The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) XBOX game has made the finals of the Top 10 in interactive video games for the 2011 National Science Foundation (NSF) International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.
A group at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Birch Aquarium have been the developing the Deep-sea Extreme Environment Pilot (D.E.E.P.) game on the Microsoft Xbox360 platform. Development of the game was funded by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) as part of their institutional contribution to the OOI program. The UCSD is responsible for the Cyberinfrastructure (CI) segment of OOI.
The OOI, a project funded by the NSF is planned as a networked infrastructure of science-driven sensor systems to measure the physical, chemical, geological and biological variables in the ocean and seafloor. The OOI will be one fully integrated system collecting data on coastal, regional and global scales. Greater knowledge of the ocean's interrelated systems is vital for increased understanding of their effects on biodiversity, ocean and coastal ecosystems, ecosystem health and climate change. OOI will put real time ocean observing data in the hands of a vast user community of oceanographers, scientists and researchers, educators and the public.
The D.E.E.P. game provides an inside look into the OOI, allowing players to dive into the ocean and view how the OOI will collect data around-the-clock in ways never before possible. The CI component of the OOI establishes a mechanism and infrastructure for a variety of users to easily access collected OOI data and apply it to their specific models and scientific research needs.
The public was given an opportunity for the first time this year to vote in the NSF International Science & Engineering Challenge.
In addition to the UCSD work, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and its partners, Oregon State University and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, are responsible for the OOI coastal and global moorings and their autonomous vehicles. The University of Washington is responsible for regional cabled seafloor systems and moorings. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is responsible for the education and public engagement software infrastructure.