Presented By CyGames
Selene: a lunar construction game

   Recruiter FAQ

How do I get started?
  • Confirm your intent to be a recruiter by emailing Follow the steps listed at We must speak to you on the telephone to verify that you are an adult. We will confirm your e-mail address and provide an orientation to the game and getting started. Once you’re on board, we will e-mail you your user name and password to log in to the Selene recruiter page. After you log in, you'll receive instructions and information.

Who can be a recruiter?
  • Any adult can recruit adolescents to take part in the Selene project. You do not need to be an educator to participate as a recruiter.

What are my responsibilities as a recruiter?
  • You must be an adult.
  • You will recruit youth between the ages of 9 and 18, but only individuals willing to put forth a serious effort in playing a videogame and being a part of a National Science Foundation education study. We will provide you all necessary information to distribute via your recruiter web page.
  • You must verify that students under the age of 18 have parental consent to play the game. (Parent/Guardian must be aware and agree.) How you accomplish this is up to you, but you must distribute a hard copy of the informed consent form to parents. You can simply send parents a printed copy of the informed consent form and study information that will be available on the Selene website and verify eligibility verbally. Do not return any paper forms to us; we need only the number of eligible players you’ve recruited.
  • Once we enter the number of students into your recruiter web page, you will receive the web site URL and access code to distribute to players. The access code will be set to enable only the number of students entered under your name access into the Selene game site. Therefore, make sure you tell your recruits not to pass on their access code to others.

When did the study begin?
  • The study began under NASA funding in May 2007. The research is ongoing and continues through August, 2014 under the current National Science Foundation-funded CyGaMEs project. We will continue to provide the CyGaMEs Selene opportunity as long as we have funding. Youth cannot enter the game site or play the game until registered by an approved recruiter.

What's in it for me as a recruiter? Will I be paid?
  • While we are not budgeted to compensate you for your recruiting help, you will be doing a great service to education. Your simple invitation to youth will give them access to a lifetime enriched by lunar science: how to observe the Moon and interpret what they see.

What's in it for the kids? Will they be paid?
  • There's no pay involved, but in addition to the fun of trying out an exciting videogame, students will get to learn lunar geology through the Selene game. And how many youth can say they're part of a real NASA/National Science Foundation study? It's an exciting and rare opportunity to help shape the design of educational games in the years to come. And the next time they look up at a full moon, they’ll know a lot more about what they’re looking at!

How much time will it take being a recruiter?
  • The amount of time you spend on Selene depends on how long you recruit and how long it takes you to acquire parental consent.

What kind of game is it?
  • Selene is a single-player game focusing on lunar geology. Because this is a research study, we can’t tell about the game in greater detail. The game is Flash-based Internet application.
  • See Selene II system requirements at the end of FAQ's for more details.

What organization is running the Selene study?
  • Selene is a research project begun within the NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future at the Center for Educational Technologies® ( at Wheeling Jesuit University ( and continued under National Science Foundation funding to CET/WJU and the CyGaMEs project. The center houses cutting-edge educational technology in its 48,000-square foot facility on the Wheeling Jesuit campus in Wheeling, WV. The Classroom of the Future™ is NASA’s principal research and development center for educational technologies. The Center also houses the Challenger Learning Center®, one of 47 worldwide established by the Challenger Center for Space Science in memory of the space shuttle Challenger. It provides students, teachers and adult learners with simulations that emphasize teamwork, problem-solving, decision-making, and communication skills.
  • Chuck Wood, Ph.D., director of the Center for Educational Technologies and the author of books and many papers on the geology of the Moon, leads players through the game in various video segments. Wood writes a monthly column on the moon for Sky and Telescope and is the author of The Modern Moon: A Personal View. He also created and oversees the Lunar Photo of the Day website.
  • Debbie Denise Reese, Ph.D., senior educational researcher at the Center for Educational Technologies, heads the Selene and CyGaMEs project.
  • Georgia Tech's Ian Bogost, Ph.D., an internationally recognized game designer, led the game design with a student team at Georgia Tech. James Oliverio, professor and director of the Digital Worlds Institute at the University of Florida whose credits include five Emmy Award-winning soundtracks for television, composed and engineered the game's sound resources. Ben Hitt, director of the Wheeling Jesuit University Schenk International Center for Informatic Sciences, leads the project's data mining.
  • Center for Educational Technologies research assistant Lisa McFarland leads the Selene recruiter community activities. Recruiters will interact with her.

How, what, when, or where do they play?
  • Students can play the game only if they obtain access from you. The game will remain online after the study concludes so that players can continue to access the game.
  • Students can play it anywhere they have Internet access—they don't need to be in a classroom or to play with other kids, nor do they have to travel to the Center for Educational Technologies®, where the study is based. The study portion of the game will take them only about an hour. After that, they are free to play the game as much as they’d like. The Selene site will also provide activities and resources that participants can use to learn how to observe the Moon in their own backyards.

Do we need to travel anywhere?
  • No travel is involved. All the materials and training you’ll need will be available via the Internet.

Does the game have to be played in one complete session?
  • We prefer that players complete the study in one sitting: both round 1 and round 2 gameplay.

    However, players can break up their participation into two sessions: (a) play round 1 and (b) play round 2.

    And once the study is completed, students are free to return to play the game or use postgame resources as much as they’d like.

How many students will be involved?
  • Our data analyses require at least 1,500 players each year.

    Selene is a single-player game; youth do not interact with other players during the study. Therefore, it is best if participants do not play in group settings (unless recruited for a specific study condition).

Is there any cost involved for either recruiters or students?
  • No.

What is involved in my classroom?
  • You don't have to do anything in your class. The only thing you might want to do is use a few minutes of class time to talk about the study and recruit players.

Would this program mesh with the curriculum of gifted eighth-grade Earth science students?
  • Absolutely. Because of its proximity and characteristics, the Moon is key to understanding the two most basic and pervasive geologic processes in the solar system. The Moon is the solar system's Rosetta stone.

What standards does the Selene game support?
  • Selene supports AAAS Atlas of Science Literacy strand maps' learning goals in the Universe: Solar System, and the Processes that Shape the Earth: Changes in the Earth's Surface strands for grades 6-12.

How can I use this study as part of my teaching?
  • This study will take only one to two hours of the students' time. Because the Selene study is not designed as a school project, you do not have to dedicate class time to it. The game can be played anywhere anytime via an Internet connection. It's a great homework, extra credit, or project assignment. And every player who finishes the study can print out a Selene proof-of-completion certificate. Educators use these to assign students' credit for Selene participation.

Will students require any previous knowledge about astronomy?
  • No previous astronomy experience is required. In fact, we prefer astronomy novices.

Selene II System Requirements


  • Processor: Required 1.5 GHz single core; Recommended - 2.5 GHz single core or 2 GHz dual core+.
  • RAM: Required - 1 GB; Recommended - 2 GB.
  • Video connection: It helps to have better than integrated graphics, but integrated graphics cards will still work.
  • Wired/wireless card: Broadband, T1+. We do not recommend wireless at speeds less than 100 Mbps.


  • Required: Flash 10+ on any of these browsers: IE 7+, Firefox 3.0+, Safari 3+, or Chrome 3+.
  • Recommended: Firefox 3.0+, Safari 3+, or Chrome 3+.
    Please do not use Flash version; this version of Flash has security errors and will not play Selene correctly.


  • Windows: XP SP3 or Vista SP2 or Windows 7.
  • Mac: OS X 10.4 or MAC OS X 10.5
  • Linux: Any distribution of Linux will work, provided the minimum hardware specs are met.

Notice to Google Chrome users: Google Chrome added a Flash plugin that does not print Selene's player card. Please follow these instructions to disable this plugin:

  • Open your Google Chrome browser and type in chrome://plugins/.
  • Click on the Details plus (+) sign in the upper right.
  • Find the Flash plugin named Shockwave Flash 11.3 r31.
  • Click the disable link for this plugin.
  • Restart your Google Chrome browser.

GOOGLE CHROME On MAC: Because of Chrome/Flash integration problems, do not use the Google Chrome browser to play Selene using a Mac OS. However, Google Chrome on the Windows system works well.

Tech Support and Player Questions: Sometimes Selene make me relogin to the game. Why?

We added forced, manual re-login to Selene II.7 to optimize player experience. Selene now forces players to log out and re-login using their username and password between rounds and at replay if players fail to meet the game goal. Previously, Selene automated player re-entry behind the scenes. Then we discovered automated re-entry on some computers induced game lag that we consider unacceptable. Forced, manual re-login eliminates that performance issue.

Players, please remember to record your username and password on your Player Instruction Form. Remember--All usernames and passwords are case sensitive and must be spelled correctly.

Tech Support and Player Questions: When I play the surface features module, the game seems slow.

The asteroids take a long time to respond to my gestures. What should I do?

Laggy gameplay is no fun, so we avoid it. You should too.

The Selene game requires a good deal of RAM. Meet the recommended hardware and software requirements. You may experience lag when using less powerful computers.

What can you do to enhance your computer’s Selene performance:
  • Close all programs except your browser while playing Selene.
  • Close all browser windows and tabs except the one running Selene.
  • If you experience game lag, exit out of your browser and log back into the game. Round 1 and Round 2 will save your place to the beginning of that game module or video.
  • Update your Flash player. The newest version includes an optimizer.
  • Note: Presently, Selene saves state for Round 1 and Round 2 gameplay, up through printing your player completion card. Any replay AFTER completing Round 1 and Round 2 Selene and printing your player card does not save state.

Tech Support and Player Questions: When I finished the screen went black: No Player Card

When you finish Selene the screen goes blank (black) while the credits are loading. Wait for the credits to load. You can watch them or click the “skip” button at the top of the screen. Then your player card will load. You can type your name and print your card. We won’t save your name anywhere. WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED, YOU MUST CLICK THE "DONE' BUTTON

If you closed out of Selene before the credits, it’s okay. Just log back in and follow these directions.

After you print your card AND CLICK "DONE", you can explore the resources on the postgame website, or log back into Selene and play the game as many times as you’d like.

Tech Support and Player Questions: How do I know I'm done?

You know you've completed Selene when you print your player card and click the "Done" button. For more information see FAQ above.