Life Underground: The Game
A downloadable game for Windows and macOS
A new video game designed to bring the excitement of astrobiology science into middle school classrooms has been released by the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Development of the game, Life Underground, was supported by the NASA Astrobiology Program through the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI).
Life Underground is an interactive outreach experience for 7th and 8th grade classrooms. The goal is for students to visualize microscopic life at a range of terrestrial and extraterrestrial subsurface conditions. Set in the near future, players take the role of a young scientist investigating extreme subsurface environments for microbial life. Piloting an advanced scientific vehicle, which doubles as a mobile laboratory, players must navigate a mine and connected caves to gather samples, isolate organisms, and conduct experiments. During their adventures, players are aided by a team of virtual scientists who help them gather more valuable data about the extremophiles they uncover.
Tested by teachers, Life Underground was carefully crafted to inspire players to explore STEM-based careers. The game introduces students to the engaging process of scientific discovery that today’s astrobiologists experience in their professional fields. By allowing players to create experiments with virtual microbial life, it also reinforces their understanding of the scientific method.
For more information, and to download Life Underground, visit: https://gameinnovationlab.itch.io/life-underground
Additional educational materials related to astrobiology can be found on the Astrobiology Program’s Education page at: https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/education/