Regular readers will know that a constant worry has been our increasing dependence as a society on technology coupled with our increasing inability to interest anyone in studying science. It’s an itch we finally got to scratch with our partnership with our London neighbours PlayGen on a new computer game, NanoWars, designed to educate 12-18 year olds about nanotechnology.
The idea of combining nanotech and computing is one that has excited a lot of people, but until now molecular modelling software was about as far as you could go. While I donâ€™t think that one computer game will usher in the molecular future envisaged by Drexler and the Foresight Institute , if it does help a few more students to pursue a career in science as a result of learning about basic concepts in nanotech, chemistry, physics and biotech in a play based environment, then it will be more than worthwhile.
One of the key aspects of this project is that the game will be firmly rooted in real science and real world nanotech applications – hence our involvement, and just to make sure we have Cambridge professor of Nanotechnology Mark Welland and Soft Machines author and blogger Richard Jones on board to advise.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this project is that through sponsorship of the development of the game we aim to make it either free or at a nominal cost. We have had numerous offers of sponsorship so far, but to get involved, make suggstions or become a sponsor please feel free to contact me directly. You can find out more about the project here and of course I will be providing regular updates here.
Perhaps finally we have something that the entire nanotech community can agree on: that learning about nanotech needs to be fun!