Students Design Video Games for Science
By: Dania Souid
Think science is boring? Think video games are a waste of time? Students at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies (iSchool) disagree. A group of student programmers, artists, and researchers are launching two unique video games designed to make science fun. The Citizen Sort project features two video games, Happy Match and Forgotten Island, where engaging gameplay mixes with real science to help biologists classify photographs from the field.
The Citizen Sort team is hosting an open house launch event on September 24 in Room 011 (Innovation Studio) in Hinds Hall at Syracuse University. The event is open to the public. Stop by anytime between Noon and 2:00 p.m. to play videogames, eat food, and celebrate extreme student talent. Student designers will be on hand to talk about their work, and the event will also showcase concept art, drawings and behind the scenes info about the making of Forgotten Island and Happy Match.
Citizen Sort,a research project at the iSchool, has two main goals: helping scientists to classify animal, plant and insect species and exploring how video games can motivate non-scientists to participate in real-world scientific activities. Citizen Sort’s research will help future projects evaluate the use of video games in science and education.
Happy Match is a twist on the classic matching game. Players classify up to 10 photos per game and answer questions from scientists for points. Players can compete or collaborate with friends for the highest score.
Forgotten Island is a point and click adventure game where the player takes on the role of a lost explorer. Unearth the secrets of the mysterious island, solve puzzles, and use your handy Atomic Classifier machine to do real science while saving the day!