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/ log / 30th Nov, 2011

Close Reading the Physics of Birds

  1. Wed, 30th Nov 2011
  2. 1 Comment
  3. Game
  4. close reading
  5. angry birds
  6. physics
  7. gravity

A close reading is a technique that has its roots in literary theory. It is a “detailed examination, deconstruction, and analysis of a media text”1 and meanwhile adapted among others to computer or video games. There it is applied “to reveal insights into the game design, and also into the varieties of pleasures afforded by game experience [...]”1. You can already find books containing different close readings of games. E.g. the Well Played series and the emerging scientific journal with the same name.

Today I found a close reading of a simple but well known game. A game that has been downloaded more than 200 Million times. Probably everybody knows the different sounds of the Angry Birds when you shoot them with the sling. Interesting about the close reading of this game is that it was not intended as such. It is a blog entry from Rhett Alain, an associate professur of physics, that analyses the underlying physics of the bird’s flights in Angry Birds. Followed by a whole series of specialized Angry Bird topics.

This blog article inspired an exercise in Open Source Physics. A website that was recently acknowledged with the SPORE prize (Science Prize for Online Resources in Education) of the Science Magazine. The news about this were the initial source for discovering all this today.

  1. Bizzocchi, J. & Tanenbaum, J.G., 2011. Well Read: Applying Close Reading Techniques to Gameplay Experiences. In Well Played 3.0. pp. 262-290.


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1 Comment

  1. 1 by Thomas Bröker on 12th Mar 2012 at 22:08

    You can now find the physics for the upcoming version of AngryBirds: Angry Birds in Space. Rhett Alain goes once again into the details: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/03/angry-birds-in-space/

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