"In this unique private venture, we're allowing you to take control of one of the many rovers we'll be landing on the surface of the planet." Someone stumbling on the polished promotional video for the eXoplanetary Research Institute (XRI) might be shocked that they'd never before heard of the ambitious company.
At first glance, the newly announced project Extrasolar appears completely authentic. It promises anyone with a Web browser the opportunity to play a pivotal role in the first expedition beyond the confines of our own solar system. Interested applicants are directed to XRI's website at www.exoresearch.com.
The agency is fictional, but it's easy to get lost in the rich universe that's been created by Lazy 8 Studios, the independent developers behind the award-winning game Cogs. The game so thoroughly blurs the line between fantasy and realty that at times, it's hard to know where the science ends and where the science fiction begins.