I went to an interesting get-together that was co-organized by Brandon and attended by many of my game-designer-y friends where we took part in a few proto-game experiences involving projection on the inside of a portable “geo-dome.” It was pretty cool – saw some interesting simulations. And like in a fixed-location planetarium, the folk running the program showed us one of those “powers-of-10” style videos that they had created themselves where you zoom out from Earth to the limits of the observable universe.
When we zoomed out to about intergalactic scale, I felt huge vertigo, as I usually do, while my brain tried to process the scale involved. It makes me kind of queasy.
It’s interesting – in the abstract, I can imagine traveling between stars, but I have a really hard time imagining traveling between galaxies. It’s like my subconscious has a sense of the realspace distance between things at that scale, and just refuses to believe in what I’m seeing when the camera moves from galaxy to galaxy. Even though I believe one day humans (or some offshoot of us) will find a way to travel faster than light! It’s weird.
Another thing: I get kind of angry when I start to process the raw resources available at that scale and frustrated with how little we have to work with at our current technology. Grrr!