New Exoplanet Game in VR

If you’re a teacher or educator, consider checking out Exoplanet Explorers!

Astrophysicists at The University of Exeter and game developers at Fish in A Bottle to create an educational game that puts you in the shoes of a scientists looking to study exoplanets!

I participated in the development when I was a sixth form student. I would comment on the layout of the game and pick out readability issues (which is a problem when you have white text against a dark background with bright stars). I also got to test out the game before it was released, and evaluated the difficulty of the games and crashing issues.

The mini games involved reflect actual techniques used by astrophysicists to discover exoplanets and study their properties. I tested out the mini games when they were being developed and I actually found a few to be really difficult, such as tuning the electromagnetic waves.

The VR element of the game is my favourite part! The 360 degree animation makes the game a more immersive experience. Here’s one, but you can find many more on their YouTube channel!

I really enjoyed participating in the development. Exoplanet Explorers is one of the most immersive and experiential games out there. It puts you in the shoes of a scientist, not only on the observational side where you discover planets, but it also considers in-game “funding” and budgeting as the leader of a research team.

All images/animations credited to University of Exeter, Fish in a Bottle, We the Curious and Engine House.

Learn more here:

https://www.wethecurious.org/curious-stuff/stargazing-night-sky/exoplanet-explorers

https://www.wethecurious.org/curious-stuff/stargazing-night-sky/vr-tour-exoplanets

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