(PhysicsWorld) New prototype quantum computing devices are being announced every few months. Figuring out how well the qubits work, and what they might be useful for, is not easy to quantify. Creating games for quantum computers offers an engaging way of exploring and testing their capabilities. Users can also try out quantum devices by games playing. Game programs that push capabilities to the limit and give relatable ways to understand their performance will provide user experience with the systems.
This understanding of gaming’s value is part of what motivated author James Wootton to start making games that run on quantum computers. After a few initial experiments, his first proper game was called Battleships with partial NOT gates. The game aims to provide an example of programming for others to build upon. It is a game for people to look at and declare “I could do that.”
Until a few years ago, experimental quantum computing was something that you could only do if you worked in one of the labs. Now, thanks to devices put online by IBM and Rigetti, using real quantum hardware is something that’s accessible to all. You can run experiments while sitting in your pyjamas. You can try out a new idea without needing or try to convince venture capitalists to invest. You can even make games.