No gaming or iPods allowed in space

In space, no one can hear you scream or listen to your iPod.

Which is probably just as well for game designer Richard Garriott who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to become one of the world’s first space tourists a couple of years back, only to discover he could bring neither his iPod nor play video games in space.

Yes, for fear of flames and hacking.

Back in 2008, Garriott paid exorbitant amounts of cash to be slingshoted into space by shuttle and stay at hotel International Space Station for a truly ‘out of this world experience.’

And where better to kick back at zero gravity and play some MMORPGs, right?


Because despite the fact the ISS does have an Internet connection, NASA and their Russian counterparts are apparently extremely concerned that linking up to a bunch of spotty 14 year old kids on Earth may spawn a serious space hacking attempt.

One they don’t feel able to cope with, apparently.

Garriott told gaming site Kotaku “they were so worried about people tunneling backwards to the ISS and wreaking havoc that it became a non-starter.”

Yes, beware the MMORPG playing teen, for they are more dangerous than alien life forms creeping about your space ship and killing you in the dark.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Garriot also wasn’t allowed to wile away the gameless hours in orbit listening to his iPod either, as apparently the lithium battery was considered a fire hazard.

“They make you take the battery out and all kinds of crap. It’s a pain in the ass,” he is quoted as saying.

“You had to have the lithium battery pulled out, because, hypothetically, it’s a fire hazard — it’s not really; it’s actually much worse after you crack the whole thing open, rip the battery out and put wires into it — but anyway, it costs you so much money to even take the iPod, it just wasn’t worth it.” 

With no music to float about to, and no gaming to pass the time, it sounds rather like the whole trip wasn’t really worth it to be honest. But what else do rich folks have to waste their money on these days?