Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Space Board Games

The creation of tabletop/board games for the zero-gravity of space.

As space tourism and colonization begins to grow and progress the customs and pastimes of the people that spend time in space will also morph from what we know on Earth. This creates an opportunity for inventors and entrepreneurs imagine and create things that can add to that society today.

In our digital world board games still have a strong hold of the way people spend their time. Games like chess and checkers have existed for hundreds of years. But they are all terrestrial.

In space new games can be created that function very differently from those on Earth. Space has the unique quality of no gravity. Games that were once played on a two-dimensional board can now be played in three-dimensional space.
Spock playing Three-Dimensional Chess

These games will be needed. The space tourists will want every indulgence in order to make their space experience a full one. This requires activities that can only be performed in space. Space games will have to be created as these resorts and cruise lines begin to be created.

And those colonists that will have a six month journey on their way to Mars or some other colony will need to have something to pass the time. A good board game is far more physically interactive and connecting than a computer game. Such games can literally help to keep crews sane on these long journeys.

The design of these games can be varied. Some may simply be standard Earth games with the pieces adapted for the space environment. Something like added magnets to keep them from floating around. Pretty easy to do

Perhaps games can be designed to have psychological benefits from the crew using them. Something along the lines of trivia games using particular images of Earth to encourage "happy thoughts" in the crew.

And of course, entirely new games can be created that are designed singularly for space. Games that may actually start in space and eventually be implemented on Earth. These creates an entirely new spectrum of game design that can begin to be explored.

This little piece of entertainment, the board game, that has been common on Earth can easily be made common in space. It is one of those ideas that requires little capital to create in an industry which is generally extremely expensive today.

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