Researchers from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Massive Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS) have confirmed they will be publishing a study based on data from the 'citizen science' project they entered into with CCP Games that saw Eve Online players analysing real biological data in-game.

Renewed back in February last year, CCP Games' Project Discovery sees the company partnering with researchers to place real-world scientific data into the notably complex and Machiavellian space-'em-up Eve Online. Players were then asked to classify these data - subcellular protein patterns in the first iteration and exoplanet observation data in the second - based on a provided set of rules; when a consensus was reached the data was sent back to researchers for further analysis.

Now, researchers at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Massive Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS) have confirmed that they are ready to publish the results of Project Discovery's first round - and that the combination of gaming and science proved a winning formula.

'The quality of work and the level of activity of players have proven our original hypothesis that integrating games and citizens science can provide a virtually limitless human computation engine for scientists,' crows Attila Szantner, chief executive and co-founder of put-science-in-games specialist MMOS, of the study. 'This is the proof and a very important first step towards getting the whole games industry and scientific community to accept this new tool.'

'I believe that the integration of scientific tasks into established computer games will be a commonly used approach in the future to harness the brain processing power of humans, and that intricate designs of citizen science games feeding directly into machine learning models has the power to rapidly leverage the output of large-scale science efforts,' agrees Professor Emma Lundberg, who leads the Cell Atlas portion of the Human Protein Atlas which provided the original data and has worked on the project's output. 'We are grateful to all the citizen scientists who participated in this project, and for the discoveries they made. o7'

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October 14 2021 | 15:04