Molecules Are Everywhere. Now, You Can ‘Catch’ And Explore Them With A New Game

“Why can you not be an expert in science and gaming at the same time?” asks Dallas-based Professor Faruck Morcos.

By Laura RiceAugust 10, 2021 2:16 pm, , ,

University of Texas at Dallas Professor Faruck Morcos has been leading a team in creating a project aimed at getting people excited about exploring the molecular world.

“We decided to start a project to disseminate science to general audiences and interact with high school students,” Morcos said.

So, they created a game app: MoleculeGo.

In the game, each player is a scientist who goes out into the real world to discover molecules to take back to the app’s laboratory.

“You have a mini lab where you can know what kind of molecule is this. And then you need to collect other molecules to put it all together. It’s like a puzzle,” Morcos said.

Vishwas Subash is part of the team at the Morcos Lab. He’s a senior at Flower Mound High School.

“We kind of programmed what we call polygons in the DFW area,” Subash said. “So we’ve programmed polygons like at hospitals, parks, areas that are abundant in trees, water, things like that… we’re kind of programming different molecules and proteins to spawn at those areas.”

Right now, Subash says, the game is best played around North Texas. But it’s available, free, for everyone to play by downloading it the Apple App Store and Google Play.

“We’re looking to increase the interface so that it can be played globally,” Subash said.

The MoleculeGo team poses outside for a group picture.

Courtesy Faruck Morcos

The MoleculeGo team.

They hope to develop a large community of players, and think the app could work well in a classroom setting.

“We’ve been developing this app with the idea of let’s combine it with the curriculum of AP biology so a teacher can take the app and then basically connect it with their curriculum and then say, ‘hey, why don’t you play this app? And then we learn together as you play, we can teach you some of these concepts,’” Morcos said.

The goal of this app, I guess, from my perspective, is to really kind of inspire students to possibly think about a possible career path in the future,” Subash said. “This app, I think, would really allow them to learn and also experience, you know, what it would be like to actually learn about biology from a completely different perspective.”

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