Gridlock Buster, an online traffic control game that teaches middle and high school students about traffic control, has a new look.
The newly redesigned game features updated, more user-friendly graphics and can now be played on tablets and mobile devices.
Gridlock Buster incorporates tools and ideas used by traffic control engineers in their daily work to teach students what it’s like to manage traffic flow. Players work their way through progressively more challenging levels, learning how to control traffic signals and ensuring that delays don’t get out of hand.
The game was originally developed with funding from the Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute at the U of M in 2009. CTS worked with Web Courseworks, the original game developer, to create the updated version.
According to Nick Schultz, project manager at Web Courseworks, the most significant changes to the game include a more vibrant aesthetic, enhanced mobile compatibility, a perspective shift that provides players with more clarity and depth, and an optional streamlined version that allows returning players to skip the introductory information and go straight to gameplay.
Overall, Schultz says, the updates have created “an environment we think players will be more excited to explore.”
In addition to being freely available online, the game is also used with related traffic engineering curriculum in educational and outreach activities.
“Gridlock Buster is an excellent hands-on tool for introducing students to transportation concepts,” says Gina Baas, CTS associate director of engagement and education. “We use the game in a variety of STEM-focused camps and activities to let students experience what it’s like to work in transportation and engineering—and hopefully spark their interest in pursuing related degrees and careers.”
To play the game, visit the CTS website.