Dan White is a graduate of Cornell University where he studied communication technologies and computer graphics. He spent four years working at the Cornell Theory Center as lead developer on an NSF-funded game project designed to teach advanced genetics concepts to middle and high school students. Dan is currently working toward a PhD at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in the field of education technology. He is a PA for Professor James Gee, a member of the GAPPS group, and a co-founder of Filament Games, a consulting and development company that lies at the intersection of games and learning.
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.