This Is A New Project

This Is A New Project

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (center) has signed up a variety of famous names from the fields of science and literature, including (L to R) authors Neil Gaiman and George R. R. Martin, science educator Bill Nye and astronomer Amy Mainzer to help design the game. FilmMagic/Fox/Ulf andersen/Steve J. Brown/Getty Images

Over on Kickstarter scientist and science communication expert Neil deGrasse Tyson has a crowdfunding campaign running with the goal of funding a special kind of computer game. "Space Odyssey" is the name and the team behind it hopes to create a game that is fun to play and simultaneously educational about physics, biology, and space.

Players will discover the process into the design of robots and vehicles as they create their own unique machine. In an open-world "sandbox" design players will explore other worlds, some of which might even be alive. One of the sessions could include a player piloting a ship through an asteroidal belt or design an automated robot that can mine comets for precious resources. The team is planning to integrate virtual reality experiences too, putting players in the center of the action. Joining Neil deGrasse Tyson are such famous scientists and experts in science and communication as rocket scientist Loretta Falcone Cosmologist Janna Levin astrophysicist Charles Liu, planetary scientist Carolyn Porco, astronomer Amy Mainzer as well as former astronaut Mike Massimino and science communicator Bill Nye. Just Another Wordpress Site invited authors such as Neil Gaiman and Larry Niven, Peter Beagle, George R. R. Martin to assist in the creation of the world through creativity. The project is supported by a wide range of scientists, artists as well as game designers and other prominent figures in the scientific and creative fields.

While this is a new project, it's not the first example of an educational computer game. From the old classics like "Oregon Trail" to modified builds of the popular game "Minecraft," game designers and educators have long recognized the benefits of teaching through play. Tyson's game, whose full title is "Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents Space Odyssey – The Video Game", looks ambitious.

The Kickstarter campaign, with its goal of raising $314,159 (a seemingly arbitrary amount, until you think of the digits of pi) is set to end on July 29th, Saturday. The creators acknowledge that funding will only be a small part of the efforts of Whatnot Entertainment to create "Space Odyssey" feasible. If all goes as planned you could soon be able to explore new worlds from the comfort of your sofa.

Now That's Interesting In a conversation with the HowStuffWorks podcast Stuff You Need to Know, Neil deGrasse Tyson said he wants to expand worldwide education to increase the chances of humanity's culture becoming "another Einstein.