GCN LAB IMPRESSIONS
NASA's 'Blast Off' a new frontier for Facebook games
- By Greg Crowe
- Feb 02, 2012
I’m sure we can all agree that the point of many Facebook games is to click on the stuff that accumulated since the last time you logged on. That, and to annoy your friends into submission until they start playing the same games as you.
Of course, we know the real point of Facebook games is to allow Facebook to get you in front of the screen as much as possible so it can make ad revenue. But that is really beside my point. My point is that these games generally don’t teach you anything more than how to use your mouse.
But that has now changed. NASA, which has long been responsible for producing interest in learning about science simply by virtue of the cool stuff it has accomplished, has now put some of that spirit into its newest Facebook app.
“Space Race Blastoff” is NASA’s first social media game and the first multiplayer game on Facebook, NASA says.
The game pits you against two other players in a knowledge contest. You are asked 10 multiple-choice questions in a variety of categories, and you have 15 seconds to answer. The questions are in a variety of categories, from basic subjects such as chemistry and math to aspects of history such as knowing who the first person to go into space twice was, or being able to identify the astronaut in a picture.
There are even questions about spinoff technologies and the space program’s influence on pop culture. Every correct answer earns 100 points, plus 20 if you were the first to click on the correct answer.
If you win a round, you get to answer a bonus question, and a correct answer there will earn you a badge (like “Venus” for a planetary question or “Isaac Newton” for a math question).
You can view your collection between games; clicking on a badge will turn it over to reveal a short fact about the badge’s namesake. A “Learn More” link will take you to a page on the NASA website with more information on that subject.
It is a cute game with more educational value than is typical of its ilk. Try it for yourself.
Greg Crowe is a staff writer covering mobile technology for GCN. Follow him on Twitter: @GCNLabGuys.