Game EnginesGrand Theft AutoPhysics Engines

Grand Theft Auto: Editing the Physics Movie

By June 6, 2009 No Comments

Simulations in social science often ignore the use of any physics engine yet is it can be invaluable for modelling real world situations. Games such as Grand Theft Auto have a built in physics and dymanics simulation to provide variables such as mass, velocity, friction to the in game objects – thus simulating the required environment.

These are often taken for granted, by editing the handling.DAT file in the Grand Theft Auto III directory/data you can change the settings, as the movie above details to interesting effect…

Movie by

For more on physics engines see

See also the latest post on Physics in the Crysis Engine.


Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.