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Intel has snagged videogame programming tools provider Havok. Its "physics engine," among other software products, is widely used in the industry to simulate real-world motion inside games. Havok will continue to operate independently, but is likely to offer Intel-specific products to aid in the chipmaker's gaming arms race with AMD. Intel needs all the help it can purchase to drum up support for its upcoming Larrabee graphics chip. So how does Havok fit in?

Havok isn't responsible for how a videogame looks or plays, but it adds believability to the experience. Havok's software helps In-game objects behave reasonably like they would in the real world. If you knock into a table, items will fall off. And, of course, any enemy killed will realistically slump to the floor. In the clip below from 2K Game's Bioshock you can see Havok at work.