Angry Birds: Space… it’s Educational!

You can have fun and learn about physics! Reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw at NC State in the 70s: “Physics R Fun!”

Angry Birds Space: How the Physics Works

“The Angry Birds franchise owes a lot to Isaac Newton. The legendary 17th-century scientist defined the classical laws of gravity, after all, and without them, the game’s designers would have had nothing to go on in crafting how things move in its virtual world.

Consequently, the game’s heroic-yet-furious birds wouldn’t be able to exact their high-impact revenge on those smug, green pigs. Without the laws of gravity to guide them, the pigs’ Rube Goldberg-esque structures simply wouldn’t come crashing down.

The thing is, the game doesn’t use real physics to model how things move. That’s according to Rhett Allain, an associate professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University. The latest version, Angry Birds Space, which escalates the avian-porcine conflict to the final frontier, uses science that’s even further from reality, he says.

Allain says he took on figuring out the game’s physics because it was a challenge. Without ever contacting the game publisher, Rovio, he wrote an extensive analysis of the physics of Angry Birds Space for Wired. The question remains: Why spend so much time analyzing a silly game?

‘My goal is to use this as an educational tool,’ Allain told Mashable. ‘I love doing analysis for Angry Birds because it’s a lot like real physics but it doesn’t have the same answers. Obviously in this case the gravitational force is not the same as what you could look up in a textbook. I want to to try to find the answer, just like we do in science.'”

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