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Space gaming takes a step closer to reality

In the recent Signtific games on the future of cubesats (described here), a number of people suggested using them for games. At the 2009 cubesat conference

As Space.com reports,

[Space entrepreneur Jeffrey] Manber announced plans for Nanoracks, a company developing games incorporating CubeSats. The idea is to take advantage of recent advances in nanotechnology and hand-held communication devices like the Apple iPhone to allow people on Earth to participate in games of skill or chance that, in one way or another, involve an on-orbit CubeSat. "The CubeSat is a standardized platform that has an emerging base of developers," Manber said. "We think it's analogous to 20-25 years ago in the personal computer industry. If we can get people interested in games in zero gravity, there is a proven business model for using entertainment as a way to develop a market."

The Kentucky Space Blog adds,

There is, as he points out, a proven business model for using entertainment to pioneer new markets. His presentation is short and to the point.

In response to a question about why not simulate gaming in a weightless environment, a young member of the audience blurts out "because space is fun!" and talks about how zero-gravity games could be held using real time space to ground communications.

The argument that cubesats are like the personal computer is one that's circulating in the cubesat community now. It highlights the long connections, both technical and imginative, between computers and space: recall that one of the first personal computers was the Altair.

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