The players of EVE online are known for their dedication, especially in what can be a pretty complicated learning curve for new players (something the CCP team recently revamped to improve and help lower the ramps), there are also room for research and collaboration. Recently, a citizen science and COVID-19 research report highlighted the potential for using the technology for good.
A Swiss company called Massively Multiplayer Online Science is working to connect researchers to games. CCP has decided to allow participation as long as it fits aesthetically and thematically into EVE online. As reported in a Wired article last month, players are able to help science teams study the effects of COVID-19 on the human immune system by performing analytical tasks on people’s blood test data. infected to find these markers. The COVID-19 minigame features analytical tasks that rely on participation and collective consensus and has been running since June 2020.
For those who choose to participate, they are shown data from blood tests of patients infected with COVID-19 and must mark the clumps of cells that show the disease. Several actors work on the same data so that there is a greater chance of consensus in the observation. After the research team verifies and examines the collective data, they feed it back into the game for players to check for specific points that scientists want to take a closer look at. By helping in this way, EVE Online players are also helping to train the AI to do this kind of work better in the future.
There is no end date for the COVID-19 Research Minigame. With a lot of EVE online with the players being veterans who know the ins and outs very well, this gives them something new to spend their time on and also contributes to something bigger.