Gaming science, scientific games

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A talk I gave at the Science Communication Conference 2011. For more information see the blog post at …

A talk I gave at the Science Communication Conference 2011. For more information see the blog post at http://marthasadie.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/gaming-science-scientific-games-my-scc2011-talk-scc2011/

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  • Lots of sources http://www.mcvuk.com/news/40635/Global-games-market-worth-over-100bn More games than film http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/6852383/Video-games-bigger-than-film.html Over 50% Source: Lightspeed Research (2009), cited by Nielsen (2009) Games second biggest http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/what-americans-do-online-social-media-and-games-dominate-activity/ App store downloads http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007713
  • Learn about disease transmission Sure, some of it isn’t scientifically accurate, ie you are playing God, but a lot of good info in there
  • Experimentation Factoid
  • Odds of Royal Flush – 649,740 : 1 or 0.000154% Good poker player must understand probability until they feel it rather than think it.
  • 3 parts on one site – doco, weekly activities – minigames and competitions, ARG murder mystery
  • Lots of sources http://www.mcvuk.com/news/40635/Global-games-market-worth-over-100bn More games than film http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/6852383/Video-games-bigger-than-film.html Over 50% Source: Lightspeed Research (2009), cited by Nielsen (2009) Games second biggest http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/what-americans-do-online-social-media-and-games-dominate-activity/ App store downloads http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007713
  • Lots of sources http://www.mcvuk.com/news/40635/Global-games-market-worth-over-100bn More games than film http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/6852383/Video-games-bigger-than-film.html Over 50% Source: Lightspeed Research (2009), cited by Nielsen (2009) Games second biggest http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/what-americans-do-online-social-media-and-games-dominate-activity/ App store downloads http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007713
  • Wanted partly to inform, partly to arouse curiosity, which survey shows we did.

Transcript

  • 1. Gaming science, scientific games
  • 2. Overview
    • Education
    • Engagement
    • Experimentation
    • Research
    • FUN
    Gaming Science, Scientific Games
  • 3. State of play
    • Games are big business, near ubiquitous and demographically diverse. Not to mention ancient.
    • Publicly traded games companies worth over $100bn
    • More spent now on games than films
    • Well over 50% of both men and women play games online
    • Games are the second most heavily used internet sector after social networks and blogs
    • Majority of app store downoads are games (maybe 80%)
    Gaming Science, Scientific Games
  • 4. Pandemic Gaming Science, Scientific Games
  • 5. Launchball Gaming Science, Scientific Games
  • 6. Poker Gaming Science, Scientific Games
  • 7. Routesgame.com Gaming Science, Scientific Games
  • 8. Routesgame.com (Channel 4 in association with the Wellcome Trust)
    • Found the target audience - teenagers
    • Minigames achieved a large audience – 2 million plays for Sneeze on Miniclip
    • Positive feedback from teachers and participants on educational themes.
    • “ We learn from books, for exams, formulas and stuff, what we learnt on routes is more to do with real life”
    • “ I have learnt lots considering I have no direct interest in science and don’t take any sciences at A Level”
    Gaming Science, Scientific Games
  • 9. High Tea Gaming Science, Scientific Games
  • 10. High Tea Gaming Science, Scientific Games
  • 11. High Tea findings
    • Reached a huge, largely new audience (3 million gameplays and counting from all over the world)
    • Comments show that people liked having a factual basis for the game and learning whilst having fun.
        • How come I only understood what I’d seen in a museum after playing this game?
        • Wait a minute, IM DOING MATH!!! (sic)
    Gaming Science, Scientific Games
    • Over 50% of survey respondents said they would go on to research the opium wars after playing High Tea.
  • 12. Foldit
    • Protein folding game
    • Testing the hypothesis that “human’s pattern-recognition and puzzle-solving abilities make them more efficient than existing computer programs at pattern folding task”
    • If true “can teach human strategies to computers and fold proteins faster than ever”.
    Gaming Science, Scientific Games
  • 13. Foldit Gaming Science, Scientific Games http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGYJyur4FUA
  • 14. Foldit
    • 2 years later…
    • Players resolved the structure of a monkey virus protein which had been unsolved for 15 years in 2 weeks of play
    • Designed a new protein
    • Shown that “Foldit players can outperform known computational methods”
    • Massively increased the number of world experts in protein science
    Gaming Science, Scientific Games
  • 15. And more, and more…
    • Coral Cross – an alternative reality game about flu pandemic preparedness
    • Signtific Lab – crowdsourcing future forecasts
    • Fate of the World – climate science
    • Wolfquest – wolf ecology
    • Vanished – collaboration with real scientists, learning scientific techniques, collecting data etc.
    Gaming Science, Scientific Games
  • 16. A cautionary tale Gaming Science, Scientific Games
  • 17. A cautionary tale Gaming Science, Scientific Games
    • Pocket Frogs
    • Eggs go directly to frogs
  • 18. A cautionary tale Gaming Science, Scientific Games
    • Meant to be about evolution
    • Ended up with a mechanism more like intelligent design