Serious Game Classification

EteRNA 2011  

Informations Analyses Discussion




Besides play, this title features the following intents:
  • Training


This title is used by the following domains:
  • Scientific Research


This title targets the following audience:
Age : 17-25 / 25-35 / 35-60 / 60+


The gameplay of this title is Game-based
(designed with stated goals)

EteRNA Via: EteRNA - Played by Humans, Scored by Nature

Investigators at Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University have launched an online Serious Game that challenges players to design new ways to fold RNA molecules.

EteRNA was designed for non-scientists, allowing players to design elaborate RNA structures that go beyond simulations: players are scored and ranked based on how well their virtual designs can be rendered as real, physical molecules.

But the game doesn't end with the highest computer score. Each week's top designs are synthesized in a biochemistry laboratory. This lets researchers see if the resulting molecules fold themselves into the 3D shapes predicted by computer models.

In EteRNA you score when the molecule you've designed can assemble itself," said CMU's Adrien Treuille. Treuille is an assistant professor of computer science at CMU. He leads the EteRNA project with Rhiju Das, assistant professor of biochemistry at Stanford.

Treuille noted, "Nature provides the final score and nature is one tough umpire."

Because EteRNA is crowd-sourcing the scientific method in other words, enlisting non-experts to uncover mysterious RNA design principles it is essential that scoring be rigorous.

"Nature confounds even our best computer models," said Jeehyung Lee, a computer science Ph.D. student at CMU who led the game's development.

"We knew that if we were to truly tap the wisdom of crowds, our game would have to expose players to every aspect of the scientific process. Design, yes, but also experimentation, analysis of results and incorporation of those results into future designs."

"These experiments are the first-line strategy for validating a design and a crucial part of the scientific method," said Das, whose lab at Stanford synthesizes the molecules.

The EteRNA project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
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Distribution : Internet - Free
Platform(s) : PC (Windows)