Take a Look at MIT's Slightly Trippy—and Oddly Spiritual—Game About the Speed of Light

The last thing I was expecting from a game built on relativistic physics principles was a gentle allegory about the afterlife. But that's exactly how A Slower Speed of Light starts off. The little protagonist in this title from the MIT Game Lab actually dies right at the start of the game and has to pick up objects that help him along to becoming light itself.


The PC/Mac prototype offers players a look at how the world would appear when traveling at lightspeed, complete with Doppler shift and time dilation. For a game made by straight-up certified geniuses, it's a really approachable experience. It's a free download, so if you're the least bit curious about what it's like to warp one of the universe's greatest constants, definitely check it out.

A Slower Speed of Light [MIT]

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There is a huge mistake in this, if you travel with the speed of light toward something moving such as the little guys walking around, those guys would be moving twice as fast. And they would slowdown/stand still if you were moving away from them. In this they just moe regardless of what the player does.

Also the cool thing about the player having a physical shape is lost. Think about moving backwards with 1.1 the speed of light. There would just be darkness, since no light would be able to fill out your shadow.

Or wave your hand in front of you, take one step left, zip 30 feet ahead with 1000X Speed of light, take one step right and turn 180 degrees. You would see yourself waving at yourself.

Sadly this game depicts how the world would look like if you were traveling with the speed of light and not how the world would like like if the speed of light was actually just super slow.

The Lorentz-transformation and finite light speed is the least interesting part of slowing down the speed of light.

It is the least interesting part since it can be done with a simpel vertex shader. Where the cool features of slowing down the speed of light would entail heavy duty GPU photon calculations, or cleverly handling a thick database of all past movement of all moving objects.

I would love to be able to run around watching myself run around. Waving a twig in front of me, watching the end of the twig farthest away slightly lacking behind.

Maybe in a later release they'll realize these things and share with us a playground where we can mess around with stuff like that.