Although Tetris has the distinction of being the first video game of any kind transported in space – it was taken aboard the Mir space station in 1993 by the Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr A. Serebrov – the distinction of the first PC game in the space belongs to the real-time StarCraft strategy game.
In the spring of 1999, mission specialist Daniel T. Barry brought a copy of the hit game that StarCraft had secured among his belongings. The copy of StarCraft completes the trip with him, traveled 3.7 million miles in almost 10 days and was sent to Blizzard's offices after the STS-96 mission was completed. In one interview with Blizzard in 2017Barry explained why he chose to take the game with him:
I decided to take StarCraft with me when I went into space because … a lot of reasons. The first is that I really enjoyed the game, but, you know, I enjoyed a lot of games. The main reason was that StarCraft helped me keep in touch with my family during my trip.
I was often absent from home as part of my job as an astronaut, but also partly because our family situation was that my wife was a professor in Massachusetts and I often traveled between Houston and Massachusetts . When you have children, you want to stay in touch every day. I read them books. I had used to read about an hour, sometimes an hour and a half at night, and that's how we reviewed – do you know that there are 16 different books of Wizard of Oz? I did not know it, but we went through all of them.
We also played games together, and StarCraft, in particular, stood out as a game that my son and I have played for years as a way to have a good time together and I really want to play. [StarCraft] brought us together as a family. Then, of course, the theme of space and all that stuff … it fits perfectly. StarCraft and Go are the only two games I've created in space.
Of course, you are probably curious to know if he could play the game while he is in the space. Alas, the way things work when astronauts fly with objects is that the majority of the objects they choose to carry with them are stored and inaccessible during their stay aboard the space station. Even though he had managed to keep the StarCraft record, Barry noted in the same interview that he would not have had much time to play it, and get permission to install a video game on a laptop from the NASA aboard the resort would certainly have been more than a little tricky.