Need your DNA in space? Yeah, we thought so. Thankfully Richard Garriott is here to help. Well, if you're in the US anyway. (Apparently EU law prevents it taking place - any lawyers out there know why?) "What," you ask incredulously, "are you on about?"
Well, it seems that in a deeply peculiar promotion for the middling NCSoft MMO, Tabula Rasa, players are being offered the chance to have their DNA sequenced, digitised, and fired off into space as part of the "Immortality Drive", to accompany Lord "Richard Garriott" British's expedition to the International Space Station in October 2008. You know, in case the human race gets wiped out and we needs spares.
Even more peculiarly, all worldwide players with live accounts on Sept 2nd will get their TR character uploaded to the device, which is rather desperately described as an "opportunity to go to space virtually." The good Lord explains,
"I’ve been able to do some very exciting things in the games business, but nothing of this magnitude. I’m thrilled we can offer the once in a lifetime chance to millions of gamers to virtually go to space with me. A select few U.S. players will have their DNA digitised and sent. And, theoretically, if anything happens to the human race, it could be their DNA that is used to resurrect humanity."
Um, right. It is, of course, an elaborate front for pushing free trials for Tabula Rasa, which you'll be offered if you make your way to Operation Immortality. (Be warned, this site makes a lot of stupid noises with no option to switch them off, thus earning itself the right to be fired into space).
The real question we should be asking ourselves is: if humanity needs to be saved, do we really want players of Tabula Rasa to repopulate the race? I mean, shouldn't it be Eve, at least?