This survey paper introduces engineering educators to a subfield of computer graphics called physically-based animation (PBA) to advocate for collaboration in creating courses to improve student learning in STEM fields, especially in engineering. Engineering students may not realize the degree to which they can leverage their education to enter the entertainment and simulation industries. The central hypothesis of the paper is that introductory physics can be taught via PBA. The paper provides case studies that demonstrate early promise. The paper gives an overview of how “game engineers” leverage theoretical physics and mathematical concepts merged with design aesthetics to portray realistic and fun experiences, manifesting as game physics. As computing power has increased, the convergence of real and fake physics presents an opportunity to teach physics to non-game students. The field of PBA shows promise for enhancing physics education, but much work remains to determine how it may happen and the place in a college curriculum.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



© American Society for Engineering Education, 2021

Document Type

Conference Paper

Department, Program, or Center

School of Interactive Games and Media (GCCIS)


RIT – Main Campus