Usually, when it comes to video games, I tend to take the "seizures and motion sickness" warnings with a grain of salt. Yet despite a mind bends to no pixel, and whose heart pumps pure testosterone, yours truly has found himself with that strange, uncomfortable sensation: one that, in an earlier era, would have sent Southern Belles to their respective fainting couches.
Indeed, the kids over at MIT Game Lab have decided to make physics
f*cking trippy fun, in the form of A Slower Speed of Light: a project that uses the whimsical world of video games to explore the concept of special relativity. The game revolves around the "laughably simple" task of object collection - specifically, a series of orbs. The twist is, as noted in the video by "Product Owner" Gerd Kortemeyer (who can't help but sound like every German villain in the history of American action movies), is that with each orb collected, the game "artificially lowers the speed of light." In doing so, A Slower Speed of Light aims to illustrate the distortions that occur when object approach the speed of light - something to which, it goes without saying, we are fundamentally unaccustomed. The game is quite short - it took me just under nine minutes to collect all 100 orbs - but well worth a playthrough. A Slower Speed of Light is an open-source project, and is currently available for free download at the MIT Game Lab.
So until the release of Noam Chomsky's re-imagining of "Civilization," in which players lead indigenous people of an unnamed country, spearheading a noble, but futile agrarian movement against the forces of imperialism and international finance capital, enjoy the psychedelic loveliness that is A Slower Speed of Light! Do it for science.