Play games, contribute to science! 

Adam McEvoy here from the Innovation Hub. I am sure a lot of you have been spending some of your recently abundant free time at home playing video games. Did you know that you can participate in actual science studies by playing video games? 

For example, in the blockbuster video game Borderlands 3*, there is a mini-game called Borderlands Science where you can solve fun puzzles while simultaneously aligning mysterious gut microbe DNA based on patterns and training artificial intelligence as well! Human brains are really good at recognizing details and patterns that computer programs get stuck on. For more information on how these types of DNA puzzles work, visit DNApuzzles.org.

When people play video games like Phylo, FoldIt, or any of the other free games listed below, scientists are able to use the billions of ‘human-brain petaflops’ of computational ability generated by gamers across the world daily. All of that brain game time equates to real scientific data that is collected and used by scientists all over the world!

So, all of you game playing science lovers should definitely try these: 

  • Phylo uses the same basic idea as Borderlands Science, but it’s safe for young audiences. 
  • FoldIt, ask you to solve puzzles by folding proteins and has a recent Coronavirus update.
  • Or any of these great citizen science games.

Have fun playing with science!

 *Borderlands 3 is a commercial game for 17+. Sorry, kids, it’s just for grownups! 

Adam McEvoy

Adam McEvoy

STEM Educator

My whole life I have felt like I am exploring a new, alien world where there is something unique to find, exciting to try, and fascinating to learn everywhere I look! I am at my happiest when I am sharing those interesting finds and experiences along with my own new creations with others. Adam is a STEM Educator for the Innovation Hub.