The 6 Best Video-Game Experiments Of 2012

A spin through the weird, wonderful ways people experimented with video games, creating everything from glitch art to a virtual Lego builder to a psychedelic look at relativity

The narrative possibilities in video games are endless, even if there are a few well-worn tropes (save the princess, shoot that guy). But what about the really unexpected ways games are used? We've rounded up some of the most compelling video-game experiments in 2012. Enjoy.

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Teaching Relativitiy
In the MIT Game Lab's A Slower Speed of Light, the speed of light slowly decreases as you move through the game. Needless to say, things get weird. In addition to serving up a psychedelic experience, the game also teaches you about the Doppler effect and time dilation.MIT Game Lab
Making Thumbprint Art
People often ask: "Are video games art?" But usually they aren't talking about the supremely addictive iPhone game Angry Birds. Artist Evan Roth made that distinction a little less clear by plotting and painting the thumb movements required to beat every level of the game.Evan Roth
Turning Glitches Into Art
Glitches in games are usually a bummer. But Rosa Menkman makes surreal art through a video game that's meant to be glitched out.Rosa Menkman via Co.Design
Calculating Square Roots And Graphing Quadratic Functions
In the game Minecraft (primer here), you can build whatever you want out of blocks--it's a virtual Lego master class. One 16-year-old made a fully functional scientific graphing calculator with it. See a video here.SgtGodswordBerserker
Exploring Memories
Alan Kwan strapped on a pair of camera bifocals one day and started recording his life. Every night, he'd remake some of those recordings into a frightening and fascinating game called Bad Trip, a creative way of touring Kwan's mind.Alan Kwan via Huffington Post
Beating The Turing Test
For five years, the BotPrize was a test of artificial intelligence in games. Could a machine in the game convince players it was human? This year, not one but two game bots passed.Jacob Schrum