Become a citizen scientist and help in the battle against cancer in Guerilla Tea Games and Cancer Research UK's GeneGame
by Harry Slater 19/7/2013
Developer: Guerilla Tea Games
Format: Android, iPhone
While playing on your smartphone, wouldn't it be nice if you could make the real world a slightly better place?
That's the concept behind GeneGame, an upcoming smartphone app from Cancer Research UK that's designed to be fun and to help in the charity's fight against cancer.
The game is being developed by Scottish studio Guerilla Tea and will go live in app stores in the autumn.
There's no specifics yet on the actual gameplay of GeneGame, but in this case it's most certainly the effort that counts.
As you play GeneGame, you see, you'll be inadvertently analysing reams of data that scientists have been collecting since the '70s.
Gamers vs Cancer
According to Cancer Research UK citizen science lead Amy Carton, the charity has "petabytes of genetic data" that need to be analysed, and "the nature of that data is such that humans are far better at analysing it than an algorithm."
That's where GeneGame comes in.
By playing this forthcoming game, you're helping to spot the genes that could cause cancer.
Guerilla Tea Games's CEO Mark Hastings says that the game will "create a gaming experience that's enjoyable" while also helping push scientific research forward.
The bigger, the better
What would take a small group of scientists an age to process can be analysed much quicker via gamification and crowdsourcing.
There's no word yet on the target platforms for GeneGame, but it's a fair guess that iOS and Android will be in the thoughts of the game's publisher.
We'll keep you updated about this interesting and important project when we know more.
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