Space Vector is a two-dimensional, 80’s-style, science fiction themed casual game designed to introduce preliminary concepts of Newtonian mechanics and eliminate some common misconceptions about motion. The game focuses on horizontal and vertical vectors, uniform motion, and acceleration. Players fly over extraterrestrial planets and drop objects on targets. Missions may contain incorrect physics that the player must identify at the end of the mission. Also, players have to make predictions about how objects will fall from their ships given a horizontal speed and gravitational constant. Players then see whether their predictions are correct. An initial pilot study showed improvement in understanding that weight does not affect acceleration and in understanding the trajectory of falling objects. Improvement needs to be made to help students understand the independence of horizontal and vertical motion as well as acceleration. This paper describes the first iteration of Space Vector and our vision for future work.
A Videogame to Teach Introductory Physics
DOI / Citations