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Space

Bit of Play: Space

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Bit of Play: Space

The infinite and Outer space gets us thinking about the ways we've visited the beyond. 

For any number of reasons, games set in space form the backbone of our medium. For the most part, they feature the kinds of narratives you'd find in a YA book with a cool space dragon on the cover, but sometimes, they strive to be a little more. Some games take that concept of space, which most people have never really interacted with, and finding the ways it intersects with a primarily interactive medium. Which is to say, sometimes games are about big, empty voids, and sometimes, they like to contemplate infinity, and maybe even mechanize it. (You can read our full primer here).

So throughout this episode you'll hear us discuss the past and future of games set in outer space or about space exploration. We discuss some of our favourite games, Mass Effect 2 and Metroid, and some of the weirder games in the medium's history that shot us into the vastness of outer space.


THANKS TO THE FREE MUSIC ARCHIVE FOR "Wanna See My Spaceship" by Beatoven and "Moondots and Polkabeams" by Podington Bear. Our header image is from Joi Ito on Flickr. 

BUILT TO PLAY IS A PRODUCT OF THE SCOPE AT RYERSON RADIO STATION IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN TORONTO. IT WAS PRODUCED AND EDITED BY ARMAN AGHBALI AND WRITTEN BY DANIEL ROSEN.

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Built to Play 54: The Beyond

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Built to Play 54: The Beyond

Built to Play explores the great beyond with games about the human heart, the future and cosmological afterlife.

It's taken us a few weeks to get back into gear thanks to DICE, GDC and PAX East all being in short succession of each other, as people are either at a conference or will be soon. With that in mind, welcome to our first theme of 2015, Space. We're going to explore games and media's relationship to space and how it was almost inevitable that the black background of early video games would be explained as "Oh, that's just space." Not included on that list funnily enough is Space Invaders, which takes place in the upper atmosphere and therefore has no excuse. 

Infinity, whether it's expressed as the infinite blackness of the void or the range of infinite possibilities, has often been alluded to by games. In Gravity Ghost, Erin Robinson uses our impression of space as a glimmering and distant wonder to set a stage for a purgatory of sorts, where hurts can be healed and children can be redeemed. Zach Gage doesn't refer to space at all in #Fortune, unless one is lucky enough to have a fortune involving it. Instead, #Fortune reaches into the seemingly infinite output of Twitter and delivers an often random collection of potential events. Both projects attempt to describe something beyond us, the future or death (or maybe both),  and trust that we'll like what they find. 

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