We recently received a very original and special email from David Saint-Jacques, a Canadian astronaut from NASA, currently on mission in the International Space Station.
David is a board game addict, and plays from time to time on BGA. He usually plays here Jaipur, Carcassonne and sometimes Puerto Rico. The extraordinary fact is that he also plays online directly from orbit!
Believe it or not, but the astronauts in the ISS have an Internet connexion available. It is slow, but it is functional, and apparently it is good enough to play on BGA! During one of his (few) free time slot, David played a game and probably became the first person to ever play on BGA from Space, and maybe the first person to ever play board games from Space. It's a small step for (a) man, but a giant leap for a Meeple!
But David's message is going way further: it seems that NASA is looking for new activities for astronauts, in order to stimulate their cerebral capacities while improving the ambience between teammates. Board games is of course their first choice ... except that without gravity this is really hard to manipulate boards, cards and dice... This is why NASA is thinking about using online boardgaming platform "officially" during its long-term missions.
Following this, before the end of this year, we are going to organize on BGA a big contest to select a dozen of candidates for a future job of "Board games instructor" (these are the words from the Agency). The Job Of Your Dreams: you will organise board game sessions for the astronaut crews - on Earth of course, but why not in Space at some point in the future?
Get ready to launch!
UPDATE April 2nd: April's fool! Thank you everyone for your nice comments