What on Earth is SpaceX doing at a video game conference?

SpaceX at GDCMatt WeinbergerSpaceX makes its case to video game programmers at GDC 2015.

Ah, the Game Developers Conference — where anybody with an interest in the industry can bump elbows with the likes of Sony, Microsoft, Valve, Epic Games, and… SpaceX?

It’s true: Elon Musk’s private space travel startup SpaceX has a booth in the Career Center at GDC 2015. And while they’re being typically tightlipped with the press, Business Insider has heard that they’re here recruiting programmer talent, just like everybody else in Silicon Valley.

SpaceX has a history of recruiting talent out of the gaming industry, per an article in Fast Company:

“We actually hire a lot of our best software engineers out of the gaming industry,” said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, when Fast Company posed this question during the May 29 Dragon V2 unveiling. “In gaming there’s a lot of smart engineering talent doing really complex things. [Compared to] a lot of the algorithms involved in massive multiplayer online games…a docking sequence [between spacecraft] is actually relatively straightforward. So I’d encourage people in the gaming industry to think about creating the next generation of spacecraft and rockets.”

It makes sense: As video games get more complex, you’re dealing with physics and spatial analysis problems with the exact same C++ code you might use for rocket simulations at the SpaceX lab. Along similar lines, corporations like Nike (and a few slot machine manufacturers) are at the Game Developers Conference looking for the same kind of talent.

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