My Life in an RPG

Last week, I had the most surreal moment. As I was walking down the hall, I had the feeling I was running a World of Warcraft quest. It felt like I was exploring a new zone in a game like WoW or Diablo III. But there is more…


As many of you now know, I took a new job at Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, NY. This new job placed me in a new zone where I have to learn my way around. Not only did I have to learn my way around the campus but also the surrounding area.

I could not help but feel learning this new area was no different than how I explore a new WoW zone. You start out close to home or your office and slowly branch out. When I interviewed for the job, I was give a quick tour. I had a rough idea were everything was but it was like driving with a GPS; someone else was in control. Now, I am exploring on my own. As I explore, I find myself using the same paths because I have come to know them . Incrementally, I add to my spatial knowledge and take new paths and explore further from my office or home. I am also exploring in different directions to help with spatial awareness.

Each building provides its own challenges as many are multi-floor mazes. There have been times where I have been called to meetings in very obscure locations, e.g., “the Whisper Room.” Fortunately, with the help of others I have not been late for anything.

As I enter the new year, I will be expanding my exploration to new zones as I go to explore the other campuses.

It has been fascinating to see my exploration through gaming eyes.


Naturally, with a new job, you are often given tasks to complete or quests. My new job is no different, During the first few weeks, I received a number of quests from my primary quest giver (my boss) to get me started. What is fascinating is the number of quest drops you get as well as the number of quests you get from other quest givers as I explore and get to know new people.

Some of the quests are not obvious, it is only as you find and review documents do you find opportunities to explore. The tricky piece is figuring out where all the documents are hidden and who may have additional information to help with your quest. Fortunately, JCC has a substantial document repository; this is where a bulk of documents are stored. However, there are other documents in the Intranet, Blackboard, and other places. I need to work out the puzzle about what is important and what a distraction.

The key to success so far is finding the key quest givers.


While playing WoW, I typically belong to one guild, although I may participate in any number of PUGs (pick up groups) to tackle problems. New to JCC, I began with my technology-enhanced instruction team along with the larger academic affairs team. Other teams have materialized as I have taken on new quests.

In the SUNY framework, I find I am also a member of the Directors of Online and Distance Learning Environments (DOODLE) as well as Online Western New York Learning (OWL) alliance. Each of these “guilds” has a leadership structure, quests to run, and repositories to explore.  I will have to figure out how I can help the guild succeed as well as my place within the guild.

The surreal moment I felt last week was a curious reflective moment. Time to discover other comparisons as I run some WoW quests.