A Slower Speed of Light: MIT Introduces an Educational Mind Trip
By Skyliner on January 25th, 2013 (4 comments)
I'll be the first to admit that I can't even look at a game like Super Hexagon for more than a couple seconds before my eyes start to glaze over and my brain yells at me. So to make bad decisions and play a game like A Slower Speed of Light, I make Charles Darwin spin in his grave.
For MIT to make a game about ultraviolet, infrared lights, and the speed of light in a simulation sounds like fun. "The idea of the game was that we artificially lower the speed of light every time you pick up one of the little objects in the game," I am told. Alright. I don't know the implications of that, but it sounds good.
The first screen after booting up the game is a warning informing me that people sensitive to motion sickness or epilepsy should take caution. "If you feel sick, stop playing immediately."
Aha! I smell weakness! I scoff, assure myself that I am an adult, and continue.
The game tells me, "As light gets slower, you start to see beyond what humans can typically see." Yes. This is what I came for. Let us begin.
The first dozen or so orbs aren't so bad. It's a line, I'm swooping, woo! When is this going to get spacey? It's just colorful.
25 orbs. "Why is everything blurry.. is this a reverse rainbow?"
50 orbs. Things are not looking so great. I am nauseous. "Maybe I should stop. No! I beat games, they do not beat me."
70 orbs. "I think there are colors behind me. Why am I so fast?"
I am zooming. Villagers are starting to look like they're angry at me. The huge mushrooms in the town are scary. I am afraid to bump into them. Continuing with the mindset of "I must finish this" dominating "Oh dear god stop your brain is going to explode", I continue.
I made a bad decision to record myself while playing this game. I actually said the following things out loud:
'It's a reverse bullseye of color.' 'I don't think they make words for this.' 'Yeah.. yup, that [gate] is bending.' And finally, 'That green looks upset.'
I finally manage to collect all 100 orbs. I am proud. Then I spent twenty minutes with my head between my knees trying not to hurl. Victory is mine.
Altogether, the concept is fascinating and actually educational. Though it is more of a short simulation than an actual game in the traditional sense. One of the greatest facts about the project is that their coding is open-sourced, allowing anybody to pick it up and implement it in their own game.
A Slower Speed of light lets you experience something that most humans can't possibly experience normally, teaches you about infrared and ultraviolet colors, then simulates the closest thing to a colorful hallucination while collecting orbs. It's a win-win.
You can download and play A Slower Speed of Light on PC and Mac here.
Elizabeth is a connoisseur of both artsy and ridiculous things. Scouring the world for new, innovative games and technology has become a life-long obsession. Most time is consumed with studying Japan, finding obscure independent games and wincing at lots of triple A titles like an elitist. Expect only the most classiest and sapient writings, unless she finds a gif of an animal acting like a human.
Commonly found in chat as Skyliner12.
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