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Gamers' DNA to be launched into space

NCsoft, game software publishers, are giving players the chance to have their digitized DNA sent to the final frontier.

Richard Garriott, designer of the videogame Tabula Rasa, will take gamers' DNA in a digital time capsule when he travels to the International Space Station in October.

Tabula Rasa, which was launched last year by NCsoft, is a sci-fi multiplayer online role-playing game that involves an intergalactic fight for freedom against an alien race called the Bane.

In a promotion known as Operation Immortality, the DNA of select American Tabula Rasa players will be sequenced, digitized and stored on a memory card called the Immortality Drive. "A select few US players will have their DNA digitized and sent," said Garriott. "And, theoretically, if anything happens to the human race, it could be their DNA that is used to resurrect humanity."

Gamers around the world are invited to be a part of Operation Immortality by submitting their suggestions for humanity's greatest achievements in weekly polls and entering a personal message for the universe, which will also be included on the Immortality Drive.

Additionally, players worldwide with active accounts throughout the month of August 2008 will have their Tabula Rasa characters uploaded to the device, giving everyone the chance to go to the final frontier virtually.

Purchase of the game isn't necessary to create an account and take part in the promotion, as it's sufficient to just download a free trial.

"This is your chance to leave your mark," said Garriott. "While everyone can participate in the polls at OperationImmortality.com, Tabula Rasa players will be the only gamers in the universe who can say that a piece of them is in space, since we're sending their in-game alter-egos, and for some, their DNA, to space with me."

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