Playing NASA's Facebook game will actually make you smarter.
I hate Facebook games with the fire of a thousand g-type main-sequence stars. But, I managed to put all that aside when I heard that NASA just released its first stab at a social network app, which gives you the chance to best other geeks in space trivia to earn meaningless rewards that I suddenly must have.
Space Race Blastoff is a trivia game that you play on Facebook against two other random people. Choose your character, join the queue, and start answering questions about NASA, spacecraft, astronauts, science, history, math and the universe (among other categories). Some of the questions are fairly simple, but I fancy myself a space buff and I was stumped by more than a few. Like, did you know that armalcolite is a mineral found on the moon and named after Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins?
You get points for getting questions correct, and extra points for being the first to answer, so there's a little bit of stress thrown in for good measure (if you want to win). At the end of a set (10 questions long), you get a bonus question, which comes in the form of a video from real live astronauts or NASA scientists. With all the points you've accumulated, you can buy badges commemorating things from each category: I'm currently rocking X-48B and Mars Global Surveyor badges and I plan to go back for more. Bring it on, nerds!