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RFP Seeks Serious Game Developers for NSF-funded Game

CyGaMEs, a National Science Foundation-funded project studying the role of video games in science education, is seeking serious game developers to assist with the development of Selene: A Lunar Construction GaME and design new components.
CyGaMEs (Cyberlearning through GaME-based Metaphor Enhanced Learning Objects), a National Science Foundation-funded project, is seeking serious game developers to assist with the development of Selene: A Lunar Construction GaME and design new components. Aimed at players ages 9-18, Selene is a cross-platform, online, single-player, casual game. The title's original game concept proof-of-concept were created by game designer Ian Bogost and his team of graduate students at Georgia Tech. Selene teaches players about how Earth's Moon was formed as they create their own moon, and then pepper it with impact craters and flood it with lava flows. All gameplay data is collected and posted to an SQL database for analysis. Before children can play Selene, they mush be registered by an adult recruiter, who confirms players' ages, gets parental consent, and gathers other players. The CyGaMEs project, which studies the role of video games in science education, is funded through a grant to the Center for Educational Technologies at Wheeling Jesuit University. Selene Project Manager Dr. Debbie Reese, says that the NSF (National Science Fund) funded the program because it found CyGaMEs' research "potentially transformative." According to the NSF, transformative research describes "a range of endeavors that promise extraordinary outcomes, such as revolutionizing entire disciplines, creating entirely new fields or disrupting accepted theories and perspective. It is research that has the potential to change the way we address STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] challenges." The NSF grant continues research first funded by NASA in 2006, when NASA asked researchers to study how video games could be used to disseminate NASA science and to assess how well students learn while playing the games, which led to Selene's development. A request for proposal for this work will be released on November 15th. More information on the RFP can be found at the CyGaMEs site. The award date for the contract will be in the first quarter of 2009.

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