Elite: Dangerous studio Frontier Developments is immortalizing a player's mother with a special tribute within the space exploration game.
The player, named CMDR Sataris in the game, explained his story on Reddit. His mother, Kathy McBrayer, passed away away in June at the age of 49. Soon after, he sent a letter to Frontier Developments that explained she was responsible for him being interested in astronomy and by extension the virtual galaxy for Elite: Dangerous:
She had very little, and lost all of her surviving family members over the last few years. She was found deceased last Friday. Before she passed away, we had spoken of all things astronomy and had hours long conversations about science in popular culture. Shows such as The Universe and Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos were frequent topics of discussion. We also discussed a new game I had fallen in love with, Elite:Dangerous. I was scheduled to travel home for the 4th of July, and I planned on introducing her to the galaxy in Elite.
In his letter, Sataris asked if they would be willing to create an in-game memorial for them that he "can fly to and think of her." He said he was willing to spend all of his credits and sell his Python, a very high-end ship. He even offered to pay real-world money to make the memorial happen.
While he didn't expect a response, Frontier Developments reached out to say they were honoring his request:
We found and renamed a planet in BD+26 2184. While it's not an inhabited world, it is a rather unusual planet. I hope you will like it.
Here's a screenshot of the world, now called "Kathy McBrayer":
This isn't the first memorial in Elite: Dangerous. When Leonard Nimoy passed away, Frontier renamed a starport to "Leonard Nimoy Station." They also named another starport "Pratchett's Disc" in honor of late Discworld author Terry Pratchett. It's great that Frontier is willing to extend the same courtesy to someone who isn't a celebrity.
The developers weren't the only ones who decided to show CMDR Satari some kindness. A fellow player also gave him a Lifetime Expansion Pass for Elite Dangerous. The Pass, which grants access to all future expansions for the game, is priced at a hefty £130.00:
His gift came in this morning, and I don't know what to say aside from thank you Commander. I will try to pay this forward to the community when I have the opportunity.
Elite: Dangerous allows players to freely explore a 1:1 recreation of the Milky Way Galaxy. They can make credits for new equipment through trade, scouting plates, or more violent jobs like piracy and bounty hunting. Players can also join factions to battle for territory. The game is available for PC and Mac now and will eventually be available on consoles.