EVE Online Gamers Role-Play as Covid-19 Researchers

While they are experts in saving fictional worlds and other aspects of gaming, researchers have called on them to help with the Covid-19 pandemic. They have delivered 471 years worth of work so far.
A mini-game called Project Discovery is part of the EVE Online multiplayer space opera. It serves as a citizen science platform and a citizen science platform. This game studies the human immune system's response to the new coronavirus. Researchers can use gameplay to help them identify patterns that could be used as predictors for disease severity.

McGill University, British Columbia Cancer Research Centre and University of Pennsylvania are part of the project. CCP Games, an EVE Online developer, collaborated with Massively Multiplayer Online Science to design the citizen science component. MMOS is a Swiss company that combines scientific research and games to create a seamless gaming experience. CCP Games spokesperson says that 426,000 people are currently playing the Covid-19 minigame. They have completed 1.8 Million analysis tasks since June 2020, when the project launched.

Multiplayer games and more general games need to include citizen science. To use some of this for greater scientific benefit, Bergur Finnbogason (creative director of EVE Online)

It is a constant struggle to retain players in the highly competitive MMORPG market. Retaining players is crucial for citizen science projects, according to Bergur Finnbogason (creative director of EVE Online). Projects like SETI@Home and distributed computing programs such as SETI@Home require human input. You need players who are willing to return to the table and play again and again.

EVE Online is still very popular despite falling numbers. The gameplay is basically a DIY space opera. Capsuleers embark on epic space missions that include exploration, mining and industry. There is also plenty of piracy and no-holds-barred PvP/E battles. Capsuleers can use their time via Project Discovery to help improve critical research processes in Earth. They are also rewarded with exclusive in-game items, such as facial augmentations and apparel, in return for their participation in real-world scientific breakthroughs.

Project Discovery's latest mission requires players to help scientists analyze the blood of infected people for disease markers. Finnbogason says that the interface was built to allow you to swap data between scientific servers. The tracing tool allows players to identify and mark cell clusters within the blood of Covid-19 infected patients.

He says that it is often easy to spot large and dense clustering. However, when the area becomes very sparse, that's when the money lies. Multiple players can work together on the same data sets in order to agree on specific areas of interest. After the data sets have been verified and sent back to the lab, players can view a cross-section at a higher resolution.

Scientists can pinpoint which areas need to be examined more closely in order to understand the infection in various cell types and populations. David Ecker, EVE Online's production director, said that gamers have helped scientists reduce the number of data-crunching tasks they would otherwise need to perform. He says that scientists are far less common than gamers and that they can be omitted from the data-crunching tasks. They will only look at samples that have been deemed worthwhile by our players.

Data submitted by citizens scientists will not only be used to study SARS-CoV2 infection but also help researchers. This data will be used to train artificial intelligence systems for future automation of these types of processes. AIs trained may be able to help with other diseases as well as Covid-19 research.

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