Are your students more interested in computer games than science?

If any student is interested in a career in the computer games industry, then they'll be interested in physics and maths too after reading this, so put it on the wall!

Alternatively it makes a great introduction to motion, momentum and forces, together with the film below.

This very readable article looks at how computer games make increasingly sophisticated use of the laws of physics to produce convincing on-screen effects. From calculating the angle that a ball bounces off a wall to modelling the frictional forces on a rally car, physics has always played a part in the development of computer games.

On Screen: Physics and Computer Games

From the Institute of Physics, this seven minute film showcases how an understanding of forces and motion is required to develop certain video games. It looks at the work of a company which develops computer models that ensure objects and people in video games adhere to real world laws of motion. The work is an exciting application of physics and mathematics.

As well as showing their work, the video describes the motion of objects. This includes brief descriptions of unbalanced forces, movement, velocity, gravity, momentum and collisions. These descriptions help show the real-life application of motion equations.

Forces and motion in computer games

This article also looks at how Newton's laws of motion are used in computer games.  You could use it source material for activities or questions about velocity and acceleration.

Physics and Computer Games


Age11-14, 14-16, 16-19
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