The Power of Research

Two days ago, on 23 February, a strategy browser game called “Power of research” was launched. Development of the game was supported by the European Commission with FP7 funding. It is supposed to inspire young Europeans to pursue scientific careers and disseminate interesting up-to-date scientific information.

From the press release:

Players assume the role of scientists working in a virtual research environment that replicates the situations that scientists have to deal with in the real world. The game […] is expected to create a large community of more than 100,000 players who will be able to communicate in real time via a state of the art interface. […]

“Power of Research” players can engage in “virtual” health research projects, by performing microscopy, protein isolation and DNA experiments, publishing research results, participating in conferences, managing high tech equipment and staff or request funding – all tasks of real researchers. The decisive game elements are communication, collaboration and competition: players can compete against each other in real time or collaborate to become a successful virtual researcher, win scientific awards or become the leader of a research institute.

The game connects the players to the real world. It is based on up-to-date science content and players work on real world research topics inspired by the FP7 health research programme that will be regularly updated. Popular science events, real research institutes, universities and European health research projects form part of the game. Players also have access to a knowledge platform, where they can search in a virtual library, zoom-into real scientific images and learn more about Nobel Prize laureates. European science institutions and hospitals will have the possibility to contribute to the game and provide details about their research. In a later phase of the game, players will also have a virtual hospital environment, where the game will consist in bringing results of research to virtual patients in the form of drugs and therapies.

(I love the statement “The game connects the players to the real world.”)

So shall we do a reality check? Who wants to play?

About steffi suhr

Once upon a time, I was an enthusiastic and hopeful biological oceanographer who did a bunch of work in the Antarctic. I was alternately wearing labcoats or extreme weather clothing and hard hats, but have long since swapped survival suits for dress suits and do science management, currently as the BioMedBridges project manager at the European Bioinformatics Institute. I still like to use my brain. I'm a German serial expat, currently - again - living in the UK.
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10 Responses to The Power of Research

  1. Steve Caplan says:

    All right, Henry. Roll up your sleeves. Austin and I challenge you NOT to chess or Scrabble, but to “Power of Research”…

  2. Ooh, I sense a weekend tournament some time! Maybe all the different blogging networks should challenge each other!

  3. steffi suhr says:

    We’d have to pick the same discipline, I guess. I was thinking of working on STDs. Cath, are you sure you want to work on virtual grants on top of the real ones?…

    • good point.

      But maybe there’s space in the fake grants for including all the stuff I’d sometimes really like to include in the real ones? Like a “yacht for project manager” line item in the budget? Or “project manager might quit and then you’ll all be screwed, SCREWED I TELLS YA MWAHAHAHA in the “potential pitfalls” section?


  4. KerstinH says:

    Ha, this looks really interesting! And fun. Will definitely give it a try.

    A little sad though, that among the nine eminent supporting scientists there is only one woman…

    (And since I am new to commenting here, maybe a little introduction is in order: Hi, I’m Kerstin, documentary filmmaker infected with science, in the process of designing an online game myself to accompany our current film project. I have been reading your blog and others on Occam’s T for quite a while and will try to de-lurk a little more often in the future. Because I like what I read around here!)

  5. KerstinH says:

    Thanks for the welcome! Pleasure to be here.

    The game looks like it will need a bit of time to get into it. Nothing like that at the moment. We are on the road, filming. Will have to wait.
    Lots of blond avatars, though. The females. Don’t know about the males…

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