Borderlands 3 – Gamers helping science?

Borderlands 3 – Gamers helping science?

Good news for Borderlands 3 players! You might be contributing to important scientific research.

The mini-game “Borderlands Science” that you can play inside of Borderlands 3 helps scientists decode the human gut microbiome.

“Video game players are now contributing to real-world science,” said Gearbox Software co-founder Randy Pitchford. “Borderlands 3 players have demonstrated the power of gamers to solve complex problems useful to medical progress and have fun doing it. The dream that through playing a video game a scientific advancement can be made is now closer to becoming a reality.”

In the game, players connect colored shapes which help scientists to estimate the degree of similarity between each microbe. As players solve more and more puzzles, scientists will gain more and more information to help them decode the microbiome.

“Thank you to the Borderlands community for advancing scientific research,” said Massively Multiplayer online CEO and co-founder Attila Szantner. “We had a huge player base during these first weeks, and we hope that this success will entice additional AAA titles to include citizen science projects in their games.”

Players have already solved more than 36 million puzzles with on average players completing 1.2 million puzzles per day.  Overall players dedicated more than 86 total years of playtime to mapping the microbiome. This is already amazing, but more players keep joining each day, so those numbers might go up even more. After all, helping science by playing a simple game, is awesome.

“Most players are curious how they are helping science while they are having such an enjoyable experience with the mini-game,” said McGill University professor Jérôme Waldispühl. “By completing such simple tasks, players are actually helping us more proficiently train artificial intelligence algorithms to align sequences based on what seems right to most humans. This sounds simple, but it requires a lot of data, and could not be completed at this scale until a AAA game developer like Gearbox embraced such a project.”

Thanks to Gearbox Software and the partnership between McGill University, Massively Multiplayer Online Science, and The Microsetta Initiative at UC San Diego School of Medicine, gamers are now able to help scientists. If you want to help provide research for science yourself, you can do so by playing Borderlands Science which is available on Borderlands 3.

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