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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Time to Learn Basic Physics? Then Time for an Online Game

An image from the physics game LunarQuest.

For those of us who struggled to learn physics, here is a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) teaching the fun of physics in an interactive way. Check out the description of the game called Lunar Quest. The game is not yet ready for release but is on a busy development schedule. And you can keep up with what they are doing in their blog about the development process. They are calling it the LunarQuest Developer's Diary.
Here is the vision:
Lunar Quest is an NSF-funded project that seeks to examine the effectiveness of a massively multiplayer game for teaching introductory physics. It is our hypothesis such an educational tool will yield greater understanding of physics, which will improve their testing and classroom performance in the area of physics. It is our contention that in order to study how and why game play can be a serious tool for education, or serious gaming, we must build a game bridging the gaps of entertainment and pedagogy.

Lunar Quest is a serious-game experiment that is an MMOG for two main reasons: MMOGs are built modularly which behooves experimentation of which features contribute to or hinder the learning or the physics content contained within, and MMOGs are communities that allow designers to reach classrooms of prospective students at one time.

We (or our kids) can learn basic multiplication, algebra, spanish and now physics with interactive games.

Here is a list of other educational games.

Catalog of Recommended Books, Games and Gadgets
Recommended Games and Gadgets
Recommended Books
Content Guide

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