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Educational Benefits

“ScapeRune provides some young people with an arena in which they can play with identity and act out experiences that may be impossible in the material world”. 1

[image: giant] ScapeRune aims to provide an entertaining and fulfilling online gaming experience, one that people of all ages can enjoy. Moreover, we try to educate our players in ways that will help them develop essential skills that they could use in their everyday life.

A three-year study conducted by Dr Simon Bradford and Nic Crowe at Brunel University, found that our efforts are having a positive impact “We noticed how they divided their time between work and play – an activity that is largely managed for schoolchildren and is often first learned with the independence of university education”. 2
[image: gnome on terrorbird]

[image: moss giant] In order to progress in ScapeRune, a player must improve their various skills by completing quests and training in specific skill related activities. In between this period of training (or, as it’s more commonly known, ‘levelling’), players have the chance to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

The abilities and opportunities you unlock are dependent on the skill you are raising. Increasing your Strength and Defence skills, for example, will allow you to fight larger and more powerful enemies; this added Strength also means that you could explore some areas of the map that were previously inaccessible to you. Increasing your Construction skill will allow you to build more elaborate furniture or more rooms for your house, whereas a higher Fishing skill will mean you can attempt much larger catches such as shark and lobster.

There are many more skills on which to focus your attention and you can pick and choose to improve whichever of them appeals to you.

Here at ScapeRune, we understand the importance of learning, education and experience. In our Keeping Healthy and Responsible Gaming Policy sections, we emphasize the importance of maintaining a balanced life, helping our players realise that work and study are hugely important, as is getting regular exercise, taking regular breaks from your computer and socialising away from an online environment.

This stance on responsible gaming is as true of our game as it is of our policies: We try to help bridge the gap between education and entertainment by presenting players with thought-provoking challenges that make for a fun and stimulating experience.

Listed below are some of the benefits that players may experience while playing the game.

Friendship and Teamwork

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of an MMOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Game) is the encouragement of player interaction. What makes an MMOG unique is its multiplayer capability. Thousands of players are simultaneously exploring the ScapeRune world, forming bonds and friendships, not unlike the way a friendship group is formed while at school. This is helped by a number of factors:

· The inclusion of quests that are teamwork-specific, i.e. it requires two or more players to work together in order to complete the quest.

· Minigames such as Gnome Ball and Castle Wars encourage teamwork and co-operation. The game Blast Furnace even gives the participants experience (in-game character enhancements) as they work together to keep the furnace functional.

· Trading allows players to barter and make deals with each other. Through experience you could have your favoured merchants for different items. Trading also allows players to learn the structure of a working economic system. For more on this, please see ScapeRune 101

Problem Solving

With more than a hundred quests to complete, there are plenty of opportunities for players to test their mental abilities. Each quest will contain a number of challenges; some require a logical approach, while others favour a more mathematical mind.

The earlier quests offer a subtle introduction into the kind of puzzles a player may encounter later on in the game. Similarly, as the quests become lengthier and harbour more stringent prerequisites, their difficulty and rewards are appropriately increased.

The difficulty curve is designed to make progression challenging but not frustrating for the player. The idea is that as they complete each quest – each challenge – their logical and mathematical skills should also begin to improve.

The importance of security

As detailed in Account Security, a pertinent concern of ours, and the players, is the security of their accounts. Through the various measures we have in place such as bank PINs, recovery questions and educational banners, our players learn the value and benefit of being security conscious.

We provide a great deal of information on this subject, through the Knowledge Base (see our Customer Support and Security Information) pages and also our information banners, of which you can learn more about here.
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[image: friends list] Friends List

Within the game interface there is a button that leads to the Friends List. This list keeps track of your in-game friends and tells you when they are online. You can even customise your chat mode into making sure that only your friends can send you private messages.

You can add and remove players from the Friends List at will and with up to two hundred spaces available, there is the potential for becoming friends with a huge number of people.

Dr Simon Bradford and Nic Crowe’s study at Brunel University, showed that "players use the virtual world not only to recreate the real world, but to explore all sorts of experiences that would otherwise be closed to them.

"For example gender, race or class, can be less or more important than they might be in the material world." 3 In this sense, the virtual world would be seen as more egalitarian than the real world and therefore "as well as being enjoyable, the gaming worlds offer young people the chance to develop important social and cultural skills which carry significance for real life." 4

1 2 3 4 (Dr Simon Bradford, Nic Crowe. ‘How gaming is all work and no play’. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4774534.stm 14th March 2006)

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