Throwback Thursday: a “fun little game”
While doing some much-needed spring cleaning, we stumbled upon an article from 2013. It was posted on one of the first version of scienceathome.org and it was at a time where our flagship game, Quantum Moves, was still named The Quantum Computer Game. Even at its early stage, the first iteration of our first game ever was promising and generated positive feedback from physics students. Back then, some parts of the game were used as an educative tool to support and deepen the students’ learning of quantum mechanics principles. But I will stop here for the explanation and wish you a happy reading instead!
Play a “fun little game” to better understand the quantum mechanics lecture?
“Ja, tak!” - or “Yes, please!” in free translation - is the answer we received from more than 60 Danish students during a lecture Jacob held for the second year students in Physics at Aarhus University (Denmark).
The lecture was an introduction to the quantum mechanics principles of tunneling and energy eigenstates’ time evolution. Those who attended the lecture got the chance to work with a simulation tool. After that, they were introduced to a personalized version of the Quantum Computer Game, with some of the individual games included in the skills levels as well as the “QComp” and “Beat AI” labs. The simulation tool and the personalized set of games were specially selected to facilitate the students’ understanding of the principles presented during the lecture. To make an estimate of their impact on the learning outcome, a lecturer from the Center for Science Education, Ole Eggers Bjælde, carried out tests before and after the event.
The preliminary results indicated that using the simulation tool had a positive impact since almost half of the students said that it helped them better understand the principles presented during the class. What is more, half of the students agreed that it was fun playing the game and almost all of them said they would happily return to play the game in their spare time. Yet, we were really curious to hear more about the students’ experience with the game. So we asked them to share their impressions with us.
One of them has even reached the top ranking of at least 3 of the Featured Games leaderboards. This player, who goes by the name of Mathiasbh in the game, explained:
“My experience with the Quantum Computer Game has been great. It's a fun little game that supports complicated physics and I hope it'll grow bigger. I like skill and precision based games so it was a nice change from the fast paced lectures we are used to”.
When asked if the game helped him understand some of the concepts introduced during the lecture, he added: “The game helps you visualize effects of e.g. quantum tunneling and what it means to excite an atom, which is much needed in this extremely complicated world of physics”. He also showed us the tricks he used to hit the top scores.
But wait!? I hope you didn’t believe we would reveal this top secret information? We will leave this in ScienceAtHome archives and encourage you to find out by yourself instead! Remember to log in if you want your scores to be saved.