Cancer Research UK’s citizen science journey began almost 2 years ago. We knew our scientists had huge amounts of data and that they were struggling to analyse this as quickly as they’d like – it can take years. A lot of this analysis needs to be done by the human eye. Whilst some automated methods exist, these just aren’t reliable enough. And so the way to speed up the analysis is by getting more people working on it.
At the same time, we knew that the concept of crowd-sourcing was growing rapidly.So we saw an opportunity. What if we could get the general public to help our scientists? This could help speed up their research and so help us beat cancer sooner.
Cell Slider was our first product. We launched it in October 2012 and it’s been hugely successful. We’ve already had more than 2 million classifications.
And our citizen scientists were able to analyse data 6 times faster than researchers – in only 3 months they had analysed data which took pathologists 18 months.So we saw that the potential to accelerate research was huge. And so we wanted to do something bigger and more ambitious – something which had never been done before. This was when we came up with the idea of Play to Cure. We’d noticed the number of people who were playing mobile games. What if they were able to analyse cancer data at the same time? We set ourselves the challenge of tapping into the mobile gaming market. We decided to develop a mobile game that could help accelerate cancer research.
Last March we held a GameJam where we brought together Cancer Research UK scientists with developers, academics, gamers and designers for a weekend. At 6.30 on the Friday evening, as most people were heading home for the weekend, our team of experts were gathering ready to begin their hard work. People travelled from as far as Seattle, Dublin, Belfast and the Isle of Man to be there.At the beginning of the weekend, our scientists shared their challenge. After that it was about everyone working together to develop mobile games which could solve it for them.We were looking for a game which could translate genetic data into an engaging and playable game – but most importantly a game that could generate robust scientific analysis.
In 48 sleep deprived hours, 12 gaming prototypes were made.The next step was finding an agency to help us take the output from that weekend and turn it into the game that we’re launching today.
This is where Guerilla Tea came in. With their gaming expertise, they’ve worked closely with our scientists to make sure that Play to Cure is fun and that it really will be helpful to our scientists.
We’ve made a game which should appeal to people of all ages. We want everyone to be a part of this cos everyone can have an impact. We want anyone, anywhere and any age to download the game. Imagine the impact we could have if every single person with a smart phone played the game for just 2 mins – whether they’re in the queue at the supermarket, sitting on the bus or waiting for their dinner to cook.Because the incredibly exciting thing about this game is that you’re not just playing a game – you’re analysing genetic data and helping to speed up cancer research.
I’m James GPWorked on the development of the game alongside our game developers GTI’ll use the next X mins to give you a quick intro to the main parts of the game and what you need to be a pro (like Ed!)
To set the scene... Here’s the background story....The year is 2147. A mysterious unknown substance has been released into the ether, dubbed EAIn 2824, you are now working for Bifrost Industries, a company leading the way in the highly valuable and tradeable substanceTo rise through the ranks in the company your job is to collect and trade as much EA as you can. This is how....
This will be the route you flyYou’re making the route you fly by tapping on the screen First part which is directly linked to the science
The line is the route you’ve mappedThe circles are the parts on the route that you tappedYou can tap the asteroids to blow them upYou move the phone left and right to navigate
Fast and furious asteroid field – a random level that will come up which you need to get throughShot by taping the asteroidsCanbe difficult but keep going!Once you have weapons you can upgrade your ship to help
Go to your app store and search Play to CureRate the app to help our rankings on the public launch next week Tues (8th Feb)Already had lots of press an PR interest here and internationally including the likes of Channel 4 and The New York Times
GAMIFICATION AND REWARDS
INNOVATION, CANCER RESEARCH UK
Cancer Research UK traditionally under-indexes
with males, we needed a product to address this...
• 85% of active CRUK supporters <55 are female
• 2011 – 253,000 men raised £18.5m for Prostate Cancer – Movember
“men are willing to support charity as long as it is low involvement, derives personal benefit, and facilitates banter with
Drop the Drink
• Challenging social drinkers and their mates to see who has the willpower to give up drink for January
• A fun, banter-rich fundraising challenge targeting ABC1, 25-45 1000 old men
Projected Income (mid-case, year participants)
Test will power
Challenge friends and colleagues
See the world beyond the pub
Feel good about supporting a great cause
63% of target
be likely to take
74% had taken
time off alcohol
before – 50% in
A number of creative routes and names were
Projected Income (mid-case, 1000 participants)
Alcohol calculator (light gamification) supported
acquisition – driving awareness, registration and
250,000 web visits,
47% via mobile
Live updated team leaderboards (using JG API)
fuelled banter and competition
Teams accounted for
3% of registrations
but 6% of income
Teams are worth raise more, and return
sponsorship at a higher rate
Dryathletes were awarded with virtual badges at
received badges on
average raised 41%
more per JG page than
Rewards are a key motivational driver
adding value & deepening engagement
Badges and rewards drove high levels of
engagement providing multiple touch points
Open rates on badge
emails were in excess of
60% and the highest
reported across CRUK
Standalone Facebook and Twitter communities
allowed for creation of distinct campaign ToV
80% of Dryathletes do
not follow CRUK on
any other social
Virality rates on
“Talking About” rates
regularly exceeded “likes”
peaking at 30,000 on NYE
Use of digital assets to support fundraising and
drive awareness were critical to success
We often hear the phrase “sponsorship fatigue” but Dryathlon™ highlights that
in combining insights with innovation we can identify and develop fundraising
products which reach new audiences.
Further value can be generated by capitalising on existing consumer
behaviours and using gamification and technology to create an engaging
supporter experience and provide a resource efficient solution.
What is Play to CureTM: Genes in Space
– the world’s first mobile phone game built to analyse real
cancer gene data
– We want to find out if crowd sourcing can analyse scientific
data just as accurately as the experts
– We want to use crowd sourcing to speed up data analysis
Ultimately we want to find the genetic clues which will lead to
the development of personalised treatments, sooner
Play to Cure: Genes in Space
WHO ARE WE WORKING WITH?
– The data comes from the lab of Professor Carlos Caldas at
the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
– The samples were kindly donated from patients on the
METABRIC breast cancer trial, which hit the headlines in
early 2012 with results that showed that breast cancer is
actually ten different forms of the disease.
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
View <Headers and Footers> to
How does the game work?
– The game is based on identifying variations in gene data represented by the
peaks and troughs that deviate from the ‘baseline’ on the plots like the one
– From this, scientists can pinpoint exactly where the changes in the genome are
– The human eye may be more accurate than a computer at finding these changes
and identifying key genes which might underpin certain types of cancer
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
How does the game work?
– The raw, anonymised microarray data is fed into the game and translated into
– When a gamer plots their intergalactic course they simultaneously identify the
important variations in the data – they then fly this course collecting element
– The analysed dataset results are fed back via the Zooniverse platform to our CRUK
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
REMEMBER: DON’T WORRY ABOUT MAKING
EACH SAMPLE WILL BE ANALYSED 50 TIMES BY 50
TO ENSURE ACCURATE ANALYSIS.
WE JUST NEED PEOPLE TO TAKE 2 MINUTES TO PLAY!