The MediaMOO Project : Constructionism and Professional Community

MediaMOO is a text-based, networked, virtual reality environment designed to enhance professional community among media researchers. MediaMOO officially opened on January, 20th, 1993, and as of December 1994 has more than 1000 members from 29 countries. An application is required to join, and only those actively engaged in media research are admitted. Unlike many virtual environments, the world of MediaMOO is continuously being constructed and reconstructed by its members. This paper analyzes experience with the system to date, and highlights the importance of "constructionist" principles in virtual reality design. The philosophy of constructionism argues that people learn with particular effectiveness when they are engaged in constructing personally meaningful projects; learning by doing is better than learning by being told. This approach is most often applied to children's learning. We believe that not enough attention is paid to its broader applicability. We have found that letting the users build a virtual world rather than merely interact with a pre-designed world gives them an opportunity for self expression, encourages diversity, and leads to a meaningful engagement of participants and enhanced sense of community.


Amy Bruckman , Mitchel Resnick


Bruckman, Amy and Mitchel Resnick (1995). "The MediaMOO Project: Constructionism and Professional Community." Convergence 1:1, pp 94-109.


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