How EVE Online Contributes to Scientific Research

Citizen science offers a fascinating opportunity for wide-scale research, one the gaming world is increasingly embracing. But no game has embraced the power of citizen science more than EVE Online. With Project Discovery, CCP Games has turned citizen science into a rewarding mini-game that benefits both players and the science world, and it’s going remarkably well. After a successful stint with protein folding, EVE has moved onto helping discover exoplanets.

In this talk from GDC 2017, Bergur Finnbogason, development manager at CCP Games and Attila Szantner, CEO of Massively Multiplayer Online Science, discuss EVE’s integration of citizen science. They delve into vital considerations like the mechanics of working with research data and the necessity of rewarding players. They offer a great model for anyone thinking about integrating research into their own games.

With Apple’s ResearchKit and similar tools, scientists are able to conduct psychological research within games. Sea Hero Quest provides a good example of how this looks when research is a game’s main focus. As CCP shows us, though, any popular game could potentially further scientific research with careful planning and execution. It’s beginning to look like game developers and researchers are a perfect pairing.

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