Starting Point offers a variety of scenarios to teach specific concepts of geoscience to undergraduate or advanced high school students. The game is designed around a standard course schedule, with play sessions being somewhat less than one hour in length. Most scenarios assume that play will consist of one or a few sessions.
While the goal of the game is science education, the method employed is roleplaying in a game format. The instructor acts as a "game master" by presenting the scenario and processes, and then allows the students to assume various (generally pre-defined) roles. Most of the scenarios involve a tracking sheet or "action table" to keep the time-constrained play experience topically focused.
The game framework is produced by SERC (Science Education Resource Center) at Carleton College, Northfield Minnesota.