Physics student Ted Sobolewski presented “Students’ Perception of Errors in Video Games” at the national
American Association of Physics Teachers winter meeting, which took
place in Atlanta, Georgia, February 18–21, 2017.
games are a significant pasttime for many college students. Most video games simulate physical reality in
some way. Game players will enter a
world displayed on a screen which represents some real place, most likely on
this planet. Most every game has some type of motion, be it a falling object, a ballistic, or the motion of
a car or a person moving across the terrain. For most young adults, the video game experience occurs years before
formal training in physics.
My question is: once a student has been exposed to
formal physics instruction, will she or he be able to detect inaccurate
representation in a video game that purports to show the real world? We found a weak connection between physics knowledge and the ability to spot errors in video game clips.