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On Screen: Physics and Computer Games

This Catalyst 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. In recent years the drive for more realistic environments has resulted in the implementation of some quite advanced physics simulations in computer games software. This article provides a brief overview of some of the physics used to make computer games and outlines the technical limitations that must be overcome to make the games realistic and appealing.

This article is from Catalyst: GCSE Science Review 2010, Volume 21, Issue 1.

Catalyst is a science magazine for students aged 14-19 years. Annual subscriptions to print copies of the magazine can be purchased from Mindsets.

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