Project: Project Discovery in EVE Online
EVE Online is what's known as a MMORPG ... a massive multiplayer online roleplaying game. In progress now for more than a decade, the game is science fiction's answer to World of Warcraft. Set some 21,000 years into the future, the game backstory suggests that humans have branched out to colonize space, and being humans, immediately started competing with each other for resources. You can play as an explorer, skirmisher, industrialist, or colonizer.
In an exciting development that brings real life and art together, EVE Online has announced that it is working with a Swiss startup called Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS), and students of Reykjavik University to bring a real science project into the game. Inserted as a mini-game that pays out in the game's internal currencies, players will be asked to help categorize and classify beautiful images from the Human Protein Atlas. The latter is a project to map out protein distribution in the human body, to give us a better idea of how our bodies work, and what happens when they stop working properly, leading to diseases like cancer.
"This new feature brings the opportunity for EVE players to help solve real world science problems through their in-game activity," say organizers.
For more information on the project, check out the presentation at EVE Vegas 2015, just last week.
Chandra Clarke is a Webby Honoree-winning blogger, a successful entrepreneur, and an author. Her book Be the Change: Saving the World with Citizen Science is available at Amazon. You can connect with her on Twitter @chandraclarke.