“Tail today, feet tomorrow. Mutation is good at Spore.com.” These sentences were painted on a billboard I noticed while walking near Cooper Square in Manhattan. I thought to myself that it couldn’t be a reference to real mutations. But it’s true: Evolution is behind the new computer game called Spore, even though there’s apparently a lot more game to it than actual science. I haven’t played it because it’s not exactly free, but here are some other fun games for geeks with more science than Spore and for less money:
-In Sea Monsters Adventure from the BBC, your mission is to survive “the seven deadliest seas from Earth’s past.” Spin the wheel of extinction to stay alive, and try to “catch” the Dunkleosteus, a fearsome predator from about 360 million years ago.
-Scour your brain for science vocab words in Science Vocabulary Hangman from the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virginia. The poor hangman gets increasingly worried if you’re not good at guessing words like photosynthesis and gravity.
-“Who Dung It?” This quiz, also from the BBC, has you match “the poop with the poopetrator.” Figure out which creature left which fossilized feces while learning about what paleontologists call coprolites.
-Learn how to fold proteins even if you don’t know the first thing about biochemistry in Foldit, a game from the University of Washington. Read my previous blog post to find out how Foldit might help you win a Nobel Prize.
Also on Scienceline:
Should babies watch baby videos?
Does the right brain/left brain spinning dancer test work?