I'm torn.  There's two ways I would make a new smash video game, "Astronomy Hero".

In the first, you are doing night observing runs, trying to accumulate enough light from each target while evading clouds.  Different targets appear at different times of night, and you have to balance whether to finish a given target (accumulate enough photons) or switch to something that just appeared in hopes that you can do better there.  Targets of different brightness or dimness require different 'stare' times that you're focusing on them, so you're constantly trying to maximize total on-target time while making sure the more valuable targets get done.

I figure it has a telescope-shaped controller that you swivel around while trying to tag the different jewel-like color bars that appear in different regions.  It would capture the second-by-second excitement of operating a telescope, while totally ignoring the fact that each observing run really happens over an 8-hour nighttime period.

In the second variant of 'Astronomy Hero', you are a career astronomy faced with proposal deadlines.  Different proposals with different total dollar amounts slowly scroll down the screen, their deadlines always getting closer.  You have to decide which proposals to write-- do you go for the 'long shot' million-dollar satellite proposals, or the smaller $50K ones for minor research that are more likely, but take just as much time to work out?  Slowly your 'work hours meter grows larger, moving into the red, so you have to win a proposal to stay in the game.  Will you survive the cliffs of academia?

So, which game would you enjoy?  Or is it like the old movie 'War Games', where the only victory is not to play?

Tongue firmly in cheek,

Alex, The Daytime Astronomer, Tues&Fri here, via RSS feed, and twitter @skyday

Read about my own private space venture in The Satellite Diaries!