NASA Wants a Virtual World

Posted on February 1, 2008

NASA LogoThe BBC reports that NASA is exploring the idea of developing a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game or a virtual online world. NASA does have a project called Cola Labs that includes an island in Second Life but NASA wants a virtual world of its own.

The document says, "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."

NASA also wants a gaming that provides powerful physics capabilities so it can conduct accurate "in-game experimentation and research".

According to NASA's RFI (PDF) the RFI submitter is supposed to address the following five things.
  1. How a NASA-based educational MMO should be designed.
  2. How a NASA-based educational MMO should support both formal and informal education efforts.
  3. How a NASA-based educational MMO should connect to current and future NASA missions.
  4. How NASA career opportunities exploration and significant STEM learning experiences would be incorporated into the design a NASA-based educational MMO.
  5. How a NASA-based educational MMO game play would be engaging for all participants.

NASA wants responses to its RFI by February 15th so get cracking virtual world developers.