Fans of the MMORPG EVE Online will soon be able to contribute to real scientific endeavors by assisting in gathering data of known exoplanets.
This will be a collaborative effort between EVE Online developers CCP Games, Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS), University of Reykjavik, and the University of Geneva. The project will be spearheaded by Michael Mayor, winner of the Wolf Prize for Physics in 2017 and discoverer of the first exoplanet way back in 1995. The title for this research is Project Discovery.
Though specific details on how this will be done have not been revealed just yet, we have been told that The University of Geneva will provide data of the exoplanets which will be put into the game, the players will then collect the data and reach a consensus on the classification of that data, which will then be sent back to The University of Geneva.
When revealing this information, EVE’s Executive Producer Andie Nordgren had this to say;
“We were thrilled to see the successes of our first foray into citizen science, in which EVE players have been voracious contributors to the database of the Human Protein Atlas. In searching for the next dataset for our massive player community to tackle, the stars aligned for players to have the opportunity to directly contribute to the search for new planets with a world-renowned scientific team. Real people around the world collaborating in a virtual universe to explore the real universe is the stuff science fiction, and soon science fact, is made of.”
This isn’t the first time EVE Online has contributed to the scientific community. The last iteration of Project Discovery was run by Sisters of EVE and assisted MMoS in gathering data on the Human Protine Atlus.
The second run of Project Discovery will begin sometime in 2017. More information will be released by Michael Mayor on April 6-8 during the 2017 EVE Fanfest Livestream.