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This article was published on November 7, 2012


    MIT turns the laws of special relativity into an interactive 3D game

    MIT turns the laws of special relativity into an interactive 3D game Image by: Getty Images
    Ken Yeung
    Story by

    Ken Yeung

    Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has released a first-person game that helps showcase science with entertainment. Called A Slower Speed of Light, this visually-stimulating game centers around the player going after orbs that will reduce the speed of light in increments as each one is collected.

    Available for both Windows and Mac computers, this game utilizes “custom-built, open-source relativistic graphics code” that will allow the speed of light to mimic the player’s own walking speed. It takes a familiar technology, games, and merges it with a fantasy setting using theoretical and computational physics to give people a rich experience.

    Speed of Light screenshot

    The game was produced through MIT’s Game Lab and Sonny Sidhu, the game designer and producer on the project said the goal was to make something familiar that was something unfamiliar and take the laws of special relativity and turn it into a game. On the surface, the objective is to simply collect orbs, but he says that as the levels progress, it will become more difficult. The speed of light is artificially reduced and that means that everyday velocity is something you’ll be able to experience it with relativistic speed.

    Speed of Light screenshot

    The code developed from this game is available to anyone who wants to build an app or game based on the same environment as Speed of Light.

    Interested players can download the game now and will need at least an Intel Core 2 Duo T9900 or Core i7 processor, Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.7, 8 GB of RAM, and a AMD Radeon HD 6970M/AMD Mobility Radeon HD 4850/Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT.

    Photo credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images