An overview about the MMORPG that made me a better teacher

As I approached the classroom, neither I nor my students knew exactly how this was going to work out. After some greetings, I told them — “today we`re going to learn with games”. Then I picked a sheet of papers from my suitcase and read it loud and clear

You’re fighting a sk8 gnome.
“This is a gnome on a sk8board. You’ve been seeing a lot of these l8ly. Don’t you just h8 it when you get attacked by one of these? I guess it’s just your f8”.

That`s an comical and wonderful example for numeronyms, when pronouncing the letters and numbers may sound similar to the full word — an abbreviation. Also, that`s how I started using Kingdom of Loathing (Kol) during my lectures to create strategic values for a good learning experience.

Right, I`m getting a little ahead of my self — first let`s go to yours Toot Oriole Quest.

Kingdom of loathing, better known as Kol, is a free browser-based MMORPG brought by the folks at Asymmetric Publications. It`s an open world/choose your own adventure that works around engaging into different quests that involves a lot of high definition animations (stick figures). Jokes a part, it`s a monumental example of how to portray pop culture, mixed with different types of dialogues — puns and RPG mechanics. On itself, Kol becomes a trend around different students because of the references — some do need research, but others just are simpler to understand.

You’re fighting a Snow Queen
“This frosty monarch is made of a cloud of whirling snow with a regal crown floating on top of it. She’s a bit of a fat-bottomed girl, but she hits like dynamite with a laser beam. If you don’t stop her now, she’ll be the champion. My friend”.

Also, students need to read a lot during this exercise. Once they are engaged in a battle, each opponent presents a flavor text — context, same for every other action. For example, when you`re fighting an Alphabet Giant. “This is a giant who hurls gigantic letters instead of stones. Unless the letters spell out the word ‘stones,’ of course, in which case he hurls both letters and stones”. When it attacks, miss, fumble or hit a critical, it displays different texts, like “He tries to hit you with an A-B-C, but finds it’s significantly harder than 1–2–3”.

It`s a high value experience, battling and wondering about puns creates an environment of independence for students to try different ways to express something — with jokes, maybe numeronyms and other aspects of our language, communication. Kol may have some jokes that are adult oriented, but we filter that for younger students and work your way to something unique and functional.

Thanks for all my students for giving such a great feedback about this experience. Appreciation and my best wishes for the Kol game and team for creating such amazing work — which I`ll always play. And remember, Prepositions are not to end sentences with.