Earth and Planetary System Science Game Engine

  • Falko Kuester
  • Gloria Brown-Simmons
  • Christopher Knox
  • So Yamaoka
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3942)


The widespread use of on-line computer games makes this medium a valuable vehicle for information sharing, while scalability facilitates global collaboration between players in the game space. Game engines generally provide an intuitive interface allowing attention to be shifted to the understanding of scientific elements rather than hiding them between a wealth of menus and other counterintuitive user interfaces. These strengths are applied towards promoting the understanding of planetary systems and climate change. Unconventional interaction and visualization techniques are introduced as a method to experience geophysical environments. Players are provided with dynamic visualization assets, which enable them to discover, interrogate and correlate scientific data in the game space. The spirit of exploration is to give players the impetus to conceptualize how complex Earth and planetary systems work, understand their intrinsic beauty and the impact of humans, while providing a sense of responsibility for those systems.


Community Climate System Model Regional Atmospheric Modeling System Game Engine Earth System Science Game Space 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Molina, M.J., Rowland, F.S.: Stratospheric sink for chlorofluoromethanes: Chlorine atom catalysed destruction of ozone. Nature 249, 810–812 (1974)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Houghton, J.: Global Warming: The Complete Briefing, 3rd edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rowland, F.S.: Atmospheric changes caused by human activities: From science to regulation. Ecology Law Quarterly 27, 1261–1293 (2001)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Winchester, S.: Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded. Harper Collins, New York (August 27, 1883) (2003)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Allen, W.L.: Global warming, bulletins from a warmer world. National Geographic 206 (2004)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kolbert, E.: The climate of man. The New Yorker (2005); Part I April 25, 81.10:56–71, Part II May 2, 81.11:64–73, Part III May 9, 81.12:52–63Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Titov, V.V., Murty, T.: (Asia’s Deadly Waves Simulation) New York Times Interactive Feature,
  8. 8.
    Bank Street College of Education: (Asia’s Deadly Waves Lesson Plans) New York Times on the Web Learning Network,
  9. 9.
    Zender, C.S.: The Morning After. The Day After Tomorrow. The Orange County Weekly (2004)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Libarkin, J.C., Anderson, S.W., Science, J.D., Beilfuss, M., Boone, W.: Qualitative analysis of college students’ ideas about the Earth: Interviews and open-ended questionnaires. Journal of Geoscience Education 53, 17–26 (2005)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jones, S.: Let the Games Begin, Gaming Technology and Entertainment Among College Students. Pew Internet and American Life Project, Pew Research Center (2003)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Oblinger, D.G.: The next generation of educational engagement. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, Special Issue on the Educational Semantic Web 8, 1–18 (2004)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    ESA: Entertainment software association facts and research, game player data (2005),
  14. 14.
    Lowenstein, D.: State of the industry address. Speech Delivered at the 11th Electronic Entertainment Expo (2005), (downloaded September 2005)
  15. 15.
    Information and Communications Technologies, OECD Information Technology Outlook. Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) (2004)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Information and Communications Technologies, OECD Communications Outlook. Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) (2005)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Fox, S., Anderson, J.Q., Rainie, L.: The Future of the Internet. Pew Internet and American Life Project, Pew Research Center (2005)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gobert, J.: Harnessing technology to support on-line model building and peer collaboration. In: Proceedings of the Teaching Geoscience With Visualization: Using Images, Animations, and Models Effectively Conference, On the cutting edge, pp. 10–30 (2004)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jackson, D.F.: Case studies of microcomputer and interactive video simulations in middle school Earth science teaching. Journal of Science Education and Technology 6, 127–141 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Jackson, S.L., Hu, J.T., Soloway, E.: Scienceworks modeler: Scaffolding the doing of science. In: Conference Companion CHI 1994, pp. 249–250. ACM, New York (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Chandler, M.A., Shopsin, M., Richards, S., Sohl, L.E.: The Basic Guide to EdGCM, Draft v.2.3.4. Columbia University, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Thompson, O.E., Johnson, D., Kalnay, E., Zhang, D., Cai, M., Suarez, M., Yanuk, D., Schaack, T.: Computationally intensive models in the classroom. Journal of Earth System Science Education 1, 1–13 (2001)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Arkin, P.A., Thompson, O.E., Bonner, W.D.: Diurnal variations of the summertime wind and force field at three midwestern locations. Monthly Weather Review 104, 1012–1022 (1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Held, I.M., Suarez, M.J.: A two level primitive equation model designed for climatic sensitivity experiments. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences 35, 206–229 (1978)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    GLOBE: GLOBE visualization data directory (2005), (downloaded March 16, 2005)
  26. 26.
    Stainforth, D., Kettleborough, J., Martin, A., Simpson, A., Gills, R., Akkas, A., Gualt, R., Collins, M., Gavagham, D., Allen, M.: ClimatePrediction.Net: Design principles for public-resource modeling research. In: Proceedings of the 14th IASTED International Conference, Parallel and Distributed Computing and Systems, IASTED, pp. 32–38 (2002)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    McPherson, A., Painter, J., McCormick, P., Ahrens, J., Ragsdale, C.: Visualizations of Earth processes for the American Museum of Natural History. Computer Graphics, 11–15 (1999)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Wilson, J.L.: The SimEarth bible. Osborne McGraw-Hill, Berkeley (1991)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    McGinnis, S.: (Disaster Dynamics: Serious Games for Disaster Education) National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR),
  30. 30.
    Erisman, J.W., Hensen, A., de Vries, W., Kros, H., van de Wal, T., de Winter, W., Wien, J.E., van Elswijk, M., Maat, M.: The Nitrogen Decision Support System: NitroGenius, ECN-C-02-012. Petten: Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (ECN) (2002)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Winn, W., Windschitl, M., Fruland, R., Lee, Y.: When does immersion in a virtual environment help students construct understanding. In: Proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2002), International Society for the Learning Sciences (ISLS), pp. 497–503 (2002)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Kleiboer, M.: Simulation methodology for crisis management support. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 5, 198–206 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ackermann, E.: 2 Perspective-taking and object construction: Two keys to learning. In: Kafai, Y., Resnieck, M. (eds.) Constructionism in Practice: Designing, thinking, and learning in a digital world, pp. 25–37. Lawrence Erlbaum, Associates, Inc., Mahwah (1996)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Kepes, G.: The Language of Vision. Paul Theobald, Chicago (1944)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Marr, D.: Vision: a computational investigation into the human representation and processing of visual information. W. H. Freeman, San Francisco (1982)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Zeki, S.: Inner Vision: An Exploration of Art and the Brain. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2000)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Healy, C.G., Evans, J.T.: Perception and painting: A search for effective, engaging visualizations. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 22, 10–15 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Healy, C.G., Booth, K.S., Enns, J.T.: High-speed visual estimation using preattentive processing. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 3, 107–125 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Lum, E.B., Stompel, A., Ma, K.L.: Kinetic visualization: A technique for illustrating 3D shape and structure. In: Proceedings of IEEE Visualization 2002, pp. 435–442 (2002)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Lum, E.B., Stompel, A., Ma, K.L.: Using motion to illustrate static 3D shape - kinetic visualization. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 9, 115–126 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Zeki, S., Lamb, M.: The neurology of kinetic art. Brain 117, 607–636 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Bruckschen, R., Kuester, F., Hamann, B., Joy, K.I.: Real-time out-of-core visualization of particle traces. In: Proceedings of the Parallel and Large Scale Data Visualization and Graphics Symposium, pp. 45–50. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Kuester, F., Bruckschen, R., Hamann, B., Joy, K.I.: Visualization of particle traces in virtual environments. In: Proceedings of the Virtual Reality Software and Technology Conference (VRST 2001), ACM SIGCHI and SIGGRAPH, pp. 151–157 (2001)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Sabo, M.: Improving advanced particle system by adding property milestones to particle life cycle. In: CESCG (2004)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Kruger, J., Westermann, R.: GPU simulation and rendering of volumetric effects for computer games and virtual environments. In: Proceedings of EUROGRAPHICS (2005)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Johnston, D.: 3D game engines as a new reality. In: Proceedings of the 4th Annual CM316 Conference on Multimedia Systems, Southampton University, UK (2004), (dj301.pdf downloaded November 2005)
  47. 47.
    Kim, S.J., Kuester, F., Kim, K.H.K.: A global timestamp-based scalable framework for multi-player online games. In: Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Multimedia Software Engineering (MSE 2002), pp. 2–10. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2002)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Fritsch, D., Kada, M.: Visualization using game engines. In: Proceedings of the XXth Congress, Commission 5, 35.B5, IAPRS, pp. 627–631 (2004)Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Perbet, F., Cani, M.P.: Animating prairies in real-time. In: Proceedings of the Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics (I3D 2001), pp. 103–110. ACM, New York (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Chenney, S.: Flow tiles. In: Proceedings of the Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA 2004), ACM SIGGRAPH/EUROGRAPHICS, pp. 233–242 (2004)Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Shi, L., Yu, Y., Wojtan, C., Chenney, S.: Contollable motion synthesis in a gaseous medium. The Visual Computer 21, 474–487 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Harris, M.J.: Real-time cloud rendering for games. In: Programming Track, Proceedings of the Game Developers Conference, GDC, pp. 1–5 (2002)Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Umenhoffer, T., Szirmay-Kalos, L.: Real-time rendering of cloudy natural phenomena with hierarchical depth imposters. In: Proceedings of EUROGRAPHICS (2005)Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    UCI Calit2 Center of GRAVITY: Earth and planetary system science web site (2006),
  55. 55.
    Dianski, N.A., Volodin, E.M.: Simulation of present-day climate with a coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model. Izvestiya. Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (English Translation) 38, 732–747 (2002)Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Collins, W.D., Bitz, C.M., Blackmon, M.L., Bonan, G.B., Bretherton, C.S., Carton, J.A., Chang, P., Doney, S.C., Hack, J.J., Henderson, T.B., Kiehl, J.T., Large, W.G., McKenna, D.S., Santer, B.D., Smith, R.D.: The community climate system model: CCSM3. Journal of Climate Special Issue on CCSM (2005)Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Unidata: Network Common Data Form (NetCDF), NetCDF-3.6.0-p1 library (2005),

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Falko Kuester
    • 1
  • Gloria Brown-Simmons
    • 1
  • Christopher Knox
    • 1
  • So Yamaoka
    • 1
  1. 1.Calit2 Center of GRAVITYUniversity of California – IrvineIrvineUSA

Personalised recommendations