The first of this week’s Feelgood Fridays features a reprise from last week’s Feelgood mongers, Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS). Last week, we reported on MMOS’ Webby Awards win for their work on Project Discovery with EVE Online. But if you thought this was their only science-advancing venture in the last year, think again.
Borderlands Science is a Borderlands 3 mini-game where players help to map out the human gut microbiome while earning in-game rewards. Collected data will help towards understanding a variety of medical conditions. And it may even help to better understand COVID-19.
Over the last year, MMOS has teamed up with Gearbox Entertainment to bring this interactive science discovery game (SDG) to Borderlands 3. If this is the first time you’re seeing the abbreviated phrase, then you might be wondering just how long 'science discovery games' have been a thing. The answer is over a decade. And in that time - Borderlands Science has managed to rival and even surpass the most longstanding SDGs.
“The Borderlands community’s participation exceeded our most optimistic forecast,” said Jérôme Waldispühl, professor, McGill University. “After only one year, this massive contribution enabled us to analyze up to 84% of our original mapping of microbial DNA. We are now carefully assessing the information gained from each move made by the participants and are looking forward to applying these results to new microbiome studies as soon as possible. If the participation remains at this level, we will be able to build a map of our microbes at much higher resolution than initially anticipated.”
The ability to galvanise the gaming community into progressing huge scientific advancements is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Many features in our Feelgood Friday segments have centred around the positive sides of gaming in improving mental health and promoting awareness, as well as a vessel for inclusion and even contributing to the recovery of sick children. So lending a hand to scientific advancement through SDGs is yet another feelgood box our community can tick.
“Today we are celebrating the first anniversary of Borderlands Science, but this story started 6-years-ago when I first met Randy Pitchford and we promised each other we would collaborate on something special,” said Atilla Szantner, co-founder and CEO of MMOS. “The enthusiasm of many exceptional people at Gearbox made Borderlands Science come to life. It is the contribution of the devoted Borderlands community that made our project have such resounding success in video game and citizen science history.”
So keep up the good work, MMOS. And keep up the good work, gamers.
For more info on the Borderlands Science project, check out their official website. Oh and stay tuned for an MMOGames x MMOS interview coming soon!
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