Pirate Jam 2020: Heisenberg’s Uncertain Pinball

“Heisenberg’s Uncertain Pinball” by Andrew Wang.

“In this psychedelic particle-based pinball game, you control the bumpers with your eyebrows. You can toggle between two views of the pinball playfield: either see the motion of the pinball and its collisions but not know exactly where the pinball is, or see a still screen of where everything is but not see any motion.”


To play “Heisenberg’s Uncertain Pinball”, you will need just some minutes of your time and a working webcam. Why the webcam? Well, because this crazy pinball video game monitors your eyebrow movements and let the bumpers react to them! And that isn’t the only strange as well as amazing innovation.

As the title already implies, the physics in “Heisenberg’s Uncertain Pinball” work in an unconventional way based on the infamous uncertainity principle. Not sure what it was about? No problem, here is a short summarization from Wikipedia: “[T]he uncertainty principle states that the more precisely the position of some particle is determined, the less precisely its momentum can be predicted from initial conditions, and vice versa.” That means in its extreme version, that you can either know the position or the momentum of something for sure, but never both at the same time.

“Heisenberg’s Uncertain Pinball” visualizes this principle perfectly: While playing, you can switch in one of two modes. Either you see the trails of the pinball movement, but be unsure where exactly it is in the exact moment, or you freeze time and thereby the motion, but you are able to see precisely where the pinball is right now. So you better start training your eyebrow muscles right now to become the best human pinball bumper controller ever to react quickly, because who can be sure where the ball will be in the next second here? An oddly wild and stylish game awaits you! >>PLAY

avatar