Video Game Physics
What are video game vingettes? These video game 'vignettes' were created as an alternative assessment for instructors.
Many times, homework assignments consist of having students solve problems at the
end of every chapter. Though these problems help with problem solving skills, many
times students develop heuristics simply to solve a problem without actually understanding
the content. Where these short video clips go above and beyond is that students need
to dig deeper into what's happening in the video to find the actual data and determine
what it is they need to solve the problem as opposed to a number simply given to them.
They have the same practice with the equations but they also learn how to find the
data, how to estimate, and develop skills with their assumptions. We use video games
as the hook in their interest as they are common to all students.
Browse through different topics of the video game vignettes. Use the legend to find the vignette most appropriate for your course. Rosegrant's Virtual STEM Research Lab does not want your students to get copies of the answers on you! Please email Dr. David Rosengrant to obtain a solution guide.
Use this legend to search for vignettes appropriate for your course. The level next to each vignette denotes which course it may be used in.
Vignette difficulties can be subjective. If you feel it is ranked too high or low, feel free to let us know!
Level and Difficulty Expectations
1: Questions could be conceptual in nature without any equations. Basic mathematics (simple equations with one variable missing).
2: Mathematics may require multiple steps or multiple equations. There could also be multiple assumptions that students need to make within the problem.
Super Mario Cats Walking by the Wall
Question: The cat ran off the wall, then walked back. How fast did he walk?
Minecraft Velocity 1
Question: What is the average velocity of the minecart for this trip?
Minecraft Displacement 1
Question: Starting from the bottom of the hill, what is the magnitude and the direction of the displacement of the character after she has climbed from the bottom of the hill to the top?
Question: What is the acceleration when the car is speeding up? What is the acceleration of the car as it comes to a stop?
Question: Draw a free-body diagram for you and the gun. Imagine you are dragging it like a normal human with your arm at a 45-degree angle. How is the gun able to move?
Fallout Fall versus Run
Question: Adrian both runs and steps off a ledge. In which case will she hit the ground first?
Question: How high does Maokai throw his saplings?
Fallout Swing Set
Question: What is the value of g for this planet?
Simple Harmonic Motion
Question: Which of these motions is simple harmonic motion?
Super Mario Pendulum
How long is the pendulum? Be sure to describe any and all assumptions you make.
Question: What is the centripetal acceleration of Akali’s knives when she spins around?
Fallout Gravitational Attraction
Question: What is the gravitational force between Adrian and Dogmeat (name for the German Shepard) at the 11 second mark in the video?
Question: Draw a free-body diagram of the stoic llama.
Breath of the Wild Bow
Question: What is the size of the force that Link exerts to draw his bow?
Skyward Sword box with fricction
Question: What is the amount of kinetic friction that Link needs to overcome to get the box initially moving? Assume the box is made out of Cyprus Wood.
Fallout force pairs
Question: Identify the action/reaction pairs in each clip.
Question 1: When the Pikmin collides with the monster, which being experiences the greater force?
Question 2: When the Pikmin collides with the monster, which being experiences the greater acceleration?
Work and Energy
Question: 505 kg of water are flowing out of this waterfall. What is the increase in internal energy of the water at the bottom of the falls?
Question: What is the floating man’s potential energy?
Minecraft Temperature Conversion
Question: Watch the following Minecraft clip. In the first biome, it is 29 degrees Fahrenheit. Convert this temperature to Celsius and Kelvin. In the second biome, it is 37 degrees Celsius. Convert this temperature to Fahrenheit and Kelvin.
Fluids and Gases
Legend of Zelda and waves
Question: The bombs are bobbing up and down in the waves, but aren’t being pushed by them. Why is this so?
Modern and Nuclear
Breath of the Wild Teleportation
Question: How Much Energy is Link turned into when he teleports?
Quantitative Problem: What amount of energy is required to convert Tibbers from his Teddy Bear form into