The role of video games in creating initiatives

Video games are always associated with the recreational field, but very few know that some video games have been used to help with disease research or other projects. Nobody imagined the relationship of these concepts until now.

We all know that computers have become a very important tool for processing data and solving problems. And as a result of these, video game consoles arise and with them an industry is born that has grown exponentially in recent decades.

Adrien Trouille, a scientist at Streamlit, recently went on to say that if players “in addition to passing screens, contribute their brainpower to the scientific community, great strides would be made.” And you’re right, that’s why video games have emerged that are part of initiatives.

A video game against the coronavirus fight

In these turbulent times where little by little we are returning to normality within the possible parameters, video games have also contributed their bit to combat this virus that has wreaked great havoc on the world population.

In this case, there are two video games that are part of initiatives aimed at achieving a cure for COVID-19, we refer to Foldit and EteRNA.

Foldit is a kind of three-dimensional puzzle game that can be played online with other players. It is free and available on Linux, MAC and Windows. What is special about this title? The answer is that its mechanics are based on the construction of DNA and depending on the structure we create we can create diseases or help to combat them.

Behind Foldit is the University of Washington that launched this game in 2008, and three years later, players managed to crack the protein from the Mason-Pfizer virus, a virus that is similar to HIV, and opened up new avenues for AIDS research.

Since March, a new puzzle has been available to search for a solution to the new coronavirus and more than 50,000 new players have registered to contribute to this challenge.

On the other hand, in 2011 the video game EteRNA appears. In this case, the game is to create RNA molecules.

RNA is intended to form the genetic code for viruses. It can also be used as an aid in the investigation of COVID-19 and therefore they have launched EteRNA – Corona Puzzle in order to find strategies and get an antiviral.

Video games unite in the discovery of exoplanets

Video games that are part of initiatives are not only focused on fighting diseases, they are also part of exoplanet research.

An example of this is EVE Online, a massive online multiplayer video game set in science fiction. Players have the opportunity to meet real exoplanets digitally and contribute directly to science as in the previous cases.

On this occasion, the project was promoted by the startup Massively Multiplayer Online Science and the Universities of Geneva and Reykjavik.

No one would think that video games can become as essential as these cases. Ready to contribute to science? Take the controls of your console and go for it.

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