Online Learning Update

December 30, 2011

SF State students design learning in online game to explore ecosystems

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:11 am

by SF State University

Ilmi Yoon, an associate professor in the SF State Computer Science Department, says Beast Reality can also help ecologists unravel the complex relations within and between ecosystems. At the same time, the players benefit by learning important aspects of ecosystem nurturing and food-web stability while producing significant amounts of scientific data for ecologists that would not be feasible for them to produce themselves. “Multiplayer Online Game style is a new multi-faceted medium of communication to reach the masses effectively that fosters healthy interaction and team cohesion,” Yoon said. World of Warcraft is a popular game from this category. Beast Reality is partially similar to Farmville, which focuses primarily on team collaboration to build and nurture an ecosystem, and partially similar to StarCraft, where two teams battle for survival. As Yoon’s students soon find out, development of a multiplayer online game like Beast Reality requires understanding the technical components of computer graphics, 3D modeling, game engine scripting, network, client-server architecture, database, quality assurance and software engineering. At the beginning of the semester, the students are divided into teams to complete the project, much like they would be in a game design company.

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