A screen cap of from Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Kickstarter for a space themed video game. (Neil deGrasse Tyson on Kickstarter)
A screen cap of from Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Kickstarter for a space themed video game.

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Kickstarter



October 23, 2022

Some of my first encounters with space and its other aspects was through television and video games. Here are a few of my favorite:


Prey is a video game that holds a special place in my heart. My first encounter with this was a couple years ago in 2017 when youtuber Markiplier posted the first video in his series about the game. (You can watch it here.) From what I remember, the game starts with you waking up in the ruins of this big fancy spaceship.

A screen cap of the atrium area of the video game. (Prey (2017))


Throughout the whole game, you fight aliens first-person-shooter-style and unlock upgrades as you gather more materials in the ship. Some upgrades give you an advantage against these aliens, but you have to be careful! The very upgrades that give you an advantage, could bring you closer to becoming an alien.


The whole thing is really well done, and it’s great commentary on the whole “man/monster” concepts we see done again and again in all kinds of media.


The next piece of media is the movie Gravity. It follows our main character Ryan (Sandra Bullock) and astronaut Matt (George Clooney) on Matt’s last space mission before retirement. Disaster strikes (I won’t spoil it so don’t worry) and Ryan is left alone to fend for herself in the vacuum of outer space.


This movie came out in 2013, and I distinctly remember being so delighted my mother was taking me to a PG-13 movie. I was nine-years-old and super excited to finally see an “adult” movie. I would argue, however, I walked out of that movie understanding why it was rated the way it was.


Gravity was super scary, at least to a nine-year-old. It was sort of gory and had quite a few scenes that would make any kid queasy. I remember a specific scene where we were jump-scared with (spoiler) the corpse of a dead astronaut. (You can watch that scene here.)


Every second of that movie is so unbelievably stressful, and every time I rewatch it I am baffled by the amazing visuals compounded with its (literally) suffocating atmosphere. However, one of the most famous criticisms against this movie is how inaccurate it is, which is totally fair, but I don’t think that should detract from how enjoyable the movie itself was.


The last piece of media I wanted to mention was my very first exposure to space ever, and that media is the show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Way, way back when I still slept in my mom and dad’s room, my father would put this show on while he fell asleep. In fact, he usually kept this show or some variation of it on at all times. I would say it sparked my interest in space, but it probably sparked my fear more than anything.


I really can’t recall any specific episode, but the concept of a world outside our own filled with ginormous glowing orbs of gas in an essentially lawless vacuum made me crap my pants as a kid. To be honest, it still does. It wasn’t super ideal to fall asleep to theories about the gas giants just beyond our planets, especially as a child with such an active imagination.

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About the Contributor
Grace Anderson is a Senior Writing and Publishing major and the Editor in Chief of The SIREN. She loves minions.

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