Building a Mystery: Pseudoform, Physics, and Phun

I’ve been keeping my eye on an extremely promising project that should enhance critical thinking skills, student engagement, creativity, and reveal the joy of learning. The object of my attention is Pseudoform. It’s a project dedicated to creating an engrossing, near-addictive “first-person puzzle-solving” game. Although no downloads (beta, alpha, or otherwise) are currently available, I’m hungry for an opportunity to tinker with what Pseudoform is promising. An exploration of the site’s media collection is enough to make visitors to play with its developing product.


While waiting for Pseudoform to take form, educators and students interested in interactive multiphysics simulation resources have a number of related diversions to keep them occupied. For example, Microsoft Physics Illustrator (also referred to as Magic Paper), is a 2D physics simulator developed by MIT’s Design Rationale group that’s as fun as it is informative. Although it was originally developed for use on tablet PCs, the application can be used with non-tablet PCs as well. For a more amusing and game-like experience that will get mental wheels turning nonetheless, teachers and pupils can explore the principles of physics and work their way through a goodly portion of confounding fun with Crayon Physics. It’s a pleasurable means of learning about physics that was designed by a fantastic Finn named Petri Purho, who showcases his work at Kloonigames. While watching and testing hypotheses centered around gravity, mass, kinetic energy and the transfer of momentum, those using Crayon Physics will most likely get an itch to investigate the game’s descendant, Crayon Physics Deluxe. And finally, there’s Phun, a “2D physics sandbox” that encourages users to take a constructionist approach to learning about how and why things happen the way they do

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