EVE Online’s Project Discovery makes scientists out of capsuleers

    
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Wouldn’t it be great if instead of playing gems or trolling general chat during your MMORPG downtime, you could be contributing to real-world science? And wouldn’t it be even better if MMO devs collaborated directly with scientists to make that all happen? That’s exactly what CCP is up to in EVE Online with its Project Discovery.

If you ever donated time to Galaxy Zoo, you’ll understand how this works: You play an ostensible minigame inside of EVE, hunting for patterns (or the lack thereof) in sets of images presented to you by the game. Of course, in this case the images are of human cells, and players are actually crowdsourcing some of the more mundane bits of science research for the Human Protein Atlas project — in exchange for a nifty EVE plotline and in-game rewards.

This week, CCP released two videos on the project — one an overview, one an in-character announcement — and both are below.

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Azzura
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Azzura

Kewlllll!

Tongle
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Tongle

Homework and spreadsheets oh dear.

ZenDadaist
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ZenDadaist

breetoplay Caec In the UK at the yearly Stargazing Live week on BBC, the audience is crowd-sourced (as it were) to do similar things. Like find Pulsars. It works pretty much as you describe :)

ZenDadaist
Guest
ZenDadaist

NIfty idea! I hope it works out, then we might see more of this sort of thing :)

MrEllis
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MrEllis

If I have enough time to do homework while playing a game, maybe it’s not that enthralling?

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

Caec It works surprisingly well! If they are doing it the way I suspect they are, they basically present the same image sets to multiple people. If all of those people agree in their analysis (yes, these two images are both round / blue / whatever), it’s very likely to be correct. If there’s a lot of disagreement, then it gets kicked back to experts. It would be very difficult to troll it en masse, and counterproductive since there’s a reward attached to it.
Galaxy Zoo discovered some neat stuff. I don’t know whether it was the first of its kind, but it’s the first one I remember (my husband is an astrophysicist hehe) :D

Caec
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Caec

Well, best of luck to them, but the last thing I’d ever do is trust a bunch of random strangers on the internet to do my protein analysis correctly.

Malorey
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Malorey

Getting people to work for nothing…cool concept!

Wilhelm Arcturus
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Wilhelm Arcturus

If WoW offered a special mount for doing something like this 1,000 times, the atlas would be complete in a couple weeks.

karmamule
Guest
karmamule

I love this idea, hurray to CCP for actually doing it!