2015 Annual Science Report

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Reporting  |  JAN 2015 – DEC 2015

EPO Activity: Earth in 60 Seconds App

Project Progress

“In collaboration with the non-profit mobile software company Better World Coding, MIT team member Benjamin Kotrc completed the development of ‘Earth in 60 Seconds’, an iPad game about geological time and the history of life on Earth. The game has been available in the iTunes App Store since July 2014, and has been downloaded from the App Store 1,963 times as of 5/30/2015, tracking a steady rate of around six downloads per day since its release in July 2014..

[Figure 4: Cumulative downloads of single-player app from app store]

The game is designed to allow players to develop an intuitive understanding of the relative timing of major events in the history of life on Earth, and the vastness of geological time. In the game, a 60-second countdown represents the entire 4.6 billion of Earth’s history. Players see a short list of events (such as the formation of the oceans, evolution of animals, and extinction of dinosaurs) and must tap a button at the time they think each event happened.

A multiplayer version of the app was completed and debuted at the 2015 Cambridge Science Festival (see above)”