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Gaming for Science: How Video Games Are Making Research Fun


hands on iPad with NeMO-Net video game

NeMO-Net players classify corals to help train neural networks for automated classification to monitor coral reefs.

Credit: NASA

Video games paired with citizen science are increasingly being used by researchers to make data collection and analysis fun and rewarding.

One study found that volunteers playing the Stall Catchers citizen science game processed 50 times as much data as researchers working alone. Another study found that volunteers playing Cell Slider classified tumor images with over 90% accuracy, nearly on par with trained pathologists.

"The concept is for the player, without actually knowing the background of the problem, without knowing the science of the problem, to be able to do something that helps solve the problem," says Jay Halderman vice president of BALANCED Media|Technology, which has created multiple citizen science video games.

"We need creative players who want to push the boundaries of the game and create unique kinds of data we could never gather in an experiment," adds Olivier Morin, a research group leader at Max Planck Institute for Geoanthropology.

From Discover
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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