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Whyville is an educational Internet site geared towards preteens and children. Its goal is to engage its users in learning about a broad range of topics, from science and business to art and geography.
As a simulation based virtual world, Whyville's users engage in games and roleplay sponsored by a wide range of governmental, non-profit, and corporate entities. Launched in 1999, by Numedeon Inc, Whyville was one of the first virtual worlds for children, and is one of the few virtual worlds whose purpose is primarily educational.
Numedeon Inc was founded by Dr. James M. Bower his students and collaborators at the California Institute of Technology interested in ways in which the Internet and simulation-based serious gaming could change education.