Who says games can’t be educational?
I posted a while ago about how I was introduced to the ultimate siege weapon, the trebuchet, by the most excellent Age of Empires 2, Age of Kings. So not only was AoK a blast to play, it was actually teaching me, rather subversively, the nuances of siege weaponry, with historical accuracy. So let the engineering nerd within me tray and subversively teach you the nuances of physics by presenting to you “The Treb Challenge,” from GlobalSpec.com, an engineering search engine I use quite a bit at work.
It’s nothing exciting, a simple trebuchet simulator, but it does a great job of demonstrating Newtonian Physics in a visual and easy-to-understand manner. You’re presented with a basic trebuchet with parameters like projectile mass, counterweight mass, and wind speed, which can be adjusted. With your trebuchet ready to launch, you’re presented with challenges like distance, accuracy, and power. Balancing things like mass, trajectory, and counter-weight is can be challenging but easy to get the hang of.
It’s everything a flash game should be — fun, quick, and mindless. Okay, maybe not that last part. I don’t usually link to flash-based online games because there are better sites for that, but this one piqued the engineer in me and just struck me as something that’s not only a fun little diversion, but can actually be used as a teaching tool.