Today IBM launched a new educational MMO called Powerup.
IBM has developed the MMO to allow students to save the fictional world of Planet Helios from global disaster. The game aims to involved high school students in science and engineering. The scenario sounds a bit familiar:
“Hundreds of years ago the nations of our planet realized that the side effects from burning fossil fuels for energy were damaging the atmosphere and changing the climate. They joined together to develop and build technologies to create electricity from available renewable energy resources like wind, sun and water power. Meanwhile the planet’s citizens–our ancestors– pulled together and pledged to use less energy. This ushered in a Golden Age of energy balance and ecological harmony.”
Then the residents of the planet pulled together, produced plentiful and clean energy for less. As demand grew fossil fuels had to be used to meet the demand, and then the cycle started again, and this is where the player(s) come into play. The game looks to be a fully realized 3D world where the players implement different types of energy production to save the planet for global climate crisis.
The game will support anywhere from 1 to 50 players per planet (server). The game plays on pretty modest hardware in 1024 x 768 resolution. The game was developed by IBM in partnership with TryScience/New York Hall of Science.
For this price, you really can’t go wrong. I hope this is a successful MMO, that it sparks interest in some students to learn more about science and engineering, and with any luck it may spawn other educational MMO’s. We could really use increased interest in these studies in this country.