Obama & Kids Call Astronauts, Want to Know: Can You Play Video Games in Space?

Video games came up when President Obama made a long-distance phone call to the International Space Station this morning.

As reported by ABC News, Obama, some members of Congress and a group of Washington, D.C. school kids spent 28 minutes videoconferencing with the crew of the shuttle Discovery.

The Prez was friendly and conversational with the astronauts. When it came time for some questions from the students, the first one was, "Can you play video games in space?"

Obama dutifully relayed the question to the crew. Perhaps surprisingly, the answer that came back was yes, you can play video games in space.

In fact, one of the astronauts (we’re not clear as to which one) replied:

We can, in fact. And in fact a few years ago when I was up here for six months I had a video game that I used to play in my spare time. Unfortunately, we don’t have much spare time.


So we can, we have a lot of laptop computers. But for the most part we stay real busy doing real work.

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  1. Bennett Beeny says:

    I bet they play Backyardigans: Mission to Mars.  That game is set aboard the Space Shuttle, and it’s just about the difficulty level that folks at NASA would be able to handle.

  2. TBoneTony says:

    I can imagine when Astronaughts are not working, they are playing on their nintendo DS and they lose their stylus pen because they forgot to put it in the DS back of it. 

    Then the pen would just float away.


  3. MartyB says:

     LOL, I just noticed that in the picture, it looks like Obama is looking at the sky while he’s talking to them.  or more like looking up out the window.

  4. Father Time says:

    If I were in space I’d try playing a star wars game myself.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  5. mdo7 says:


    Yeah I would like to do this experiment.  I’m a bit of a scientist myself also.  I like to do this experiment.

    Can somebody write up a experiment and come up with a hypothesis for it??

  6. lordlundar says:

    You actually make a good point about the six axis and Wiimote. Can the motion sensors work without gravity?

  7. bracomadar says:

    Would the PS3 six axis, or the Wiimote work in zero G though? Seriously though; if I could get to fly the space shuttle around in space, why would I need a video game

    PSN: bracomadar

  8. Harry Miste says:


    | XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HarryMiste |

  9. Austin_Lewis says:

    I’m actually making another trip to Centralia, Pennsylvania, the place the movie is based off of.  I went once alone, and it creeped the hell out of me, but walking was unsafe if I went too far so I decided not to explore the whole place.

  10. Cerabret100 says:

    That’s like the time i was walking home alone at night with Silent Hill Homecoming…just flat out asking for some smack-down from the gods of irony and coincidence.

  11. Father Time says:

    Post a smiley, right click it and go to image properties, change the Url and hit OK.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  12. chadachada321 says:

    Also, if you open the url in another window and have that window over this window (so that you can see both this comment field and the image), you can simply drag the picture into the comment field and it will work just the same. Just drag and drop, but make sure that you can see the image and comment area at the same time, no scrolling.


    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  13. Elegant says:

    Well, the Gameboy was released in Japan in mid-1989, so I doubt you’re thinking of that particular handheld. Perhaps it was Nintendo’s Game & Watch system (which was bundled with Tetris) or the Russian G&W knock-off Elektronika (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elektronika#Electronic_toys). 

    Only reason I’m digging this much into this was my own first thought to your post, which was "huh, I thought Game Boy came out in the early 90’s."

    The more you know!

    — XboxLive Tag: JuiceLayerJihad

  14. Chaplain99 says:

    Let’s hope nobody brought a gun with them.  Lord knows what might happen if they play GTA IV too long.

    "HEY! LISTEN!"

  15. gamadaya says:

    lol, that was a good one. Yeah, playing dead space and watching Alien and Event Horizon.


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  16. gamadaya says:

    lol, of course they can play videogames in space. Stuff doesn’t just stop working when you get up there. But I imagine that when you get into space, playing videogames suddenly doesn’t seem as interesting anymore.


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  17. Elegant says:

    They are, as it says in the article, kids.  They are curious and ask whatever pops into their heads.  Give’m a break, man. I’m sure you weren’t Sir Isaac Newton at the age of 13, either.

    — XboxLive Tag: JuiceLayerJihad

  18. PHX Corp says:

    -16 ton weight drops on head- well that was a dumb question

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

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