Video game will help teach science to kids

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playgen.pngVideo games aren’t all about aliens, road wars, and violence (like how I’ve summed up the entire history of games there in three words? 🙂 )

The game development studio PlayGen has partnered with global nanotechnology consultancy Cientifica to develop an interactive 3D learning game based on
nanotechnology.

Now, talk to me about nanotechnology and my eyes glaze over, so maybe the new game NanoWars, aimed at 12-18 year olds, is for me.

PlayGen say that NanoWars™ is “an engaging learning experience which educates players about basic concepts in nanoscience through real world practical applications from microelectronics to drug delivery.”

Obviously a game only becomes educational if it’s accurate, and to ensure that this simulation stays true to the science it’s trying to teach, the company has recruited a scientific advisory board including Professor Mark Welland, head of the Nanoscience Centre at the University of Cambridge and “Soft Machines” author Professor Richard Jones of the University of Sheffield.

The game has some interesting characters that covertly try to educate the player. First off, there’s a doctor trying to destroy the world (whilst infecting it with silly names) – Dr Nevil. The equally cringeworthy Dr Goodlove have to use nano-imaging, create nano-machines, develop nano-materials, and utilise an extraordinary shrinking machine to shrink the player and save the world.

“We are developing science-based action-adventure games because we believe that today’s gaming technology has a far greater role to play in society, especially in promoting learning and understanding the world around us.”” said Kam Memarzia, PlayGenÂ’s managing director.

The game will be available for PC download from June 2007.

Playgen

Related: PS3 spare power could be used for medical research

Andy Merrett