Ep. 421: Space Games!

As you probably know, Fraser is an avid video gamer, especially if it has anything to do with space. Today we turn things around, as Fraser talks about the games he plays, and what he thinks you should be playing too.

We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm Pacific / 4:30 pm Eastern. You can watch us live on AstronomyCast, or the AstronomyCast YouTube page.

Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | Jump to Transcript

Show Notes

  • Kerbal Space Program
  • Kerbal Space Program on STEAM
  • Official Kerbal Space Program YouTube Channel
  • Universe Sandbox 2
  • Universe Sandbox 2 on STEAM
  • Official Universe Sandbox 2 YouTube Channel
  • Homeworld
  • Homeworld Remastered on STEAM
  • EVE Online
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Star Citizen
  • Elite Dangerous
  • FTL

  • Transcript

    Transcription services provided by: GMR Transcription

    Fraser Cain: Astronomy Cast Episode 421: Space Games!

    Welcome to Astronomy Cast, our weekly facts-based journey through the cosmos, where we help you understand not only what we know but how we know what we know.

    My name is Fraser Cain. I’m the publisher of Universe Today and with me is Dr. Pamela Gay, the director of CosmoQuest.

    Hey, Pamela. How are you doin’?

    Dr. Pamela Gay: I’m doing well, Fraser. How are you doing?

    Fraser Cain: I am great.

    For anyone who missed it last week, let us remind everyone that they can come and hang out with us and watch an eclipse.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: It’s true. If you go to astronomycast.com, up in the primary navigation, there’s a little link that says “Trips”. The only trip we currently have planned is to see the great American eclipse next year. We’re going to be watching it kind of from the middle of the country, with a few days of activities here in Saint Louis. We’re going to be renting busses and, on the day of the eclipse, we’re going to go to where the weather is best.

    Our primary location is probably going to be Carbondale, Illinois, which is where NASA’s going to be hosting their web stream. And then, if their weather is bad, we’ll play it by ear with plans to either go to Mizzou, in Missouri, or to stay put in Saint Louis. So, come join us for a bunch of learning how to take photos, learning the science and then going off and just seeing it all happen live, together.

    Fraser Cain: That’s what’s great. I think the slots are going to fill up. I don’t think the first episode, where we mentioned this, has gone live yet because – editing problems. But – So, if you are interested, you might want to reserve. So –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: We only have 70 slots left, when I looked Friday.

    Fraser Cain: Oh, really? Okay. Yeah.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Yeah.

    Fraser Cain: And we haven’t really even – like, I’m just going to tell the close fans first –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Yeah.

    Fraser Cain: And then – And then we’ll sort of roll this out to larger and larger audiences. So, if the – I mean, the cruise that we did a couple years ago is any anything like it, it should be a – it should fill up pretty quick. And then we’ll try to figure out how to fit more people in.

    Okay, great. Alright. Well, here we go.

    So, as you probably know, I’m an avid video-gamer, especially if it has anything to do with space. Today we turn things around. I talk about the games I play and what I think you should be playing too.

    Alright, Pamela. I – Begin.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: So this episode, we are turning things on their heads. I have a bit of an addictive personality, which is great if what you’re addicted to is doing science. But it becomes really bad if you install video games and forget that you’re supposed to be doing science.

    So, most of the time, I just choose to live vicariously through Fraser. And the thing that I’ve enjoyed listening to you talk about the most for the past – what, two years now? – is Kerbal Space.

    So can you start off by telling us what it is and what it does?

    Fraser Cain: Right. So the Kerbal Space Program is a – it’s a video game created by a company called Squad. I think they’re in Mexico City. And it’s been going for a couple of years. It was in sort of an early-access beta and I think it’s now actually an official launched video game. You can pick it up from Steam or I think you can buy it directly. I picked it up from Steam. And, whenever there’s a sale on it – a Steam sale, like 40 percent off – I recommend that people go and pick it up.

    And what it is about is it’s this idea that there is this alternate universe space agency on this planet called Kerbin and there is the – these creatures, called Kerbals. And they’re these sort of adorable little plankton plant creatures. And they run this space agency called the Kerbal Space Program.

    Now, the thing that makes it so different from the – sort of the reality is we have here – is that they have literally an unlimited budget for space exploration and enthusiastic support from the public and from the administration to do anything and try anything.

    So it really is an impossible situation but, and yet, here it is. And so, you play the game – I guess as the administrator, chief engineer, of this fictional space agency and build rockets, build aircraft, build satellite space stations, lunar reconnaissance vehicles; everything that sort of exists in our current understanding of space exploration. And – and there are these wonderful Kerbonauts, who are willing to jump on board and go off into space.

    And the game, itself, is fairly simple and yet it is a really good recreation of how space travel actually works. So, there’s this – there’s the vehicle assembly building, where you build your rockets – you’ve got all these different parts, different modules, different fuel tanks, different rocket engines – and then you go out to the launch pad and you launch these things off and it’s got atmospheric drag and orbital mechanics.

    And then there’s lots of targets in the solar system you can go to. There is the moon – but Kerbin is the main planet. And then moon: M, (umlaut) U, N – mün. And there’s another mün to get to. And then there’s other planets like Mars, I think it’s called Duna, and Venus and all the way up to, like, Pluto. And you can try to recreate what it’s like to explore space.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Now, it sounds like you sort of get to be the person that Elon Musk wants to be while you’re playing this game. And you have a whole lot of freedom.

    Now, let’s say you just wanted to sit down and give it a quick play, what – What is like the bare minimum game that you can get away with?

    Fraser Cain: Well, the game is – hmm. To just start playing the game, I find is fairly complicated and you’d think that the campaign mode is the way to go. But the campaign mode is –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: So – wait. Modes? What modes do they have available?

    Fraser Cain: Yeah, there’s different modes. You can do campaign mode or you can just do a sandbox mode. I think there’s another mode as well.
    So the campaign mode, you start with a – you know, with money in your space agency and you have a certain number of Kerbonauts and they gain experience and you can try to – and you take on contracts. And as you fulfill the contracts, you get – you can unlock new kinds of equipment and you can – you know.

    And, in theory, I think it’s really designed to try and help you, sort of, play it as a game but the – but I found it’s actually a lot more complicated to play it in campaign mode. I really like to just play it in sandbox mode, where you’ve got access to unlimited budget, all the gear, endless volunteers who will step into your crazy contraptions and fly off into space.

    So – So I think that’s the best way to start. Just go into sandbox mode and then, you know, you want to build the most basic possible rocket that you can and then sort of increase your technology from there. And sort of understand how all the different things work.

    YouTube tutorials are great but that’s just sort of the way to get into it.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: So you can do everything, from what I understand, from just trying to get in low Earth orbit to let’s launch Kerbonauts to the moon and beyond. And it gets continually more difficult as you go.

    Now, what are the different variables that it lets you play with as you go?

    Fraser Cain: Well, it really recreates – to a fairly high level of accuracy – the realities of space flight and orbital mechanics. So you’ve got – as I said, you’ve got atmospheric drag; you’ve got, you know, the amount of – your fuel-to-weight ratios of your rocket. You’ve got just the way orbits function.

    And I’ve mentioned this, sort of, in the show before, which is that I learned more out of the way space flight works by playing Kerbal Space Program for a couple of hours than I ever knew for more than a decade of space reporting. That – That I didn’t understand why you fired your burn at apogee and how you did a – you know, a trans-lunar orbital injection and these kinds of things. And every – sort of the intricacies of the way it works.

    So – So once you – Once you start to play with that – and so, as you said, the options are things like: How stages work; why you use solid rocket boosters versus the liquid boosters; and why you need thrusters while you’re up in space to change your attitude; and why aerodynamic wings and stuff work.

    So, it really kind of teaches you all of those pieces, one at a time. And then, things like docking and going on space walks and doing EVAs on the moon and things like that. And you really – You know, all the parts and pieces are there for you to play with, as well as this whole world of aerodynamic stuff; building airplanes and even space planes – single stage to orbit, things like that.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Now, one of the things that I’ve really loved talking to you and some of my staff members like Cory Lehan is you’re just like, “Well, in Kerbal Space” when it comes to discussing, like, how Dawn is moving through the solar system, the launch of OSIRIS-REx. And there’s this whole, “Well – but I don’t know how you would do that in Kerbal Space” or “I learned from Kerbal Space”.

    How do you learn all of this stuff in Kerbal Space? Let’s just stick to the orbits. How does it teach you about orbital injections?

    Fraser Cain: Well, the – So, the way I learned is just with goals, right? And so, I’m like, okay. I want to make a thing get off the launch pad. And then you learn how to – how you stack up your rockets and how you change the order of the – you know, how this stage goes and then that stage goes and then these things fall away and then the parachute goes if you press the spacebar one more time.

    Like – Like, so, you understand how that all works. And then you set yourself a goal, like: I want to get off the ground. And then I want to get off the ground and not kill my pilot, which – you know, it’s a –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: And this is an adorable process I’ll go to –

    Fraser Cain: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a lot – you know. But I think it’s a very worthwhile goal to not kill your Kerbals. And so I really try to not kill my Kerbals, even when I’m trying out new experiments. So I always try to think about how to make sure they stay alive.

    And then, like, just getting into orbit is actually really tough. The first time – it took me a long time to just get a rocket that would go into orbit and I kept having to mess with the different kinds of launchers and fuel tanks and staging, to get to a place where I actually was able to get into orbit.

    And then, once you’re in orbit and you’re just kind of going around and around and around Kerbin, then they have this great system where – where you essentially plan out what you want your new orbit to be. And then it calculates a place where you can change your – where you can then thrust. It gives you a direction to thrust and a duration to thrust and sort of tells you what the new meters-per-second change that you need to make. And so, you – You know, you can speed up time and slow time; you wait till your rocket gets to the place where the orbital maneuver needs to happen and then you turn on the rocket and fire it for the duration.

    You can see your new trajectory match the plan trajectory and, when you’re locked in, then you continue to drift to the place where you’re – you know, where you were anticipating to go. And so, you want to – so the next stage is to try and get out to that mün. The next stage is to try and then land on the mün. The next stage is to then take off from the mün and try to get back to the Earth and re-enter the atmosphere.

    And that’s – each one of those is just a goal that you just take another step and take another step. And all the pieces that you’ve learned then come back and are useful the next time you want to do another mission. Now to land on Kerbin’s other mün or to try and make it all the way to Mars, you know.

    I mean, all of the – once you understand the orbital mechanics, the process is very similar each time.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Now, there’s a fabulous pun in the YouTube chat, where Thomas Trenecker writes, “Kerbal is learning by fire!”

    Fraser Cain: Yeah.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: And it’s quite true with Kerbal that, well, unlike with actual spacecraft where failure really isn’t a preferred option, with Kerbal there’s a whole lot of blowing things up and dying Kerbals are actually quite adorable. Can – Can you say anything about this?

    Fraser Cain: Well, the great thing about the Kerbals is that they are a plant-based species; they’re solar powered. So they don’t die of oxygen deprivation or hunger.

    So, if you put a Kerbal into a – say, a solar orbit – you know, it escapes Earth’s orbit and they’re in the – or, sorry, escapes Kerbin’s orbit and is in the solar orbit – they’re just going to go around and around and around. And they’re – you know, they’re happy about it. They don’t mind. You know? They’re fine. And if you want to go and rescue them later – later on – you can.

    So that is – weird.

    Okay. Yeah, so that is – That is fine. They can’t handle certain temperatures. They can’t handle certain G-forces. So, if they crash onto the ground too hard or if they explode, they die. And, you know – and that is sad. And it’s not adorable. It’s, you know – I feel like it is a failure for me, as a – as the person running the space agency.

    They’re very durable, though. So, it’s – you know, you know that you can kind of push them to the limit and they’re not gonna break. And you can especially leave them there, floating away as they go around and around the sun, until you can organize a rescue mission – or not.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: I love that. Or not –

    Fraser Cain: Yeah, or not.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: – organize a rescue mission.

    Fraser Cain: Yeah.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: But, yes. Oh. We have an invader.

    Fraser Cain: Oh, Good. Dog just joined the show.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Yeah.

    So, okay. We should be able to keep talking and –

    Fraser Cain: Yeah.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: – we’ll have a dog in the video, I guess.

    Fraser Cain: Well, one thing that I think is also pretty great about the game is it’s a really active mod community. And so all of the kinds of mods that you might imagine; things like more realistic physics, make it more like NASA. A lot of those technologies are provided by the mod community and so –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Okay.

    Fraser Cain: – you know, if you want to kind of make it more complicated and more specific, cooler graphics – you can mod all those things in.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: So, this is the game you talk about the most.

    Fraser Cain: Mm-hmm.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: But it’s not the only space game out there –

    Fraser Cain: No.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: – that you’re playing. What is – What is your next favorite game?

    Fraser Cain: Well, I’d say my next favorite game is this game called Universe Sandbox 2, which is exactly what it sounds like, right? It is this sandbox of the universe that you can just drop stars, planets; you can run simulations of the solar system. But then you could do crazy stuff, right?

    Like, you can drop planets into the sun. You can drop moons onto the Earth. And they will do a great job of sort of recreating what might happen.

    You know, if you ever wondered what would happen if you dropped 15 moons into the Earth, – and who hasn’t? – you get to see what happens. But then, other kinds of things. You know, other strange planetary systems, binary systems. Put a black hole in the middle of the – of the solar system; see what happens to the planets.

    And so, it’s really great for understanding the orbital mechanics, the way those kinds of things work.

    That dog really wants to get your attention.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: So, I found – this is Eddie McFlufflepaw. I found him on the side of the road about a month ago –

    Fraser Cain: Wow.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: – and my husband just left for the grocery store and he’s very bored and currently chewing on my arm. Not actually closing his mouth –

    Fraser Cain: Yeah.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: – just putting it on my arm and – yeah.

    Fraser Cain: Sorry, podcast listeners. A large white dog is – continues to jump up and push on Pamela’s chair.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: It’s a McFlufflepaw.

    Fraser Cain: Yeah.

    So, yeah. So, Universe Sandbox is great. Universe Sandbox 2 is great. And they’re actively updating it. The most recent alpha version, which I – you know me, I like to run alpha – is – has Roche limits in it, which is great.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Oh, wow.

    Fraser Cain: Yeah.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: So you’re, like, pulling things apart and creating rings.

    Fraser Cain: Yeah, yeah. So we do things –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Have you destroyed the moons of Mars yet?

    Fraser Cain: I tried. Yeah.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Okay.

    Fraser Cain: But the version – I’ve destroyed the moon, no problem. I haven’t tried destroying the moons of Mars. I mean, this is this – I’m trying to recreate what will happen in the far, far future, when Phobos gets torn apart by tidal forces –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Right, right.

    Fraser Cain: – because it’s spiraling inward to Mars.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: It’s gonna happen.

    Fraser Cain: Yeah, yeah. And so, I’ve been – I was trying to do that, actually for an episode of the Guide to Space that we’re working on. But I haven’t got it to run the way I want to. So –

    But – But the moon, for sure. And it’s great. It’s amazing to sort of see the moon just get torn apart and see – you know, it’s like Seveneves. You watch the moon get torn apart and then the debris rains down on the Earth and – yeah.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: So, what – What is the most destructive you have so far been to our poor solar system?

    Fraser Cain: Oh! At a scale you can’t even comprehend. Right? I mean, you know – I mean, you have access to supermassive black holes. You have access to entire galaxies. You have access to the largest stars possible.

    What did I do? I wanted to see what would happen if I put the sun inside the largest possible red dwarf – red giant star. You know, for fun.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Because you could.

    Fraser Cain: Because I could, yeah. Just to see what happened.

    I’ve tried putting a black hole inside a red giant star –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Did you put a black hole inside of Vulcan?

    Fraser Cain: No! I could.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: You could.

    Fraser Cain: Yeah. I could absolutely smash a black hole into Vulcan.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: So, we have Graham Stickings asking, “What is the difference between these games and simulators?”

    Fraser Cain: There is no difference. Well, I think –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Laughter.

    Fraser Cain: Yeah.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: I think that’s the definition is: Laughter.

    Fraser Cain: Well, no – but I think –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Strict simulators don’t have the kinds of things that make you giggle while you’re destroying the universe.

    Fraser Cain: Well, I actually got a chance to talk to the folks from Universe Sandbox.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Mm-hmm.

    Fraser Cain: They were on the Weekly Space Hangout a couple of weeks ago. And I asked a fairly similar question to them and the – the problem is, actually, it’s the shortcoming of the computers that they’re having to create these platforms on. So, for example, with Kerbal Space Program, it doesn’t allow for Lagrange points and it doesn’t have anything on planetary tilt. Someone’s been chasing the chat.

    And there’s a bunch of other things that it does. It’s a – it provides a different kind of physics that roughly simulates the way mechanics – you know, orbital mechanics work – but not perfectly.

    And the same goes with Universe Sandbox. When we talked to them, they were like, “Well, actually, the complexity of our simulation is good but, if we wanted to get to a level where it could really do some work that scientists could use, it would wreck computers.” Right? Like, it would just be too much. It just wouldn’t – it wouldn’t be a fun game.

    And I think that’s it, right? Are you having fun? Then it’s probably not a useful simulation. Right? But are you taking a Beowulf cluster of supercomputers and grinding it to a halt? Then the chances are you’re doing some science. But, at the end of the day, you’re doing the same thing, right? You’re thinking, like, “I wonder what would happen if I dropped the moon into the Earth.” Right?

    Both scientists have thought of this and run the simulations and people playing Universe Sandbox have thought of this and run the simulations. And the – the outcome is really just the scale and quality of the simulation. So, that’s –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: So –

    Fraser Cain: So, I’d say Universe Sandbox is like the second favorite game. And those are, like, simulation def.

    But I’ve got a ton of, like, just super-fun space games that have nothing to do with the law – a very rough connection to the laws of physics that aren’t as useful for astronomy. So –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: So, what – What are – is a general roundup of your more fictional games that you love to get involved with?

    Fraser Cain: Yeah. So, I think – people are mentioning this in the chat but I would say my favorite sort of role-playing game, first-person shooter game, is the Mass Effect series.

    So, they do just an absolutely terrific job of – you know. The game play is not super-great. There’s much better shooters out there; cover shooters, things like that. But the story is so good. The – It is the most compelling take on the Fermi Paradox that I’ve ever seen handled in a video game. And I don’t want to explain how they resolve it but I think that the way they resolve it and the way you encounter it and the way you sort of understand our place, as human beings in the universe, is just wonderful. And that is great.

    Let’s see. There’s an old game called Homeworld, which I really enjoyed, which was sort of like a space battle simulator. And that was actually, like – oh my – ten years ago the game came out, I think, and I played through the campaign and beat it in Homeworld 2. And then, they remastered it – which I’ve just purchased a copy of it and I haven’t picked it up yet. So those are – That’s sort of a great sort of space – and it’s not like a simulator, necessarily. Like, you’re not in a flight simulator but you’re sort of running these – these fleet battles with these space ships in sort of real time.

    And I played EVE Online a bit, which is a – I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to play EVE Online. It’s a – It’s a massive multi-player game with tens of thousands – millions of people – playing the game. The stories of Mass Effect – sorry, sorry – of EVE Online, where people come together in these enormous battles with thousands and thousands of people on either side and the fate of the galaxy is decided and there’s backstabbing and intrigue and is great. I just find that I never could get to that point. I just got killed in silence, off in the – as I was flying my little ship from place to place.

    So, a lot of people really enjoy EVE Online and if you’re looking for a game to really sink your teeth into and make a lot of connections and friends and political intrigue, you should give that one a shot.

    I tried No Man’s Sky, which I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to hear about this. Well, so they simulated like 18 quintillion planets with this random simulation system and each planet was completely unique and nobody would ever see the same planet twice. But it was kind of boring, is the problem, because –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Okay. Well, if they simulate the whole thing, then there’s a whole lot of empty space and a whole lot of –

    Fraser Cain: No, there’s just all these planets. Like, there’s – You know, they throw the laws of physics pretty much out the window and, as I said, there’s these planets; you travel from planet to planet and each one is rendered and they’re big. And you fly your spaceship around and you land and then, on the surface of the planet, you just zap things with your laser beam and pick them up. So it’s – I, you know – There was a lot of hype and now there’s been a lot of backlash, unfortunately, to the developers, Hello Games.

    Yeah, I didn’t – I found it kind of – You know, you’re like, “Wow! This is really incredible.” And then a few hours later, you’re like, “I think I’ve seen this before. This is getting kinda boring.”

    There’s a game that I’m really looking forward to, I haven’t tried yet, called Star Citizen, which is sort of a very similar idea like EVE Online and kind of like No Man’s Sky but it’s done by the people that did Wing Commander back in the day. I don’t know if you –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Oh, cool.

    Fraser Cain: – know Wing Commander.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Yeah.

    Fraser Cain: Yeah. So, I’m pretty excited about that. They’re still, I think, in alpha right now and should be coming out of – out into sort of a wider release but they’re doing a Kickstarter and kind of growing that.

    And then, Elite Dangerous is another game that’s pretty fun, which is a – more of a simulator space fighting game where you’ve got a spaceship and you travel around, being a trader and getting into fights against pirates and things like that. The cool thing is that, apparently, they’ve got really good support for Oculus Rift. And so –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Oh, that’s cool.

    Fraser Cain: – if you want to play those kinds of games with an oculus on, that would be – that would be great.

    Let’s see – Some people in the chat are recommending some other games they really liked. FTL, which I agree. FTL is this game – it’s sort of a weird game but you sort of have a top-down map plan of a – of a spaceship and then you travel from star system to star system and encounter other ships. And then you kind of do damage to each other and try to get to the final boss, which I have never gotten very far into the game. It’s pretty rough.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Now, with all of these different games, we have – Kerbal is on Steam. Universe in a Box, where can people find that?

    Fraser Cain: Universe Sandbox – you can get that on – a lot of these, you can get them on Steam: FTL, Homeworld – Yeah, you can get them all on Steam. So –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: And Steam opens things up to be run on all sorts of different operating systems. So it’s no longer the day that I remember when, unless you owned a PC or a game box, –

    Fraser Cain: Yeah.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: – you couldn’t play a game. Nowadays, Linux, OS X – doesn’t matter.

    Fraser Cain: Yep.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: The gaming world is still open to you.

    Fraser Cain: Yeah. I – I really recommend – I think PC gaming has really gotten a whole new, sort of, resurgence now. I mean, maybe people are going to say it never went away but I sort of went through the – the Xbox, PlayStation world for a while there and now I just own a P – you know, a nice gaming PC – or a, sorry – a PC for streaming Astronomy Cast and other shows that we do, that happens to require, you know, a pretty beefy video card and processor.

    And then, I have like – I just pick up games on sale and just sort of slowly make a larger and larger library of games. I’m embarrassed to say how many games I have in my Steam library.

    But that’s the way I recommend, now, for people to – who are into gaming is, get a PC. You could probably get an unmentionable gaming PC for just a couple hundred dollars, $300.00-$400.00, if you already have a screen and keyboard and all that, you know. You don’t have to spend more than $1,000.00 if you really want to make something fancy.

    And then the games, themselves, are – you can get them in bundles. You can get the games relatively inexpensively. They often go on sale. So you can build up this library of games for pretty cheap. And I can share my library with my kids. So, really, this is their legacy later on. You know, if they move out of the house, they’ll take my Steam library with them and, you know, off to college.

    So, that is – you know, that’s the way I, personally, recommend that you get involved in this kind of stuff. And some of these games, you just can’t play on PlayStation or Xbox. So –

    Dr. Pamela Gay: And it really is starting to hit the point where games can be realistic enough that they’re learning experiences, they’re social experiences and you get that full collaborative – whether it be discover the universe or destroy the universe –

    Fraser Cain: Yeah.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: – you get that full collaborative environment.

    So, this has been a really great half hour of me asking you questions. Is there anything that we need to announce before we end the show? We still have surveys up and running; links are on Astronomy Cast. Please go complete the surveys. Sign up for our eclipse trip next year, if you’re able to make it. And stay tuned, because awesome things are to come. And we still don’t have a topic for next week but that will be coming too.

    Fraser Cain: Yeah.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: And next week is actually in five days, when we record live on Friday.

    Fraser Cain: Well, if – Well, so, friend me on Steam. I’m Fraser Cain on Steam. So, if you want to friend me, then we can hang out. And then – not you, Pamela; everyone else. And then, as I mentioned, if you join my channel on YouTube, the goal is for us to play some space games once a week and try and bring in a special guest. So, if you want to hang out with me and play some games and talk to the guests, then make sure you join – you subscribe to my YouTube channel. The Universe Today, Fraser Cain one on YouTube.

    So, that’s the – that is the shameless self-promotion I’m going to add.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: And everything will be listed on astronomycast.com. So click on over and we hope to see you online.

    Fraser Cain: Alright. Thanks.

    Dr. Pamela Gay: Thank you.

    Female Speaker: Thank you for listening to Astronomy Cast, a non-profit resource provided by Astrosphere New Media Association, Fraser Cain and Dr. Pamela Gay. You can find show notes and transcripts for every episode at astronomycast.com. You can email us at info@astronomycast.com. Tweet us @astronomycast. Like us on Facebook or circle us on Google Plus.

    We record our show live on YouTube every Friday at 1:30 p.m. Pacific, 4:30 p.m. Eastern or 2030 GMT. If you missed the live event, you can always catch up over on cosmoquest.org or on our YouTube page. Our music is provided by Travis Serl, and the show was edited by Susie Murph.

    [End of Audio]

    Duration: 31 minutes

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