Presented By CyGames
Selene: a lunar construction game

Games Conference to Feature CyGaMEs Research

Date Posted: Thu Apr 22 2010

Participants at the Games, Learning, and Society Conference 6.0 will hear about some of the lessons learned so far during the development of an educational videogame by the Center for Educational Technologies®.

Dr. Debbie Denise Reese, senior educational researcher at the center, will present Learning New Things through Gaming: One Company's Journey Toward CyGaMEs Expertise at the conference to be held June 9-11 in Madison, WI. The presentation will discuss the development of the Selene videogame and the corresponding CyGaMEs approach to creating sound educational videogames. Selene was funded by NASA to study how to best use videogames in the teaching of NASA science concepts. The videogame research continues under a grant from the National Science Foundation. Reese is principal investigator of the project.

Here is the abstract for the presentation:

Some game designers want to use gaming methods to improve teaching and learning. But how? The award-winning CyGaMEs approach to instructional game design and assessment is one research-driven, theory-laden, and data-supported way to make learning more intuitive. This session shares the tale of one commercial company's journey toward CyGaMEs expertise while developing the CyGaMEs title: Selene: A Lunar Construction GaME. Attendees preview the newest Selene release.

Instructional games have potential to transform teaching, learning (Gee, 2003, 2005), and assessment (Borgman, et al., 2008), but success requires investment. Jesse Schell (2008) and Will Wright concur that instructional games "require the same investment as commercial games" (Langhoff, et al., 2009, p. 24). Wright said sound game design positions "learners to discover targeted knowledge by making, testing, and refining hypotheses about the game system." Although this "may seem obvious" . . . Wright says it is not intuitive and often unrealized. The CyGaMEs approach can help the industry design instructional games (Reese, 2007, 2008; Reese & Tabachnick, 2010). Funded by NSF, the CyGaMEs Project created Selene. Players form the Moon, pepper it with impact craters, and flood it with lava to learn the basic concepts of solar system formation and evolution. Selene gameplay measures student learning and flow experience.