From Natasha Boskic

Research that shows how playing a well-designed video game can enhance learning has been conducted by Dr. Debbie Denise Reese and her team at the Center for Educational Technologies® (CET) at Wheeling Jesuit University.

The CyGaMEs (Cyberlearning through Game-based, Metaphor Enhanced Learning Objects) project was funded by National Science Foundation in 2008 for two years, after NASA’s initial involvement from 2006. The project was presented at Congress in Washington, DC in November 2009 with a goal to educate members of Congress, their staff, and other interested people about the use of technology at all levels of education.

Through a created video game Selene: A Lunar Construction GaME, the players learn how Earth’s moon was formed as they create their own moon. Dr. Reese claims that Selene’ enhances learning. She says that “after playing ‘Selene,’ our tweens, teens and undergraduates can infer how the moon formed and how it changed over time. They also make inferences about the physics of collisions.”

For their work, Dr. Debbie Denise Reese and her team has already won a number of awards since 2006. CyGaMEs project will release Selene II in spring 2010. Version II will support up to 3,500 concurrent players and classes as large as 30 simultaneous students.

You can read more about this game or participate in the research by visiting the game website at This site contains over 50 papers, reports and presentations by Dr. Reese and her team.


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