Eve Online creator CCP has announced the second round of its citizen science initiative Project Discovery that seeks to channel Eve Online’s playerbase into meaningful scientific research.
While the first Project Discovery sought to examine proteins within human cells, this latest campaign will inject Eve Online with real-world astronomical data in hopes that players will gather to classify components within, and ultimately help advance the search for planets that reside outside of our solar system.
Project Discovery, in both this and its previous form, offers a powerful look at how developers and players alike are able to use video games as a useful tool for scientific research, even through something as small as a minigame.
The previous run of Project Discovery tasked players with identifying specific elements of human cells through an image matching minigame and ultimately saw the submission of over 25 million total classifications for the Human Protein Atlus.
This time, CCP has partnered with Massively Multiplayer Online Science, the University of Reykjavik, and the University of Geneva to take on the task of and task players with classifying astronomical data through a similar process.
"In searching for the next dataset for our massive player community to tackle, the stars aligned for players to have the opportunity to directly contribute to the search for new planets with a world-renowned scientific team," said Eve Online executive producer, Andie Nordgren. "Real people around the world collaborating in a virtual universe to explore the real universe is the stuff science fiction, and soon science fact, is made of."
The crowdsourced science initiative is expected to launch later in 2017, with more details on the process due in April.