Heroism research is burgeoning, thanks in large part to Drs. Phil Zimbardo and Zeno Franco's theoretical construct of the "heroic imagination" and the new multidisciplinary field of Heroism Science. Dr. Dana Klisanin applied the "heroic imagination" to cyberspace and found a new hero hiding there: the Cyberhero.
The Cyberhero archetype is based on the understanding that heroism is evolving and new forms are emerging that use digital technology to accomplish heroic aims. These heroic aims include achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations. Dr. Klisanin and her team developed the Cyberhero League so that kids everywhere can learn about this new hero. The Cyberhero is the antithesis of the Cyberbully and helps kids become good digital citizens. In the Cyberhero League kids learn about the many ways they can use the "cyberpowers" of the digital era to help others and tackle global challenges.
HEROIC REFLECTIONS: HEROISM IN POPULAR, VISUAL AND DIGITAL CULTURES, AND CREATIVE PRODUCTION
Excerpt from the Journal: IM: Interactive Media, a refereed interdisciplinary electronic journal administered by the National Academy of Screen and Sound (Australia) and conceived as an interactive forum for researchers in screen and screen production.
"Heroism remains a persistent phenomenon in both lived experience and the media in contemporary Western and non-Western societies. Media constructions of heroism are being generated and shaped at a rapid pace as our very culture becomes a mould for heroic acts and figures, their preservation, exaltation and, at times, damnation. The hero’s journey explored by renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell is the bedrock of a plethora of Hollywood films and popular culture, with scripts persistently using the hero’s journey as a narrative tool. Heroism is either explicitly or implicitly invoked in television’s cultural products such as reality shows, news commentaries, documentaries and so forth, evidencing the saturation of these and other cultural forms with heroic symbolism."
HEROIC PLAY: HEROISM IN MINDFUL, CREATIVE AND PLAYFUL PARTICIPATION
By Olivia Efthimiou, Murdoch University - Excerpted from IM: Interactive Media 2016
"The infiltration of mobile, locative and social technologies in our everyday interactions and daily rituals is having a profound impact on our sense of self and sensory experiences (Hjorth and Richardson 2014). The significance of hero archetypes in popular culture, gaming and creative production in the 21st st century has been discussed by a number of theorists (for examples see: Ardill 2008; Buchanan-Oliver and Seo 2012; Klisanin 2012; McLoone 2010; Viega 2012). . . . Cyberhero League, “an interactive gaming adventure with real world consequences” currently in development, is an example of such novel forms of mindful play that encourage the proliferation of the cyberhero archetype in a seamless blurring of online and offline worlds (Klisanin 2015, 2). Cyberhero League spurs players to go on a series of quests or activities to collect historical and cultural artefacts hidden in locations around the world. Victory unlocks treasure in the form of real world aid for people, animals and at-risk environments, fostering heroic and playful engagement with the everyday."
CHL: DEARTH OF DARKNESS
By Dana Klisanin, Ubiquity University Excerpted from GLS 11, Games, Learning,& Society
"Cyberhero League (CHL) is an online gaming adventure that brings “scouting” into the 21st century through enabling youth to tackle global challenges using digital technologies as the means. Systemically designed to advance principles of connected learning especially in the core learning area of interest learning and the core design area of shared purpose. Participation is voluntary and individuals are united in their quest to improve conditions in the world. Gamers earn the badges of partnering nonprofit organizations (NPOs) through participatory, education- al, and civic accomplishments (Figure 1). To earn a badge, gamers complete an Apprenticeship—a series of digital tasks that teach them about the issues being confronted by a specific NPO. Bonus points are earned through visits to museums, World Heritage Sites, National Parks, and through participating in community events.
Cyberhero League addresses STEM learning as well as social-emotional literacy through providing an antithesis to the negative use of the Internet. Through introducing gamers to the Cyberhero archetype youth are presented with a counterbalance to the Cyberbully, encouraging e-civility (Klisanin, 2013). Cyberhero League is a voluntary learning platform and as such it breaks down one of the most overlooked barriers to participation in learning environments: mental barriers."