Still from CyGaME Project instructional video game Selene
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Still from CyGaME Project instructional video game Selene (Image 3)

July 10, 2014
Players of the CyGaME (Cyberlearning through Game-based, Metaphor Enhanced Learning Objects) Project instructional video game Selene, a lunar science game developed by the Center for Educational Technologies®R (CET) and supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), discover and apply fundamental geological processes such as collisional accretion and differentiation. After players successfully accrete their proto-moon, the heat of collisions melts it, after which the player's early moon totally melts and forms a magma ocean, which differentiates into layers according to density and gravity. Solar system debris continue to bombard the moon's surface. CET created Selene to answer the question: Would young people learn science better if it were packaged in a video game? Named after the Greek lunar goddess, Selene challenges players to learn the major geologic processes scientists believe formed the modern moon. Players construct their own moon and then add impact craters and lava. It provides students with the opportunity to learn about lunar geology while helping researchers study some key video game design principles. The CyGaME approach employs cognitive science, informatics science and analysis methods to help game designers have more control over what games do, that is, to help players learn by doing, discovering and inquiring. Selene received two honorable mentions in the games and apps category of the 2012 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge, sponsored by NSF and Science magazine. Date of Image: October 2009 Credit: Debbie Denise Reese, CYGaMEs Project, Center for Educational Technologies, Wheeling Jesuit University

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