Simulated environments, such as virtual and augmented reality, 3D simulations, and multiplayer video games, are emerging approaches to deliver educational content. Research indicates that simulation-based learning provides students with enriched experiences in information retention, engagement, skills acquisition, and learning outcomes. 
As such, the EdSim Challenge seeks next-generation educational simulations that strengthen academic, technical, and employability skills. The Department is most interested in immersive and engaging simulations that include clearly defined learning goals and build diverse skill sets.
The purpose of this Challenge is to stimulate the marketplace for computer-generated virtual and augmented reality educational experiences that combine existing and future technologies with skill-building content and embedded assessment. The developer community is encouraged to make aspects of simulations available through open source licenses and low-cost shareable components.
A call for public feedback, which took place from November 4 to December 9, 2015, helped to shape the Challenge. More information regarding the call for public feedback can be found here.
The Federal Register posting is the governing document for the EdSim Challenge, please read for additional details.
 Tobias, S., and J. D. Fletcher. “Reflections on ‘A Review of Trends in Serious Gaming’” Review of Educational Research 82, no. 2 (2012): 233-37; Rutten, Nico, Wouter R. Van Joolingen, and Jan T. Van Der Veen. “The Learning Effects of Computer Simulations in Science Education.” Computers & Education 58, no. 1 (2012): 136-53.