Thanks to Derrick for bringing this to my attention. Apparently NASA wants to get into the video game market by creating a massively multiplayer online (MMO) learning game. They are currently in the discovery phase of the project and are looking for ideas. I think it would be amazing to play a video game that is as captivating, exciting, and immersive as World of Warcraft or Half-Life 2 that is also highly educational.
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. There is increasing recognition that these synthetic environments can serve as powerful â€œhands-onâ€ tools for teaching a range of complex subjects. Virtual worlds with scientifically accurate simulations could permit learners to tinker with chemical reactions in living cells, practice operating and repairing expensive equipment, and experience microgravity, making it easier to grasp complex concepts and transfer this understanding quickly to practical problems. MMOs help players develop and exercise a skill set closely matching the thinking, planning, learning, and technical skills increasingly in demand by employers. These skills include strategic thinking, interpretative analysis, problem solving, plan formulation and execution, team-building and cooperation, and adaptation to rapid change.
If you have any ideas for NASA, send your suggestions to them.
Here is their main web page.