Citizen Sort is designing three real video games to encourage participation in citizen science. The games have an overarching educational aspect. Each game requires a varying degree of classification tasks. From the tool Hunt & Gather for scientists and their assistants to the fantasy world of Forgotten Island each game incorporates entertainment and citizen science. And so, let’s focus on the most entertaining game: Forgotten Island.
Launching in the Fall of 2012, Forgotten Island will leverage the power of storytelling and fantasy to encourage citizen science. In this point and click adventure game you will find yourself in the middle of nowhere on a mysterious island. You’re lost and confused with only a vague recollection of your past. The island spans from icy peaks, to volcanoes to thick forests. As you explore the landscape, you stumble upon a blown up biology lab that has scattered specimen across the landscape. And the mystery begins. Who blew up the lab? Why? And who collected all this specimen the first time?
Fret not! You are not alone on this mysterious island. There are also robots, insects and other hidden creatures and who knows, maybe even other people. You’ll have to figure out those details during gameplay. You find a bombtastic robot DOC73R-CY3N53 and he orders you to re-classify all his specimen. That’s where the citizen science comes in. You will use your handy atomic classifier to sort the photos, as in Happy Match!, by categories that matter to scientists. The more specimen you classify the closer you get to solving the mystery of Forgotten Island. You can also visit the store and befriend another robot. The more you classify the more you can buy from the store to prepare you for the puzzles and solve the mystery of who blew up the biology lab.
As you explore the island and reclassify specimen you will get closer to solving the mystery of who blew up the biology lab. There are puzzles through out the game and you have to solve them to continue. So, Forgotten Island really does have something for everybody. There is citizen science that will make an actual contribution to scientific research. By taking a short survey, anonymously, you will also help information scientists analyze the motivation for citizen science. All that, plus the game like entertainment of solving a mystery and saving the island.