Green Lantern, Science & Social Gaming

Warner Bros Pictures movie, The Green Lantern, released on the 17th June 2011, is a reworking of a classic comics series which features the Green Lantern Corp – a vast intergalactic police force on a mission to keep order in the universe. Each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. When a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance in space, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit and the first human selected, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), who calls on the help of his love interest, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) as he joins the alien Green Lantern police against evil forces.

© 2011 Warner Bros. Ent. 2011

The Milky Way Project for players was created by Warner Bros and social-gaming developers, Hide and Seek, who set-up an online assignment where UK gamers could get involved in a special narrative featuring the characters from the ‘Green Lantern’ film by being enlisted to help make new discoveries in space, see Newton Astronomers,
The Green Lantern fans were asked by Oxford University to assist a set of citizen science tasks which lets internet users analyse images generated by some of the world’s best telescopes. The guys at NASA’s Spitzer Science Centre took images of the Milky Way using the Spitzer Space Telescope.

© Oxford University

Hide and Seek’s Maggie Robertson said:
“The Green Lantern movie project was designed to get real science coming out of science fiction. Although the story is pure fantasy, Spitzer and the space photos are real. The Milky Way Project recruited citizen scientists to examine photos that are hard for computers to identify automatically. The scientists were particularly interested in the pressure waves that result from the birth of stars, and these show up in the photos as green rings of light – which is a perfect tie-in for the movie.”
Check out the Spitzer tutorial here:

© Oxford University

Player, Rianna Lauren,16:

“It’s a cool game with postings on the(fictional) amateur astronomy group blog where a mysterious anomaly in the sky was spotted. We lobbied Dr Amanda Waller (a key figure in the DC Universe) to give them access to data from the Spitzer Space Telescope. It was great to be involved because I was excited about the movie and a geek when it comes to these things.”

If all that exploratory science seems a tad heavy for you there’s also the Green Lantern Flashgame for lightweight fun:, or you can always just enjoy the movie.

© 2011 Warner Bros. Ent. 2011

Article originally published in Disorder magazine,


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