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The Unity game engine is participating in a quite exceptional form of gamification. The engine will work together with NASA to help with a new Mars mission.
Unity will provide a virtual Mars rover experience to go along with an expedition that is set to land on Mars on August 6, 2012 at 6:31 a.m. BST / 7.31am CET. The Curiosity rover will assess the conditions on the planet’s Gale Crater. This will be followed in turn by the virtual 3D version. People can download this version with Unity right now in order to provide feedback on its functionality pre-landing.
The Mars mission will see the rover test the crater to measure its past and present environments. It’s capable of drilling and scooping up soil for analysis. This will try and figure out if there was ever a possibility of life in the area. It will be able to travel 20 kilometers in one Martian year, which lasts 98 Earth weeks. David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies, stated: “From games to Mars rover mission simulation! We’re so honored that Unity is being used to power a simulated experience for this historic scientific mission.”
Not bad, for a pastime some people still don’t take as a serious life decision. Next time someone gives you some lip on your gaming habits, feel free to shove this in their smug faces.