Games & Positive Perception - Mars Society Convention

24th Annual International Mars Society Convention - 4 Days


Sobocinski: Terraforming Mars? Games & Their Positive Impact on the Perception of Space Exploration

In the 1950s Wernher von Braun ignited the spark in America hungry for space travel. He published articles that presented wondrous visions worthy of SF writers of his time. In the years to come, together with another visionary, Walt Disney, they reached millions with images of rockets and space exploration. Both von Braun and Disney paved the road for the positive perception of Apollo missions and the discoveries yet to come. However, 65 years onwards, newspaper articles and animated TV shows will not entice the same enthusiasm anymore. In the world of daily tweets from Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, in the years that belong to Netflix presenting new space exploration dramas and documentaries on a weekly basis, social campaigns must be both more interactive and immediate. The audience is waiting for a new Mark Watney to take them to Mars here and now. As surprising as it may seem, the last 20 years have seen the greatest rise in the video games & board games industries, constantly surpassing that of Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and even Cape Canaveral. There are hundreds of games that present players with dilemmas, issues, and solutions worthy of Mars mission control, astronauts, or even future colonies. It is happening here and now! The question remains if those games can play a similar role to what von Braun and Disney achieved in the 1950s. Can board games depict concepts worthy of space exploration discussions? Can games introduce topics to a wider audience? Can games generate public support which the whole industry will require in the years ahead of us? How can they do it? And finally, is there an obvious policy that Mars Society and other organisations can apply to win public support for space exploration?

The 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention is Thursday-Sunday, October 14-17, 2021. This convention presents a unique opportunity for those interested in the planet Mars to come together and discuss the science, technology, social implications, philosophy and a multitude of other aspects of Mars exploration.

You can register on the main website After you register, you can access the convention's main application Attendify at using code "TakingFlight".paceVR

More info and session listings are in the hub world, code PDK958