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Society of Women Engineers

Coming to a Galaxy Near You: Space Odyssey, the Game

The Society of Women Engineers has partnered with Space Media Ventures to bring a perspective of diversity and inclusion throughout the creation of the game.

Published On: June 2017

Space Media Ventures announced a ground-breaking game that may change the way people experience the universe. “Space Odyssey,” a downloadable game of planetary exploration, kicked off its presale campaign on June 13, in conjunction with the E3 gaming industry convention. The Society of Women Engineers has partnered with Space Media Ventures to bring a perspective of diversity and inclusion throughout the creation of the game.

The campaign is designed to bring in a community of space enthusiasts, gamers and world-builders of all ages to help well-known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson create the ultimate gaming adventure.

“Space Odyssey” will take players into space to explore the surface of planets. First stop is Proxima b, the closest known exoplanet to the solar system, about 4.2 light years from Earth. Proxima b was just discovered in 2016 and intrepid gamers will now be able to explore it.

“I’m delighted to bring the wonders of space to everyone, and one of the most potent ways to accomplish this is through the visual and immersive power of gaming,” said Tyson. “I’m excited to be part of the creative team bringing this educational game to life that is based on real science and driven by real physics. “Space Odyssey” embodies a shared vision of creators, storytellers and science lovers who want to get people of all ages into space and exploration in ways that encourage curiosity and imagination.”

“Space Odyssey” will allow players to travel through the cosmos to scientifically accurate planets, moons and exoplanets based in real science. The game will encourage players to engage in physics-based challenges and missions, or create their own, either as a single player and collaboratively. “Space Odyssey” will provide a dynamic world-building environment where they can “mod” cooperatively. Beyond Proxima b, the odyssey will continue as the game expands with the ongoing addition of new planets and moons to explore. The gameplay will all come under Tyson’s playful direction.

The game will also include involvement from other space authorities, including the “StarTalk All-Stars” (StarTalk is Tyson’s television show on National Geographic Channel and radio show and podcast), the National Space Society, Sky & Telescope, and now the Society of Women Engineers.

“We are looking forward to collaborating on “Space Odyssey,” and bringing a unique perspective focused on diversity and inclusion,” said Karen Horting, executive director and CEO of SWE. “The community engagement element of “Space Odyssey” is a unique approach – allowing individuals to have a voice throughout the conception of the game.”

Space enthusiasts are encouraged to participate in the Kickstarter campaign to gain early entry to the invite-only beta, exclusive access to the development team, in-game currency bonuses and limited edition and one-of-a-kind goodies. Some of those items will be autographed and personalized by Tyson. Click here to get involved.

Tyson’s vision is to build a large and engaged community of space and science enthusiasts, and encourage the community to participate in the game’s creation. “We want Space Odyssey to be a shared creation. Our vision is to inspire people to explore the wonders of space and science by allowing a community to be a part of the game’s development,” said Space Media Ventures Creative Director Mark Murphy.

Tyson announced the launch of the Kickstarter campaign during a panel called “World Builders” at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles on June 13. The other panelists present included David Benioff (co-creator, executive producer, Game of Thrones on HBO), James Gunn (writer/director, Guardians of the Galaxy movies), Kiki Wolfkill (executive producer, Halo), Randy Pitchford (creator, Borderlands) and television personality Chris Hardwick, who moderated the panel.

The anticipated ESRB rating for “Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents: Space Odyssey,” is E for everyone.

For more information about the Society of Women Engineers, visit www.swe.org.

About Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson is a world-renowned astrophysicist, author, and science communicator. Since 1996, he has been the Director of the Hayden Planetarium in NYC, part of the American Museum of Natural History, where he founded its Department of Astrophysics in 1997. Tyson served on two White House commissions, one in 2001 on the future of the U.S. aerospace industry, and another in 2004 on the future of America’s Space Exploration Policy. He was awarded NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal same year.

From 2006 to 2011, he hosted the television show NOVA ScienceNow on PBS. Since 2009, he’s hosted the weekly radio show Star Talk, which has since also become a television series on the National Geographic Channel. In 2014, he hosted the television series Cosmos:A Spacetime Odyssey, a 21st century version of Carl Sagan’s 1980 series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.

Tyson is a graduate of the prestigious Bronx High School of Science, after which he earned his BA in Physics from Harvard, and his PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia. He has also been awarded twenty Honorary Doctorates, and is the author or co-author of 13 books, most recently Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.

About SWE
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is the world’s largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. The not-for-profit educational and service organization is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. To ensure SWE members reach their full potential as engineers and leaders, the Society offers unique opportunities to network, provides professional development, shapes public policy and provides recognition for the life-changing contributions and achievements of women engineers. As a champion of diversity, SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in their personal and professional lives. For more information about the Society, please visit www.swe.org or call 312.596.5223.

About Space Media Ventures
Space Media Ventures is a media company dedicated to developing games and immersive experiences that delight, inspire and deliver a sense of wonder about the universe and beyond.

The Space Media Ventures team is comprised of world-renowned astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, seasoned entertainment industry professionals and storytellers who are pushing the boundaries of edutainment.

 

Sponsored by:
SWE – SWE Research and Stats