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Valve programmer applies to Mars One colonization program

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Jeep Barnett, a programmer at Valve Software, is "completely satisfied" with his job, but he'd be ready to leave within a week if he were selected to help establish a colony on Mars, he told Kotaku.

Barnett, 30, sent in an application this month to Mars One, the nonprofit organization that's looking to colonize the Red Planet starting in 2023 and document the process with a reality television series. The initial mission would send four humans to Mars — on one-way tickets.

In his application video, Barnett said he "grew up believing that everything in science fiction would eventually become science fact," and added that moving around a lot as a kid forced him to learn to make friends quickly. In answering a question about why he should be chosen for the mission, Barnett spoke of the skills he has developed as a programmer, saying, "I'm great at engineering efficient and logical solutions to complex problems."

"I wouldn't want to hop a ship without the years of critical training and preparation needed," he said in an interview with Kotaku, "but hypothetically, yes, I'd be ready to leave next week without regret."

Barnett previously studied at DigiPen Institute of Technology, where he was one of the creators of Narbacular Drop, the game that Valve turned into Portal after it hired Barnett and the Narbacular Drop team in 2005.