IN it’s first month, Borderlands Science players have completed 36 million puzzles which is a huge help for scientists. Dr. Mayim Bialik, known for playing Amy in The Big Bang Theory, explains the connection between scientific research and solving puzzles in video games better than I could in this brief video.
“Video game players are now contributing to real world science,” said Gearbox Software co-founder Randy Pitchford. “Borderlands 3 players have demonstrated the power of gamers to solve complex problems useful to medical progress and have fun doing it. The dream that through playing a video game a scientific advancement can be made is now closer to becoming a reality.”
Since launch, Borderlands Science has reached the following significant milestones:
- Players solved more than 36 million puzzles;
- On average, players completed 1.2 million puzzles per day;
- Participation from more than 700,000 players from the larger Borderlands 3 player base;
- Borderlands Science continues to grow with nearly 250,000 new players in the last two weeks;
- Overall, players dedicated more than 86 total years of playtime to mapping the human gut microbiome.
This major initiative is the result of international partnerships with researchers and scientists at McGill University, Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS), and The Microsetta Initiative at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
“Thank you to the Borderlands community for advancing scientific research,” said Massively Multiplayer Online Science CEO and co-founder Attila Szantner. “We had a huge player base during these first weeks, and we hope that this success will entice additional AAA titles to include citizen science projects in their games.”
“Most players are curious how they are helping science while they are having such an enjoyable experience with the mini-game,” said McGill University professor Jérôme Waldispühl. “By completing such simple tasks, players are actually helping us more proficiently train artificial intelligence algorithms to align sequences based on what seems right to most humans. This sounds simple, but it requires a lot of data, and could not be completed at this scale until a AAA game developer like Gearbox embraced such a project.”