Medical nanotechnology game now in Beta

A medically-oriented nanotechnology game is now available in Beta form, presumably for the PC. NanoMission is aimed at 12-to-18-year-olds:

Our aim is to inspire some of the brightest teenagers about the world of nanotechnology, potentially opening their eyes to choosing it as a career.

You can see videos here. The action of the game appears to involve conflict between good nanomachines and bad ones:

Players are challenged in imaginative environments that promote learning about the operation of nanoelectronics, building and functionalizing molecules, nanoscale imaging, bottom up self assembly, and nanomedicine.

The game’s plot is to save the world from destruction by Dr.Nevil and his army of nano-machines and nano-materials, whilst the player stealthily learns about real world nanotechnology. The game hero (player) supported by Dr. Goodlove and his assistants use nano-imaging, create nano-machines, develop nano-materials, and utilise an extraordinary shrinking machine to shrink the player to the nanoscale to stop Dr. Nevil and save the world.

A strong nanobio focus is seen in the description, with one of the learning objectives being “Dispelling the myth of small mechanical robots in the body.” The statement appears that “However, many of the proposed devices would not actually work on this scale as chemical forces, viscosity and Brownian motion are the dominant forces in the nanoworld, rather than friction and gravity which we all are more accustomed to in our daily lives.” Evidently the writer of this text believes that because “many” of some unclear set of proposed devices will not work, it makes sense to teach students that the goal itself is impossible. Tsk, tsk: sloppy thinking here. Fortunately, these kids will live long enough to see for themselves what actually happens in this area.

However, the game itself might be very good. Perhaps one of our readers could give it a test ride. (Credit: Nanowerk) —Christine

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