Ottawa

Space museum reaches for the stars with new Nintendo game

There’s a new game coming to the Nintendo Switch this fall and it’s an out-of-this-world creation that staff at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum helped launch. 

Partnership with gaming company gives museum broader reach

A screenshot from the game, in which players have to make deliveries across planets. (Supplied)

There's a new game coming to the Nintendo Switch this fall and it's an out-of-this-world creation that staff at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum helped launch.

The museum partnered with gaming company Seed Interactive to create Starblox, a game that allows players to act as space cargo companies, making deliveries and fighting off the competition across the solar system. 

Jesse Rogerson, a science educator at the museum, said the game is fun, but it also provides some education on the challenges of space flight. 

For example, some of the landscapes players see are based on real information, he said.

"When you are actually there, say at Mars, the backdrop you see is relatively accurate," he said on CBC's All In A Day. 

He said players will have to take real science into account when they're making deliveries on different planets in the game. 

"The gravity of Mars is about 40 per cent of what it is here," he said. "You are learning about what the places are like by playing on those stages." 

Increasing reach 

Erin Gregory, a curator at the museum, said games like this help broaden the reach of the museum. 

"For us, it's all about getting out of the four walls of the museum, reaching people where they are, delivering historical and scientific information however people learn and lots of times, that happens to be on their mobile devices," she said.

In a new video game for Ninendo Switch, a puzzler goes to battle against a brawler in a race to deliver cargo through the solar system. Alan gets a preview of the game from two experts from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. 9:15

The museum previously teamed up with Seed Interactive on a game that spotlights First World War pilots. Gregory said that brought them to a much broader audience. 

"Our Skies of Fury mobile app was downloaded almost a million-and-a-half times," she said. "We are really getting out there and taking ourselves to the audience, instead of making the audience come to us."

Ingenium, the crown corporation that oversees the museum, said that both it and Seed Interactive provided financial support for the game's development and that proceeds from the sale of the game would be reinvested. 

Ingenium spokesperson Christine Clouthier said she could not be more specific about the financial details of the arrangement. 

Starblox will be available starting Oct. 18. 

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