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[Play to Cure: Genes In Space]

PostPosted: 07 Feb 2014, 20:59
by CardiffGreens
Some of you might be aware of the application of distributed computing - SETI, Folding@Home and the like (and sometimes for some more nefarious reasons) .

The one unfortunate issue with building incredibly efficient distributed computing algorithms is the total lack of any end-user interaction - you just hook it up and let your CPU/GPU take the brunt and try not to overheat. Folding@Home on the PS3 is a lovely example, as the Earth slowly rotates around as you increase your electricity consumption 14fold...

Well, yesterday I received an email from Cancer Research UK informing me of their new game - "Play to Cure: Genes in Space".

It's a fairly simplistic space shooter, you traverse a small area of space (moving left and right) to fly through hoops and collect magic space dust ("element alpha") - shooting asteroids and trying to not get blown up in the meantime. You can then trade this space dust in at the end of the run for Credits (or save it if the RNG hasn't offered an acceptable amount). Credits buy you level-locked upgrades for the ship.

Rinse and repeat.

The clever (and still lacking somewhat in an explanation of how it actually works) bit is the map you plot your navigation course. This is an image of genetic data that would have to be looked at manually by researchers - instead by plotting your course over you're apparently doing their work for you (that or the mobile's processor is doing something - it's not actually made clear unfortunately). Once processed and you've finished your level, stuff gets sent back to CRUK's research team to continue the good fight.

Download it from Google play store or iTunes