Friday, August 26, 2011

NASA is Soing an MMO, and They Want Your Help!

Hi! I'm kinda new here, in that I haven't posted yet. So of course I'm about to use my first post to tell you how you should spend your money on something awesome. But hear me out!

NASA has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a beta of their very own MMO. In Astronaut: Moon Mars & Beyond, you are an aspiring astronaut in the year 2035, who, "will uncover secrets about a threat to civilization as we know it, and build you and your team a high-tech inventory of space gear including a home base, somewhere out there."

No I'm not going to say that I have any idea how they're going to make a fun game out of the actual ins and outs of space exploration, but can you really sit there and think that they won't at least come up with an interesting one? This isn't a far-off, mystical, non-existent realm we're talking about here. No, we're talking about space. Our space. And nobody knows space better than NASA. Plus, there's the added bonus of today's graphics capabilities to go with that knowledge. If nothing else, the potential here is that every person playing the game could actually obtain a real, working knowledge of not just the planets of the solar system, but moons, orbits, get the idea. They're sneaky bastards, those NASA guys...teaching us things while we play a game. This is my favorite quote from the Kickstarter page about the game:

This Kickstarter project will allow us to complete the beta. In a very real way - being able to speak to you is ideal. You have the chance to say "I believe in this project. I believe in space exploration, and I want to participate. I believe that we are born with a a joy of discovery, and by participating in the NASA MMO, I am going to make it possible for millions of kids and adults to share in this epic journey."

This may just be what gets me back into playing MMOs. My Warcraft account lies dormant. My DC Universe Online account is still. But the idea of exploring real space? It warms my little nerd heart more than I can express. Yes, the details are sparse. Yes, it may end up that this ends up as little more than an intergalactic Oregon Trail, where you spend most of your time gleefully watching your crew die of space dysentery...but really, what more do you need?

They're well over halfway to their goal already, with 45 days remaining, and just a $30 pledge will net you not only two keys to the beta, but also two school licenses for students to use. YOU could be responsible for sparking some kids interest in science. Then, if they learn some science, maybe they'll learn about other things too. And then maybe, just maybe, we'll have a shot at reversing the tide of stupid flowing over the world. Yeah, I know it's a little Pollyanna, but who knows, right?

All I know is that next week is pay week for me. As soon as my check deposits, I think I'm going to be making a contribution. If I sit down and do some math first, I may even be able to pledge enough to get myself in the game as a 3D hologram member of the Astronaut Academy Space Council. I hope you'll come and play in space with me!

Visit the Kickstarter page and give them some money!

I hope you don't feel like I'm shamelessly soliciting, even though I totally am. I just love the idea, and...well...really just want to play this game. I promise more directly-related-to-science posts in the future. In fact, I had a big one all ready to go when I found out about this, and now will probably break it down into a few smaller posts because I'm indecisive and more than a little intimidated by the lot of you.

Originally found via Dvice

1 comment:

  1. This makes me think fondly of Outpost. Do you remember Outpost? You had to build a space colony and keep everyone alive and it was brutally, impossibly hard. In fact I think it came out later that it was impossible to actually finish.

    Back to the subject at hand: this is so awesome. NASA must be the coolest big corporation out there.