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MOF: Creating an Educational Game on Nanotechnology Through Simulation-driven Optimization

Chen, T.; Lei, X.; Demir, H.; Cramer, C. J.; Gagliardi, L.; Guy, S. J.
Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Motion in Games, ACM: New York, 2016, 39 (doi:10.1145/2994258.2994267).

In this paper, we introduce an optimization-based approach for creating a simulation-driven game designed to teach players about nano-technology. We focus our effort on Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), a new class of nano-materials used for a wide variety of safety, filtering, and manufacturing tasks. In particular, we design a tool to allow users to create their own unique MOFs, introduce a new form of interactive simulation of MOF structures, and validate our new simulation model with existing offline chemical simulation techniques. We combine our new design tool and simulation technique into a simple action game called Master of Filtering, designed to let players design and test brand new MOFs within an interactive game setting. Following an optimization-driven approach, we are able to generate an initiative scoring mechanism such as higher scores in the game are positively correlated with better key chemical properties of the user-designed MOFs.