Digital games are an important medium of communication, entertainment, education and business. They have one thing in common, they are programmed.
The video game industry such as is a winner in the past few years. One of which is the god simulator game. Now gamers have even discovered the research. With an unusual action, they are helping scientists to gain new knowledge. The manufacturer of Borderlands Science gets prominent support from a star of the series “The Big Bang Theory”.
Computer games and science
When research meets computer games, it is of course playful. The successful shooter game Borderlands 3 uses this via a reward system built into the game. Here players have to achieve success in a world between western, sci-fi and fantasy.
For the successes achieved, they receive points, which they can exchange for rewards. Whoever plays is paid in fictitious currency similar to the real world. Scientists now want to use this reward system. In the in-game game Borderlands Science, a game within the game, there is an old arcade slot machine. Anyone entering Doctor Tannis’ infirmary can play a round of arcade games at this old machine and collect points in the service of science, of course.
Because the data for the puzzles that have to be solved there come from microbiome research. The microbiome is the entirety of microorganisms that live, for example, as bacteria on and in humans.
And the solutions from the game help to decipher this data and, for example, to better understand our intestines, which we also call our second brain, but still do not really know it.
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Game manufacturer Gearbox explains it to its gaming community as follows. “The human gut is related to many ailments and diseases. This includes obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety, autism and more. By plotting these microbes, the scientists hope to be able to better know these ecosystems, which can lead to future research into new treatment methods and interventions. ”
The game gets prominent support from Mayim Bialik. In the hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory, she plays Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler. In contrast to her fellow actors, she is also a researcher, a neuroscientist, in real life. In a video, she explains how the game works for science.