Port of Mars

How can we sustain healthy human communities in space? Port of Mars is a game-based research effort to find solutions to the social challenges of human space exploration, as well as other, terrestrial challenges.

Some of the thorniest challenges of human space exploration aren't technological. They're social. We're seeking solutions by engaging the public in the scientific process. And we're making it fun. Port of Mars is a game-based social science experiment designed to discover answers to the question: How can we best sustain healthy human communities in space? Players are citizens of an early Martian community charged with working together to provide for the sustained welfare of the settlement. All player behavior is tracked and recorded. We analyze this data to examine what behaviors and group dynamics tend to produce success, and what tends to produce failure. Each instance of gameplay is a simulation, a modeling exercise for future human space communities. Our goals: - To produce new knowledge useful to stakeholders in space exploration and other fields - To create a fun, engaging game - To engage the public in actively solving problems.

Key Accomplishments

Production of a card-based Port of Mars game. Pilot study using the card-based game. Forthcoming publication of research from pilot study. In-progress digital version of the Port of Mars game.

Video

People

John Marty Anderies 
School of Sustainability, ASU

Lance Gharavi 
School of Film, Dance and Theatre, ASU

Elizabeth Castillo 
Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies

Marco Janssen  
School of Sustainability, ASU

Tanya Harrison 
Planet

Robert Kirsch 
Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies, ASU

Allen Lee 
Center for Behavior, Institutions, and the Environment, ASU

Christine Nguyen 
Global Biosocial Complexity Initiative, ASU

Calvin Pritchard 
Center for Behavior, Institutions, and the Environment, ASU

Mai Trinh
Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies, ASU

Patrick Young 
School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU

Michael Yichao
Riot Games