How many of us gamers have been told that video games – and gaming in general – can’t have real-world applications? Well, developer CCP Games hopes to blow that notion out of the water.
A recent update to the developer’s seminal title, Eve Online, has gamers and the science world buzzing with intrigue, as the update allows players to assist in locating real planets outside Earth’s solar system.
The update to Eve Online now includes Project Discovery, and features a large database of the measurements of real-life distant stars, which players can investigate in order to locate actual exoplanets.
This new and ambitious undertaking is a collaboration effort between Reykjavik University, Massively Multiplayer Online Science, CCP Games, and astrophysicist Michael Mayor. Project Discovery itself utilizes data from a European Space Agency (ESA) telescope known as CoRoT, which was specifically designed for the purpose of finding these exoplanets, and it feeds that data directly into the database to which Eve Online players will now have access.
This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, though. If the knowledge that you’ll be able to help locate previously unknown planets isn’t enough to get you excited, CCP Games is also revealing that Project Discovery will allow gamers to earn in-game rewards through its use. Goodies like Plex currency (Eve Online’s in-game money), skins for your ship, and blueprints for unique CONCORD ships will all be available.
University of Geneva rector Yves Fluckiger issued a press release recently, in which he stated, “The University of Geneva is proud to pioneer this new way to interact with so many people. The image of the ivory tower is long gone when hundreds of thousands are invited to participate in scientific discoveries.”
Want to know more about Project Discovery and its collaboration with Eve Online? Check out Professor Michael Mayor in the video below, then let us know your thoughts on what is possibly one of the coolest and most innovative ways to get gamers to help the world with science!