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The Penniless Gamer

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Emma Elsewhere
Oct 16 '13
A Slower Speed of Light is a game by MIT Game Lab about a ghost and the physics of light. Seeing the world through the eyes of a dead child, the player must collect orbs to slow down the speed of light and allow the child’s spirit to pass on. As the speed of light approaches the speed at which the character moves, visual effects show real physics in action; according to the game’s website, these include:

"the Doppler effect (red- and blue-shifting of visible light, and the shifting of infrared and ultraviolet light into the visible spectrum); the searchlight effect (increased brightness in the direction of travel); time dilation (differences in the perceived passage of time from the player and the outside world); Lorentz transformation (warping of space at near-light speeds); and the runtime effect (the ability to see objects as they were in the past, due to the travel time of light)."

At the end of the game, click “What Happened?” to learn why these things occur.
Due to these effects, gameplay becomes harder the more orbs you collect. It took me 3:58 to complete the orb collecting, and about ten to pass through the pearly gates because I hadn’t realised there was more to the game and went to make a coffee. See if you can do better.
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A Slower Speed of Light is available for Windows and Mac here.

A Slower Speed of Light is a game by MIT Game Lab about a ghost and the physics of light. Seeing the world through the eyes of a dead child, the player must collect orbs to slow down the speed of light and allow the child’s spirit to pass on. As the speed of light approaches the speed at which the character moves, visual effects show real physics in action; according to the game’s website, these include:

"the Doppler effect (red- and blue-shifting of visible light, and the shifting of infrared and ultraviolet light into the visible spectrum); the searchlight effect (increased brightness in the direction of travel); time dilation (differences in the perceived passage of time from the player and the outside world); Lorentz transformation (warping of space at near-light speeds); and the runtime effect (the ability to see objects as they were in the past, due to the travel time of light)."

At the end of the game, click “What Happened?” to learn why these things occur.

Due to these effects, gameplay becomes harder the more orbs you collect. It took me 3:58 to complete the orb collecting, and about ten to pass through the pearly gates because I hadn’t realised there was more to the game and went to make a coffee. See if you can do better.

A Slower Speed of Light is available for Windows and Mac here.