background preloader

Gamers beat algorithms at finding protein structures

Gamers beat algorithms at finding protein structures
Today's issue of Nature contains a paper with a rather unusual author list. Read past the standard collection of academics, and the final author credited is... an online gaming community. Scientists have turned to games for a variety of reasons, having studied virtual epidemics and tracked online communities and behavior, or simply used games to drum up excitement for the science. But this may be the first time that the gamers played an active role in producing the results, having solved problems in protein structure through the Foldit game. According to a news feature on Foldit, the project arose from an earlier distributed computing effort called Rosetta@home. This is typically an energy minimization problem. It sounds simple, but with anything more than a short chain of amino acids, there are a tremendous number of potential configurations to be sampled in 3D space, which can bring powerful computers to their knees. Starting with algorithms, ending with brains

NASA-funded game aims to make science more appealing Last week a curious, free release popped up on Steam: Moonbase Alpha, a NASA-funded game where up to six players can team up in order to save a near-future Lunar base crippled by a meteor strike. The game is just the first release from NASA's Learning Technologies program, which aims to help raise interest in the space program through gaming. Ars spoke with Daniel Laughlin, project manager of Learning Technologies, to learn more about the game and what we can expect to see in the future. The game was codeveloped by Army Game Studio and Virtual Heroes, two of the leading developers of "serious games." And according to Laughlin, NASA's decision to move into the game space was influenced a great deal by the success of the studios' previous releases. "The project was inspired in part by America's Army," Laughlin told Ars. Though development of the game didn't start until last year, Laughlin actually began researching the prospect of using games as an educational tool back in 2004.

Arrowhead Game Studios Gauntlet: First screenshots Now at four days after the Gauntlet announcement we’re absolutely thrilled about the response we’ve received from fans as well as press. I won’t get long-winded this time but leave you with our very first released screenshots of our four heroes taking on a small horde of monsters, and a little sneak peek of an extra bad guy. We proudly bring back GAUNTLET! All the latest news heard about Arrowhead has been of our upcoming game Helldivers with Sony, but today we are thrilled to finally announce our other project together with Warner Bros. We give you GAUNTLET, our completely modernized take on the much loved classic arcade game originally made by Atari Games. Gauntlet will be completely remade but retaining many of its familiar features. We are so excited and proud to be able to revive and do our version of one of the games that inspired us to do Magicka. Also make sure to visit the Official Website Our new game: HELLDIVERS! View full post… View full post… Hello!

MindHabits - Stress Relief Game Compendium of Useless Information : Games - The Games | The Difficulty of Difficulty Article by Kat? | September 29, 2008 There was a time when difficulty was the name of the game, the thing that made sure that kept gamers plugging quarters into those arcade machines. Naturally, that mentality carried over to the home consoles, and ended up meshing fairly well with the limitations of games at that time. But as Obi-Wan might say, difficulty isn't dead. Just ask Dante. When Devil May Cry 3 hit the States in 2005, the designers had a dilemma on their hands. But that alone wasn't what made DMC3 frustrating. In the end, there were enough players -- and reviewers on deadline -- afflicted with the frustration of being sent back to the beginning of the stage that Capcom took notice and released the much improved Greatest Hits Edition. Then they started playing DOOM 3, and the tears returned anew. Meanwhile, Resident Evil? Wait, what? Oh yeah. But that's not the real challenge. Return to Zork is full of cruel traps like that.

ECAST Network A Theory of Fun for Game Design OFFICIAL WEBSITE Scalable Game Design wiki - Gamewiki Frogger is a good first game design activity for students with no programming background. Journey is designed to present several computational thinking patterns in an incremental fashion. Sokoban is a good second game design activity for students who have already completed the Frogger tutorials. PacMan is a good first game design activity for high school students with no programming background. More games: Space Invaders Sims-like games AgentCubes games (3D) coming soon! The Contagion simulation approximates how contagions are spread among humans who are in close proximity to one another. The Forest Fire simulation enables you to explore how forest fires unravel by letting you set fires to virtual forests with different parameters. More simulations: AgentSheets simulations AgentCubes simulations (3D) coming soon!

Arcen Games, LLC - AI War Features "You are outgunned. You are massively outnumbered. You must win." These are your orders. Humanity has already fought its war against the machines -- and lost. AI death squads stand watch over every planet and every wormhole, the few remaining human settlements are held captive in orbiting bubbles, and the AIs have turned their attention outward, away from the galaxy, to alien threats or opportunities unknown. This inattention is our only hope: a small resistance, too insignificant even to be noticed by the AI central command, has survived. You do have a few things going in your favor. Go forth into the galaxy, steal AI technology, recapture those planets you must in order to achieve your ends, and save what remains of humanity. So What Exactly Is This Game? AI War is a one-of-a-kind strategy game that plays like an RTS but feels like a 4X. More specifically, this is a game that you can either play solo, or in 2-8 player co-op. Why Would I Want This Game? Information For Strategy Newbies

Gaming the System: Video Gamers Help Researchers Untangle Protein Folding Problem What if the brainpower used playing video games could be channeled toward something more productive, such as helping scientists solve complex biological problems? A team of biochemists and computer scientists from the University of Washington (U.W.) in Seattle now reports that they have successfully tapped into this human problem-solving potential. Their competitive online game "Foldit," released in 2008, enlists the help of online puzzle-solvers to help crack one of science's most intractable mysteries—how proteins fold into their complex three-dimensional forms. The "puzzles" gamers solve are 3-D representations of partially folded proteins, which players manipulate and reshape to achieve the greatest number of points. The scores are based on biochemical measures of how well the players' final structure matches the way the protein appears in nature. Understanding how proteins achieve their optimal, functional 3-D form is no simple task. So what's next for Foldit?

Supergiant Games » Blog Archive » Enemy Design Posted by Amir on April 9, 2010 Our friend Greg Kasavin, who we worked with at EALA, has started an awesome blog about games and narrative featuring exactly the kind of insight and wit that made him one of the sharpest developers we’ve ever designed with. His most recent post covers video game villains, the “bad guys who overcompensate for their flat desires with huge lifebars.” He covers notable bad guys from Bowser to Mike Tyson and even the garden-variety undead in Plants vs. Zombies about whom he observers “the zombies are sincerely hungry for brains — you’d want to give them your brains if you didn’t need them.” Is Mario the only game with an awesome jelly fish enemy? This is all relevant because we’ve been thinking a lot about antagonism, antagonists and enemy design. Speaking of inspired creature design, Max from Unknown Worlds – the guys working on Natural Selection 2 – played our game recently at Thirsty Bear in San Francisco.

International Computer Games Association Duels of the Planeswalkers: All about AI i! Patrick Buckland here, CEO and owner of Stainless Games, the developer of Duels of the Planeswalkers. Last Wednesday, I wrote about the engine that drives Duels. This separation has many advantages, some of which I talked about, but the stand-alone nature of the Magic engine is vital in another respect: the AI. Basic Concept The basic approach to the AI for Duels was a simple look-ahead system. The AI needs a method of comparing the results of its comparisons. As it back-tracks from looking into the future, the score of a future world-state influences the scores of the states that came before it. The alternative future path of not sacrificing the Gnomes then also experiments with the your opponent attacking with the 5/5, and you see that you have the option of blocking it with the Gnomes and sacrificing them. Reality Check That's the basic logic. So the following approaches were taken to make this scheme workable: This is particularly important in the combat phase. Strategy Limitations