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Teaching science through video games

Imagine a class without lessons, tests and homework, but with missions, quests and teamwork. Video games offer an attractive educational platform because they are designed to be fun and engaging, as opposed to traditional approaches to teaching through lectures and assignments.

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Figure 1: Anatomy of a jetpack.
Figure 2: The design of the Polycraft World wiki page is such that the game instructions (recipes) are intertwined with real scientific information such as chemically accurate reactions and conditions and clickable links.
Figure 3: Examples of approaches to teach and assess basic organic chemistry using in-game content.


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Minecraft and associated artwork are trademarks of Mojang. The Polycraft mod and associated artwork were produced at the University of Texas at Dallas

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Correspondence to Ronald A. Smaldone, Christina M. Thompson, Monica Evans or Walter Voit.

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Smaldone, R., Thompson, C., Evans, M. et al. Teaching science through video games. Nature Chem 9, 97–102 (2017).

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