Where Science Meets Games

This is the 21st century and we’re all glued to our phones, tablets, and computers. By the 22nd century we plan to be wired directly in, but for now we have to settle for a visual connection instead of a neural one. These devices we use to augment our own potential reality are capable of anything from instantly accessing all the information known to collective humanity to managing complex calculations that would have taken days or years by hand. However most people use them as mere distractions to while away the time in class, at doctor’s offices, at work.

Super Planet Crash

The siren call of a mindless game is an alluring one. Playing games to relax is a natural, and even healthy impulse. But what if, when someone leans over and asks what you’re doing, instead of hastily covering up your free fall app and mumbling “playing a stupid game” you could proudly show them the screen and say: “I’m studying stable planetary orbits?”

Super Planet Crash

How do planetary orbits work? Why doesn’t the asteroid belt get sucked into Jupiter? Why doesn’t the moon fall to Earth? These are complex astronomical questions that can usually only be answered by an astrophysicist or a planetary orbit simulator.

Can you create a stable star system? Can you place your planets far enough apart that they won’t bump into each other, but close enough that they won’t spiral into the sun? Play Super Planet Crash and find out.

Foldit

Foldit is the game that allows you to actually benefit human kind. No, seriously. The game is a simulation of proteins that you manipulate and fold into new and exciting mutations. Protein folding is very important to science, and since there are too many possible combinations for grad students to tackles the floor has been opened to, well, everyone. The highest scoring results are analyzed by researchers and studied in hopes of finding a way to cure diseased such as HIV or cancer.

Neon Flames

Neon Flames is the experimental app that allows you to paint your own nebula right in your browser. Not strictly science related, but it’s pretty and it’s art, and if you haven’t seen it already you’re missing out big time. It’s the online program that can make anyone look like a brilliant artist, and produce psuedo space art that has everyone oooohing as if it were the real thing.

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