The EVE Online community will once again rush to aid the real world science. This time they will be searching for exoplanets (AKA planets outside our solar system). CCP Games will work together with Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS), University of Reykjavik and University of Geneva along with award-winning professor Michael Mayor. This represents a second significant effort from Citizen Science to enable the EVE Online community to be the part of real scientific research. It was tried once before. Is it going to be successful like the previous one? Will it surpass;
Project Discovery launched about a year ago, and it managed to be one of the most successful projects ever to be conducted by Citizen Science. It compressed years of scientific research in only a couple of months (with the help of dozens of thousands of EVE Online gamers – scientists).
Although work wasn’t exactly as impressive as growing pancreas in a juvenile gibbon (you needed to identify patterns in protein distribution in human cells), it nonetheless sparked considerable interest among the EVE community, and most importantly it helped science to move forward.
The idea for this project is to allow players to interact with real-world astronomical data provided by the University of Geneva through Project Discovery.
“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.” – Andie Nordgren, EVE’s Executive Producer.
This project once again moves the boundaries of EVE Online and gaming in general. It blurs the line between real world and fictional space, and that crazy idea, the merging of these two worlds, is what players wanted for as long as there were games. That is why we have VR, and gadgets to simulate movement in real life, anything that makes us think we live there that the game we are playing is real. EVE has just taken a different approach. By allowing you to do scientific research, you can no longer say EVE Online is just a fictional game with spaceships and thingies alike, yield actual real life results in science. The game itself stepped into new unexplored areas where reality and fiction are no longer clearly separated.