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Video Games and Their Basis in Theory

  1. Jan 30, 2012 #1
    Are there any theories with which the mass effect fields of Mass Effect and the slipstream space of Halo draw inspiration from? Is there any scientific basis for either, or is it complete fantasy?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2012 #2
    The Mass Effect method of travel is utter BS. How one would create a corridor of "low mass space" I have no idea. How this corridor is supposed to enable FTL travel is equally ridiculous. It doesn't matter how low something's mass is, it can't travel at light speed, let alone surpass it.

    I have no idea how Halo's FTL is supposed to work and I don't have near enough interest in the series to read up on it.

    However, it would also be interesting hearing someone's take on the Independence Wars series' travel methods.



  4. Jan 31, 2012 #3
    Halo's FTL travel sends space ships into an "alternate dimension" called "slip-space" where things get "funky."

    it's actually sort of like how the Nether works in Minecraft if you know of it. Basically you go some distance and you pop back out and wow you went a lot further... or something. It's a video game, they didn't go into much detail. Even in the novels.

    but anyways, no, Halo's FTL does not have any basis in real scientific theory
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  5. Jan 31, 2012 #4
    I've always thought, at least to the layperson, that the basis for FTL travel and FTL communication were tackled very well by the space based MMO Eve Online.

    From Eve's science articles:

    "So what is the elusive answer to FTL travel? It was found through advanced research in the field of quantum electrodynamics. By creating depleted vacuum, that is, vacuum as found in space but completely stripped of all energy, and then expanding this depleted vacuum to envelop a ship, the ship is capable of moving faster than light through this bubble of depleted vacuum. A depleted vacuum bubble is more than frictionless – it is so anti-friction that things (including light) actually move faster in it than they would in complete vacuum."

    And for FTL communication:

    "The roots of the solution lay in an ancient paradox, often called the EPR paradox, the name shrouded in mystery. The EPR paradox is famous for contradicting quantum physics in some very important ways. Specifically it shows another old physic theory, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, to be untrue. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, believed to be named after a place or a person, affirms that the exact state of quantum particle cannot be determined with full accuracy, no matter how refined the measurement equipment is. The classical example being the measurement of the velocity and position of a free particle: to be able to measure the position of a particle you must be able to 'see' it. This means that you have to illuminate it at least with one photon. But the collision between the photon and the particle changes the velocity of the particle, thus making it impossible to determine what the velocity was before the position was measured."

    Click here to read the continuation of FTL communication "solution". It's a fun read.

    As I said above, to the layperson, this stuff sounds pretty cool and seems "realistic". At least they have some clever authors.
  6. Jan 31, 2012 #5
    EPR stands for Einstein Podolsky Rosen
  7. Feb 4, 2012 #6
    What do you think about the kinetic shields of Mass Effect, are they total BS?
    (I read Michiro Kaku told something about some deflector fields or something like that on Discovery Channel, but i havent seen it.)
  8. Feb 5, 2012 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    They depend on the ability to alter an objects mass, which isn't possible, so yes they are total BS.
  9. Feb 5, 2012 #8


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    This is why I got very annoyed when tutorial students email me questions when I was playing video games at home. Ruined my fun :frown:

    back on the topic of OP, when I played mass effect just treated them like any other fantasy games made by bioware. If you change mass effect field into magic, abilities into spells, soldiers into warriors, engineers into rogues, adepts into mages, medieval weapons into guns....

    oh, and about the mechanism of their guns, their bullets (which are microscopic pieces of metal, ummm, let's another can of crap) are "accelerated" by the mass effect field... uhhh... :uhh:

    basically they haven't thought through on how change in mass somehow end up with propelling objects. I guess it is somewhat believable that the Hanars can "walk" out of water using mass effect fields but, everything else is a far fetched to say the least.

    It is also doubtful the people who designed the mass effect world are even knowledgeable about physics at all. When they talked about the "element zero" it is describes as an element which mass increases as positive current flows through it, and decreases in mass as negative current flows through it. WTF is a "positive current" and "negative current"?
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