Posted on January 17, 2008, Shawn Sines NASA Planning Educational MMO
The NASA Learning Technologies (LT) project has been paying attention to today’s edutainment trends, and plans to launch its own educational MMO.
Persistent immersive synthetic environments in the form of massive multiplayer online gaming and social virtual world, initially popularized as gaming and social settings, are now finding growing interest as education and training venues.
The power of games as educational tools is rapidly gaining recognition. NASA is in a position to develop an online game that functions as a persistent, synthetic environment supporting education as a laboratory, a massive visualization tools and collaborative workspace while simultaneously drawing users into a challenging, game-play immersion.
NASA hopes to draw people in by letting them “tinker with chemical reactions in living cells, practice operating and repairing expensive equipment, and experience microgravity” in a simulated virtual reality of an MMO. The knowlege they aquire in play can help them with strategic thinking, interpretative analysis, problem solving, plan formulation and execution, team-building and cooperation, and adaptation to rapid change that can be translated to real life job skills.