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Ed, you note that "online shenanigans seem to be losing significance". But is that really maturity? Or is it experience and experiential learning? And how far are the two things intertwined? Particularly I'm thinking about "kids", whom many not act very mature generally, but may have vast amounts of "online experience" and develop an sharp awareness of what is acceptable in their online peer groups. Perhaps what massively connected online environments (and I include a swathe of arenas here in that "hand-waviness" catch all term) do well is quickly introduce even the younger online gamer or internet participant, to the expectations of their social peer groups with instant feedback. With quick and constant feedback on what is acceptable, and what is not, I can see how an immature young adult (who shows at least some social intelligence to adapt their behavior) could quickly "improve" (what a naive term to use I'll acknowledge) exhibited behaviors. I've been involved in a number of large online communities over the years, and in particular a few memories of CCG online groups I've been involved in, which had a mixture of young and older participants seem to be most relevant to this.. I remember clearly a number of occasions in which that mixture of increasing peer social awareness amongst younger community members was evidenced with quite rapid changes in online behavior. Perhaps what massively connected online environments do well, and their potential to be very positive in a way, is that they *potentially* expose younger, and less mature adults into social environments which allow for social rules, contracts and social learning to take place in an environment with rapid feedback mechanisms. In effect, they could potentially be (if positively focused) environments in which the mixture of participants could/can develop less socially mature participants social intelligence quite rapidly (and anecdotally, I've seen this occur on a number of occasions). I'll leave out the rather obvious concluding statement of what negatively focused environments equally could do. Regards Dr David Grundy
Toggle Commented May 20, 2011 on Sophomoric Stances at Terra Nova is now following The Typepad Team
May 20, 2011