Dervin et al. 2003), the video-interaction analysis (Henderson & Jordan 1994), and the method of video-viewing (Jensen 2001, 2005). Also the two analytical concepts of intermediaries and mediators that come from the actor-network theory (Latour 2005) are introduced.