Science for All
with TerraGames

Research Rush! Concept Trailer

Scientific Access and Digital Worlds

Why It Matters

Mainstream media often portrays science as an impossibly complex mystery. The scientists we encounter in movies and games are often ultra-intelligent or deeply nerdy. But that isn’t the reality – science is an every day job and scientist are normal folks.

Digital worlds have the power to provide a glimpse into futuristic science fiction dystopia, or an ancient alternate history. But they can also provide a glimpse into real-life science research – no fiction necessary.

What if Science… Was A Game?

What We’re Doing

Project: Research Rush!

Over the last decade, digital game technology has matured significantly and the barrier to making high quality games is lower than ever before. Qualitative studies have shown the power of digital media to subvert stereotypes, such as Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura, who inspired black female students to pursue STEM careers. At TerraGames, we believe that fun games about science can help de-mystify scientific research.

To do that, the TerraPrime team of scientists and gaming professionals is coming together to design and build a digital game; one uniquely positioned to emulate the research experience in an engaging package. We have crafted a prototype 3D game in a laboratory setting and are using modern gamification techniques to emphasize and expose a broad audience to the day-to-day experience of lab research.

The Future of STEM Accessibility.

Why now?

Gaming is growing beyond the stereotypical bounds of shoot-and-loot: the 2020 education gaming market was nearly $700 million in the US, and is on pace to be $4 billion in 2027. Despite this growth, there are no games which capture the energizing search for new scientific discoveries in an accessible way.

TerraGames intends to fill this gap and deliver simple and fun games set in the research lab. Research Rush is just the beginning of a product line aimed to demystify science while securing a niche in a rapidly expanding market.

A Science Game for every Platform and Genre

The Abstract

Games are great educational tools, and TerraGames was invited to connect with science educators at the 2021 ExpBio Conference and talk on the development and impact of Research Rush. Read the abstract here!

Gamification of Lab Research to Improve Access to Scientific Career Exploration

Students who have hands-on experiences with science career outcomes are more likely to consider those careers for themselves. Expanding access to scientific career explorations for students during the middle school and high-school years would increase the number and diversity of students who pursue research careers. However, the demographics of current research professionals are an inherent barrier: research positions are occupied disproportionately by white men. Students who engage in scientific career explorations are therefore less likely to encounter a role model from an underrepresented demographic, perpetuating and reinforcing preconceived notions about what scientists look like. To overcome this fundamental limitation, we have developed a digital 3D game in a laboratory setting with the aim of creating an engaging lab experience accessible to all students. Using modern gamification techniques, we have crafted gameplay emphasizing the day-to-day experience of biochemistry lab research. While interest in educational games has surged in the last decade, little has been reported about the impact of educational video games on student career intent. We are now partnering with science educators across the country to design and implement studies to assess the impact of our game on student career intent.

Science and Technology to Influence Science and Technology.