Development work on World of Balance: Using Gamification to teach Ecology Science


David Hoff

Oral Defence Date: 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 12:00


TH 434


Prof. Ilmi Yoon & Assist. Prof. Anagha Kulkarni


World of Balance (WoB) is an ecology science teaching tool designed into a client-server game envi-ronment. This project is focused on several key components; development of a multiplayer version of the Convergence game, game Lobby enhancements to increase user capability and enjoyment, website improvements and development of ecosystem simulation for the game server. The multiplayer Conver-gence game allows gamers to play together and earn credits based upon how well they perform in com-petition with each other. Preview, opponent monitor and tracking features have been added. Nine new protocols were developed to facilitate all of the activity of the game, including player interactions. A new player-matching scheme was developed to match up to 5 players in the Lobby. Also, game parame-ters are specified in the Lobby, which is new to this game package. As part of this project, the website was also updated to add the new games and update the content of existing games. Automatic, periodic ecosystem simulation is fundamental to the World of Balance environment. Through this, each player’s ecosystem progresses in time. This progression helps teach ecology and ecosystem science principles to students which is a major objective of the World of Balance project. The continually changing ecosys-tems also increase the excitement of the World of Balance environment. The ecosystem simulation was part of an earlier version of World of Balance but was lost. As part of this project that capability was added anew. The objective of these efforts is to forward World of Balance that it may contribute to the advancement of science teaching through gamification.

David Hoff

gamification, ecology, science, ecosystem