Richard Garriott is going to have 40 gamers with him when he travels to the International Space Station in October. But the lucky clutch of gamers won't be there in person, but rather in digital DNA.
NCsoft kicked off a contest today which will select five sets of eight gamers to have a digital form of their DNA sent into space with Garriott. The DNA will be stored on an "Immortality Drive", which will also house a digital archive of mankind's greatest achievements. The device will be stored on the International Space Station as a sort of "offsite backup" of humanity, NCsoft says.
"I've been able to do some very exciting things in the games business, but nothing of this magnitude," said Garriott, executive producer for Tabula Rasa at NCsoft. "I'm thrilled we can offer the once in a lifetime chance to millions of gamers to virtually go to space with me. A select few will have their DNA digitised and sent. And, theoretically, if anything happens to the human race, it could be their DNA that is used to resurrect humanity".
But what happens with that DNA if and when you win?
NCsoft, likely aware of the many legal implications of having a batch of DNA floating about anywhere other than real space, promises that they will keep the results of the DNA sequencing anonymous and that not ever the lucky gamers will get a copy of it. Instead a licenced genetics lab will digitize the results and upload the code directly to the Immortality Drive.
The contest, which requires you to open a Tabula Rasa account, even a free trial, kicked off today and runs through the end of August. To enter just visit the site and participate in teh weekly polls on humanity's greatest achievements, the results of which will be included on the drive, perhaps with your DNA.
DNA? Space? Hasn't Garriott learned anything from Dr. Who? All we need are some cosmic rays or errant meteor and we're all doomed, dooooooomed!