A brand new and innovative way of communicating science research launches today with a project from the Wellcome Trust which is going to bring together researchers and game developers in an effort to create new games exploring and explaining the latest developments in bio-medicine. This would be a good opportunity for everyone involved to gain new insight into bio-medicine and how to apply the latest developments to a video game in the modern day.
The Trust is basically inviting researchers to present and share their ideas for games based on their PhD work in bio-medical science or the medical humanities. They will share these ideas with game developers so that they can turn these ideas into addictive, challenging and educational games for everybody to love and play. Those selected will partner at a two day hack in which the games will be created. The best of these will receive funding to develop into a releasable game.
To help inspire ideas and give researchers a flavour of what’s possible a web-app, developed by Mobile Pie, has been commissioned, offering an interactive and fully embeddable guide to the nuts and bolts of mechanics and motivation that lie behind successful game design. The web-app also features sample 16bit mini games to illustrate the different elements of gaming, including a Darwin inspired survival of the fittest pigeon game, a Mendel genetics puzzle game, a game based on Asch’s work on conformity, and a Newton-targeting apple game. See kids, science can be fun and enjoyable.
The Wellcome Trust see gamify your PhD as a part of their wider commitment, which is to use games and gaming culture as a means of engaging people with science. A range of awards schemes is open to developers interested in creating innovative, entertaining and accessible games based around biomedicine and medical history.
Daniel Glaser, Head of Special Projects at the Wellcome Trust said: “The engaged researcher has lots to learn from gaming and game design can benefit hugely from the latest scientific advances. That’s why the Wellcome Trust is throwing its weight behind this innovative interaction. Today’s brightest researchers understand that science does not take place in a vacuum and the best research can engage with the most popular culture. I’m very curious to find out what these teams will come up with.”
Tomas Rawlings, the Wellcome Trust’s gaming consultant said: “Science and games are a natural fit, both are about the participant seeking to understand the rules that govern the world they find themselves within and achieving this by experiments such as trial-and-error. Gamify your PhD is an exciting twist and evolution of these areas.”
The deadline for applications from researchers and developers is 12 August, and the games hack will take place between the 3-4 September 2012. The resulting games will be made available online. All details about the scheme and the web-app guide to gaming can be found at www.wellcome.ac.uk/gamify