As a countermeasure to stress or monotony, astronauts have drawn on leisure activities imported from Earth or improvised on board. The little free time available on ISS today is largely used for the consumption of media, Earth observation, and communication with family and friends.
It follows that, in regards to future exploration scenarios, working and living conditions will change. The visual contact with Earth will be limited or missing, thus also affecting communication with the ground: leisure time will assume a new important role as a psychologically beneficial activity.
A Game for Space, 2009
Authors: S. Häuplik-Meusburger, M. Aguzzi, R. Peldszus
> read in Acta Astronautica
A review of play activities in orbit and their benefits to date suggests a need for additional recreational opportunities. In response, an interactive strategy game for use in microgravity is presented that relies on interlocking sphere-shaped game pieces in order to make the most of the kinetic and sensory potential of reduced gravity conditions. Aside from the play value and aesthetics of this reconfigurable modular game structure, the activity may help maintain and enhance manual dexterity, mental alertness and sociability amongst the crew. The design solution and prototype are presented and further research and development requirements are outlined. The prototype was also tested with elderly dementia patients, many of whom can benefit from – and frequently enjoy – visually stimulating and tactile interaction in play.