There is a nationwide drive to get more girls into physics and coding, and some educators believe gaming could be a way to get girls interested in coding and STEM topics. This project, spon- sored by NSF, is to create a QCD game that will raise public interest in QCD, especially among K-12 girls, and increase interest in coding among girls. Through the immersive framework of interactive gameplay, this QCD phone game will allow the public to peek into the world of QCD research. The game design will fall into the “Match 3” genre, which typically attracts a higher ratio of female players. The game will be implemented initially as a phone app, and the gameplay would require learning simple QCD rules to progress. By leveraging the willingness of players to engage with the rules of an entertaining game, they are able to easily learn a few principles of physics.
We formed a development team of MSU undergraduate students to make the game and provided them with a QCD curriculum. The game will be tested at MSU outreach activities, as well as among local K-12 girls through school activities, and feedback will be used to improve the design. The final game can be easily distributed through various app stores and impact will be measured through a follow-up survey. If such a new direction works to attract more girls to coding and physics, one should develop more games to engage more girls in STEM.