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The Gaming-For-Good Trend [Need To Know: SXSWi]

The Gaming-For-Good Trend [Need To Know: SXSWi]

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Feb 27, 2012
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04/30/2014

 
By Piers Fawkes on February 25, 2012
As we all begin to look forward to the interactive section of South BySouth West in March, PSFK has identified five key trends that readersshould be monitoring during the festival. One of these trends, we have
coined
.
 Fueled by the ability to connect and gather players from across the worldand motivate them to participate by injecting competitive aspects andrewards into structured play, games are growing up and being seen asagents of change. The ability to scale enables these platforms to promptpositive action and overcome challenges on both an individual andsocietal level with implications for a growing number of areas fromscience and medicine to education and the environment.
 
Whether improving health, fundraising for charity or solving previouslyunsolvable problems, games are encouraging personal and social good.One pertinent example of this trend that continues to come up in our
research is ‘
.
 Gamers Assist In Cracking The Aids Puzzle Fold.it is a web-based platform for collaborating on scientific researchthat allows gamers to compete against one another to design newproteins which could be used to help prevent or treat diseases like
HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s and Cancer. Developed by researchers a
t theUS based University Of Washington, the platform asks online players tobuild 3D models of protein molecules online to earn points and statusbased off their problem solving abilities. Researchers recently took advantage of the platform by inviting gamers to compete in configuringthe structure of a retrovirus enzyme related to HIV/AIDS.
 
The resulting breakthrough in configuring the 3D structure of the proteinin question took players just weeks though the puzzle had stumpedscientists for years.
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