The world is more ready than ever to begin its next challenge, which is that of finding another habitable planet. Technology advanced enough to potentially mitigate a cultural clash between humans and aliens. However, this high-tech aspect does not describe only the scientific world. It has also become an attribute for the gaming industry. This is why Eve Online, a multiplayer online role-playing game or MMORPG, is capable enough to take up the job of finding the next exoplanet.
Eve Online consists of a collection of 7,800 star systems that players can visit. This project is so complex that not even developers are aware of how things are on each of the space bodies. Players can either explore or settle to one of these planets. Once there, they can start growing some of their skills, such as piracy, mining, trading, manufacturing, and combat. As users enjoy much freedom in this game, they can even interact with one another and create an entire reality by themselves. For instance, the Bloodbath war that took place on the B-R5RB planet lasted for 21 hours and was officially the longest and most expensive battle in the gaming industry.
The developers of the game decided to lend a hand to the scientific world. This is how the Project Discovery started. This project has the form of a mini-game where players get to explore the universe created by data collected from our reality. Players will then study space during their flights. If an observation is backed by a certain number of players, then the developers are going to send it back to the University of Geneva. In their turn, scientists will adjust their research based on these confirmed observations.
A comprehensive explanation of how things are going to work within the Project Discovery will be given by the winner of the 2017 Wolf Prize in Physics, Michael Mayor. He is also the first person who has ever discovered an exoplanet. The presentation will take place during the EVE Fanfest 2017 in Reykjavik, Iceland between April 6th and April 8th.
This is not the first time Project Discovery helped the scientific community. Last year, Eve Online players contributed to the Human Protein Atlas. They had the possibility to analyze patterns in images of human cells. Their insights helped scientists to understand better the purpose of proteins. According to CCP games, players contributed with 25 million of human cells classifications.
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