Collaborative World Building Using Wikis and Digital Maps

Collaborative world building is a process by which students learn to think critically about social forces at play in a given place at a specific moment in history and how these forces influence the lived experiences of the people who live in the world. Students write a metanarrative describing the governance, economics, social values, and cultural influences and then populate a wiki with entries for people, places, and things and pin them to a map.

Collaborative world building is useful for creative projects such as creating post-apocalyptic futures, alternate histories, or fanfiction in preexisting worlds  and could be used in courses in literature, history, or other humanities. Participants will learn about the pedagogical theories underlying collaborative world building including its roots in role-playing games and will participate in the creation of a brand new world of their choosing.

In a 45-minute session we will create a world from scratch. In a 90-minute session we will create a world from scratch, then add some people, places, and things to a Google map.

For the 45-minute session, no computer needed though it might be useful. For the 90-minute session, laptops are required (it’s very finnicky to work on tablets, fyi).

Categories: Collaboration, Games, Session: Make, Workshops |

About Trent Hergenrader

I'm an Assistant Professor in the Dept of English at the Rochester Institute of Technology. My specialization is in teaching creative writing, and my research is at the intersection of creative writing studies, digital pedagogy, and games and game-based learning. I am also very involved with RIT's new BS program in Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, particularly in regards to how creative production and collaborative projects can contribute to digital humanities and social sciences.