Proof of Console: Episode 2 – Mass Effect Space Travel

    Welcome to Proof of Console, the show where we examine an aspect of a video game’s lore, mechanics, gameplay, or plot from a scientific or mathematical angle to see how plausible it really is. Have you ever been playing a game casually and the suspension of belief momentarily breaks, so you think, “how would that work in the real world?” That’s what this show is all about: applying real-world science to fictional things.

    Mass Effect is an exceptional example of the hardest of hard sci-fi video games has to offer. What I mean by hard sci-fi is a piece of fiction that has actual basis in science fact to the point where nearly everything within can be explained in the here and now, despite taking place in a fictional future. What’s great about Mass Effect compared to say, works of literature, is that it has a whole team of writers working together to create the universe. This series has such detailed lore that it feels like reading through the codex is an actual account of humans’ progress into the galactic community. And so ever since I was introduced to this series a year after the first entry’s release in 2008, I wondered if, like everything else, the concept of using mass effect fields to accomplish FTL travel was really possible in the real world. Despite the aforementioned suspension of disbelief holding up a lot of the details that make this particular concept function, we can still examine this scientific phenomenon using what we know about the universe today.

    While this series’ questions and content are currently generated by the Scholarly Gamers staff, the aim for Proof of Console is to become a strictly user-generated show. So if there’s some aspect from a video game that you find particularly interesting and want to know if it can be explained using science and math, don’t hesitate to leave your question in the comments of any PoC episode. It may just end up as the topic for an upcoming video!

    The videos in this series are researched thoroughly with only reliable sources, whether those be websites, books, or scholarly articles. In-game information is taken from the developer’s information or well-established wikis. If you want to further discuss the topics or techniques used, you can get involved in the conversation via either the Scholarly Gamers’ Discord Server or on our subreddit.

    Casey Coulter
    A writer, teacher, artist, and all around nerd who has been pumping out stories and comics and drawings since he was six. When not writing, playing, or thinking about video games, Casey teaches high school English and honestly, probably tries to integrate video games in that, too.


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