Last night I was casually strolling around the internet, wasting time as usual, until suddenly I stumbled upon this rather excellent Sci-Fi Science game. In Zoom you take on the role of an agent sent out on a mission into deep space for a large corporation that operates under the name Xenofusion. A few days ago one of their mining vessels, the Polaris, sent out a distress signal but shortly after it went dead... It does not respond to any calls so now it's up to you to find out what happened.
It's not very long, it can be finished in about half an hour. It does take about 5 minutes or so to get going but once you receive the NanoZoom™, an insanely powerful microscope and manipulator that allows you to see and work with individual atoms, things really pick up. If you've got kids, I think they are likely to love it, but I dare say that, as you will be busy repairing all sorts of mechanical and even biological damage at the atomic, molecular and cellular level, even most adults might just learn a thing or two as well!
+ScienceSunday curator +Rajini Rao, whose lab focuses on intracellular ion transport, will be glad to hear that this game includes the operation of a Sodium-potassium pump where you have to move around ions to build up the transmembrane potential! You'll also find out how a laser works when you have to manually excite gas atoms using photons to build up a beam and you'll even be tasked with arranging various types of electromagnetic radiation from high to low frequency during which you'll get to see Messier 74, a spiral galaxy, in all its glory. And that's not even half of it!
The game does a pretty good job at explaining what's going on during various interesting processes but you should probably check out the dedicated companion site that takes a deeper look at the science on display in the game. http://splash.abc.net.au/web/zoom/science
As a bonus, the explanations come in a delicious Aussie accent. :p
Play the game here:
Note that you can even use this game in the classroom!
Picture; Damián Ortega - Controller of the Universe