Gamers and Science


A gamer is someone who plays interactive games, usually video games, although games can also come in other forms, such as tabletop or physical games (in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, the term "gaming" can also refer to legalized gambling, which can take both traditional - i.e. tabletop - and digital forms - akin to video games). There are many gamer communities around the world. Many of these take the form of Internet forums and other virtual communities, as well as in-person social clubs. Read more





Can a gamer be more than someone who plays online video games?


Video gamers outdo scientists in contest to discover protein's shape   PhysOrg - September 19, 2016
Gamers playing the popular online puzzle game Foldit beat scientists, college students and computer algorithms in a contest to see who could identify a particular protein's shape. The study findings have implications for video game enthusiasts and classroom instruction, and showcase the positive impact citizen science can have on research. It shows that anybody with a 3-D mentality, including gamers, can do something that previously only scientists did, and in doing so they can help scientific progress.




How online gamers are solving science's biggest problems   The Guardian - January 25, 2015
For all their virtual accomplishments, gamers aren't feted for their real-world usefulness. But that perception might be about to change, thanks to a new wave of games that let players with little or no scientific knowledge tackle some of science's biggest problems. And gamers are already proving their worth.

In 2011, people playing Foldit, an online puzzle game about protein folding, resolved the structure of an enzyme that causes an Aids-like disease in monkeys. Researchers had been working on the problem for 13 years. The gamers solved it in three weeks. A year later, people playing an astronomy game called Planet Hunters found a curious planet with four stars in its system, and to date, they've discovered 40 planets that could potentially support life, all of which had been previously missed by professional astronomers.

On paper, gamers and scientists make a bizarre union. But in reality, their two worlds aren't leagues apart: both involve solving problems within a given set of rules. Genetic analysis, for instance, is about finding sequences and patterns among seemingly random clusters of data. Frame the analysis as a pattern-spotting game that looks like Candy Crush, and, while aligning patterns and scoring points, players can also be hunting for mutations that cause cancer, Alzheimer's disease or diabetes.





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