September 19, 2011

Jane McGonigal is Looking More like a Prophet: Gamers Map Aids Enzyme in under Three Weeks

I was pleased to hear from an old friend Cynthia Calongne, who is Chair of Emerging Media at Colorado Tech. She guided me to this fascinating news story from Yahoo! LINK: http://news.yahoo.com/online-gamers-crack-aids-enzyme-puzzle-175427367.html

You might also recall that a few months ago I blogged about Jane McGonigal who has become well known for the radical proposition that we don’t need people playing less games, we need them playing more. Jane explained both in a well publicized TED presentation and in her book, (Reality is Broken) that the usefulness of gamers should by no means be underestimated. And that in fact it could easily be that we are on the brink of tremendous innovation if only we can get our society to devote more time to playing games.

The story Cynthia pointed me toward is about a game called Foldit, created by researchers at the University of Washington in 2008. The game lets participants attempt to map enzymes in 3D space, a task apparently too complex for today’s computers.

So my question to you, do you think Jane was right? Are games, education, computers and social responsibility all on a path toward solving many of today’s biggest problems? Or is this a fluke? Leave us your comments etc. below.

Posted by Allen Partridge6:56 PM
  • Yes, Jane was right and this is just the beginning. Check out her http://www.gameful.org which is a ‘game’ but not as it connects all interested in creating games and not just gamers.

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