Learning Without Wires: Designing a Serious MMORPG for Science Education for Mobile Devices
Eric GregoryOral Defence Date:
Tuesday, May 5, 2009 - 18:30Location:
Professors Yoon, Puder and Hsu
In the United States, the need for scientists has outpaced the number of new graduates entering these fields. Every student takes science courses in primary school but few turn to science as a career. To educate and inspire tomorrow's scientists, new methods are necessary to augment classroom learning with inspiring, enjoyable, pervasive, and addictive education. As a medium for education, we propose games on a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) format, especially subset of games on mobile phones. Mobile phones and social networking style games dominate youth culture today, and this trend is projected to continue. Among youth, games are the number one application on these devices. Therefore, phones games become an ideal method of reaching a young audience. This thesis presents the planning, design, and initial development of a game "A Century Later," which combines hands-on team education and drill-based learning in a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) format. This game can be used in or out of the classroom. Crucially, a subset of the game can be played anytime, anywhere on a handheld mobile phone.