Neil deGrasse Tyson, the popular astrophysicist and cosmologist, is taking a voyage in a new territory he has never been in before as he tried his hand and brainpower at video games. The upcoming game is known as Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents: Space Odyssey (shortened to Space Odyssey), and by the looks of it, the game is shaping up to be an educational No Man’s Sky.
According to an article by Digital Trends, it reports details about Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents:Space Odyssey which was made to encourage gamers to explore both space and science. At the moment, the game is in its early stages of development, but it offers an opportunity for gamers to create their own galaxies. Mark Murphy, the co-creator and developer of the game from Whatnot Entertainment, states it is something unique in the way it mirrors the universe itself. The game is growing every day, inch by inch, and minute by minute. Space Odyssey also has a science and exploration-based challenge system. When challenges are completed, gamers will obtain valuable assets, gadgets, minerals, knowledge, and tools to enhance colonization and the creation of planets, solar systems, and galaxies.
From the details provided about Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents: Space Odyssey, it seems as if it is mimicking No Man’s Sky. The Sony Playstation 4 console exclusive title utilizes a gaming concept, in which gamers explore the universe, finding new ecosystems in a shared universe. Utilizing the four principle activities of exploration, survival, combat, and trading, gamers traverse the universe, which is growing at a procedurally generated rate. There is, however, no building element in NMS.
What makes Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents: Space Odyssey different from No Man’s Sky is the fact the developers are utilizing proven concepts in science, not science fiction. Mark Murphy did say it uses real science and real physics which makes it different. This concept is also used in the creation element of the game too.
“Part of the gameplay will allow you to grow a planetary system. Its size and scope is relative to the level of challenge you would like to undertake. You can grow and mature these planets as much as you’d like, creating colonies, ports, mining structures, undertake trade of elements you discover/mine or invent or innovate. We are adding strategic partners that will consult with us on design and tech possibilities, including Bigelow Aerospace and the National Space Society to name a couple.”
It should also be noted that Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents: Space Odyssey will utilize virtual reality. According to an article written by Wolfe News Wire, the game was featured during VR CON, an event that takes place at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) featuring the latest on virtual reality tech and entertainment. Its highlight attraction was Space Odyssey, in which virtual reality will be utilized for mission both at home and on mobile devices. Eventually, they want to expand to include museums, science centers, and classrooms.
Though Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents: Space Odyssey sounds very interesting, the question on everyone’s mind is why would he even make the jump to video games? Tyson gave no direct reason why, but it might have to do with his view that science education fails to capture the thrill of discovery. According to an article written by M Live, Tyson made his views known when he spoke with the Kalamazoo Gazette back in December of last year.
“School systems value answers rather than the process. If all you value is the answers then gone is the very soul of what science is.”
“So yes, in my judgment there needs to be some kind of reform as to how science subjects are taught in schools, if we’re going to enable and empower students to retain their childhood curiosity. Every kid is born curious about their environments, that the only difference between a child and a scientist is age.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents: Space Odyssey has no set release date. However, it will be featured in several upcoming 2017 events, including WonderCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic-Con.
[Featured Image by Chris Hondros/Getty Images]