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Astronomers say our galaxy has 100 billion planets. With our current technology, humans are only familiar with 7 of them. And, though NASA is targeting a manned flight to Mars in the 2030s, we’ve only visited our own. If you want to hop from planet to planet the way the Millennium Falcon does, video games are our only hope.
Space Travel, developed in 1969, is one of the very first video games. Players tried to land a craft on various planets and moons of our solar system, using buttons on a (room-sized) computer.
With today’s video games you can get far beyond the solar system. The science-fiction RPG Mass Effect allows you to land on 170 different planets. In the MMORPG EVE Online, an estimated 60,000 planets exist. That’s more than you’d ever be able to physically travel to, no matter what access we might have.
But the true gold mine for virtual space travel is coming in August 2016. No Man’s Sky, by indie developers Hello Games for PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows, has a virtual universe created by algorithms and random number generators that is said to hold 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 planets (or just over 18 quintillion). Happy virtual traveling!