Game Design Publication

August 24, 2011

BioSynC and The Field Museum's Education Department published a worked example that presents the importance of scientific accuracy in gaming environments which rely heavily on learning-based activities that will appear in Volume 3: Issue 1 of the International Journal of Learning and Media.

This worked example focuses on WhyReef, a simulated coral reef in the virtual world of Whyville.net, which is targeted towards youth ages 8-16. The scientific accuracy of the WhyReef simulation fosters an appreciation for coral reef ecosystems, engages youth in scientific methods and techniques (particularly hypothesis testing and collaborative problem-solving), and assists with science content knowledge of coral reefs. It addresses the manner in which scientific accuracy in a learning-based virtual world simulates real-life scientific observations about and experiences in ecosystems; allows players to mimic scientific processes in order to inform solutions to real world questions; and provide real-life "scientific discovery" moments and opportunities for "higher-level" engagement.

For more information on WhyReef visit the BioSynC WhyReef project page.