Kerbal Space Program Features

Humans have gazed up at the sky and wondered about their place in the cosmos since the very beginning. Do the same in a game like, say, Breath of the Wild, and you're presented with vivid images of clouds, stars, the sun and the moon. It's an important part of this and many other games that helps to create an illusion of a continuous space that stretches beyond what we actually experience within the confines of the game. The sky implies that Hyrule, despite being a fantasy world, is a part of a cosmos very much like our own, and we accept this even though we cannot fly up and check.

From the austere Newtonian universe of Spacewar! to the lush galactic disc of Mass Effect, video games have been taking us beyond Earth's atmosphere for decades, but in the eyes of Dr Jeff Norris of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, few have done the spirit and practicalities of space travel justice. Speaking at this February's DICE summit in Las Vegas (video below), Norris threw down something of a gauntlet. "If you'd like games to be recognised as a great form of art, I'm afraid that some of you, not all of you, are going to need to step it up. You see, great art, doesn't just move us as individuals, it can move entire societies." For Norris, art has worth when it's bringing about "riot and revolution", when it furthers some broader cultural or political enterprise - an enterprise such as NASA itself, which has long relied upon dreamers of all kinds to relay its values and significance to the world at large.