Neat Science Thursday – Growing Science with Games

Gamification has become increasingly useful in getting people involved in science. Everyone can now contribute to science or learn more about science by playing fun and interesting games. Fortunately, you do not have to search very hard in order to find these awesome citizen science games because Chandra Clarke has already compiled them into an extensive list on her site. Here is just a small sample of the games that are available:

Astro Drone – Created by the European Space Agency, fly your Parrot AR drone in virtual space and compare yourself with real-life astronauts. Data from your successful flights will be used to train robots on how to navigate their environment. Website:

Apetopia – Run over a landscape and then choose the door with the colour that best matches the sky at that moment. Collect coins and avoid obstacles too. The game helps determine perceived color differences; player choices are used to model better color metrics. Website:

Beat the Bots – Are you smarter than a spambot? VouchSafe has built an anti-spam program that uses the way humans think to try to outsmart spammers. Draw a line with your mouse to join an object to its best match, or circle the object that doesn’t belong. Yeah, okay, this isn’t really citizen science, but defeating spam is definitely for the greater good, don’t you think? Facebook:

Cell Slider – Join the effort to defeat cancer by reviewing images to spot cancer cells.

Collabio – Participate in social psychology research. Collabio is a Facebook application that wants you to guess tags that other friends have used to describe an individual. Points are awarded according to the number of other friends who have agreed with each tag. Facebook:

Cropland Capture – Want to help improve the world’s food security? Help to improve basic information about where cropland is located on the Earth’s surface. Website:

Dizeez – Help researchers link various genes to diseases. The game is very simple: You are shown one gene name, and five diseases. Pick the disease that is linked to the gene to get points, and get as many points as you can in one minute. Website:

There are loads and loads more games so check out her Ultimate list of Citizen Science Games

More citizen science games can also be found on the Games for Change website which seeks to use gamification to catalyze social impact. Look under the STEM category, though science-related games can also be found under the other categories like ‘Environment.’ Many of these games are more on the science educational side rather than citizen science, but citizen science games like Foldit are sprinkled around the site.

If you prefer RPGs, try “Citizen Science” or “Oncology” on <a href=""the BrainPop site.