Dan Norton is a co-founder and designer for Filament Games, an educational games company. Ha has stolen Dan Hunter's picture, since he isn't using it.
Dan is keen on gaming culture, interface design, and the intricacies of punting gnomes in WoW.
Filament Games consults on and develops games for education and training. Their current internal project, titled Uncharted Depths, is a game about scientific reasoning and literacy. By integrating the teacher in a capacity akin to a Dungeon Master in pen and paper role playing games, the game aims to turn the classroom into a miniature scientific community.
Students (grades six through ten) inhabit the role of researchers on a newly colonized alien planet. Gameplay consists of making observations and conducting experiments in an effort to develop theories about the planetís underwater ecosystems.
In Uncharted Depths, players internalize the practices (both procedural and cognitive) by which science professionals (a) form questions, (b) collect data, (c) compile data into defensible theories, (d) articulate said theories, and (e) participate in scientific communities of practice. The end goal is to provide students with solid personal experiences upon which to base future learning about research practices and the field of science writ large.
Uncharted Depths is being developed using Garage Gamesí Torque 3D game engine and is set for release in late 2007.