A News Lite article reporting on academic research indicates that WoW makes the world more scientific:
They looked at a random sample of nearly 2,000 discussion posts to see what types of conversations took place, such as social bantering versus problem-solving, that classified as scientific reasoning.It was concluded that the forum and game-based learning could supplement textbooks and science labs in fostering scientific thinking and problem-solving ability.
The article seemed a bit light so I figured finding an article by the authors would help:
In MMOGs, individuals collaborate to solve complex problems within the virtual world, such as figuring out what combination of skills, proficiencies, and equipment are necessary to conquer an in-game boss monster. As part of developing efficient and effective solutions, players are customarily expected to research various game strategies and tactics by consulting on- and offline manuals, databases, and discussions and by using such knowledge as the basis for in-game action. Thus, as part of standard gameplay (particularly beyond the beginning levels), individuals share their own hypotheses about what strategies work by proposing models for solutions, justifying their “theories” with evidence (such as tabulated mathematical results aggregated across multiple trials), and debating the merits of conflicting hypotheses – not as aimless contentious discussion (although there is a bit of that as well) but rather as part and parcel of the collective intelligence (Levy, 1999) amassed through patterned participatory consumption (Jenkins, 1992) the hallmark of interactive“entertainment” media such as games.