Launching in the Fall of 2012, the Citizen Sort video games are a mixture of entertainment, citizen science, research, competition, collaboration, photography and much more.
All three of our games, Hunt & Gather, Happy Match! and Forgotten Island, incorporate citizen science tasks to various degrees. Scientists in the field take thousands and thousands of photos. There is no way they can classify all of them on their own and so they depend on you, the citizen scientist, to help. On the more tool like side, Hunt & Gather is for researchers, their assistants and anyone interested in sorting never before seen photographs. You need to be invited to work on a researcher’s collection, but you can work on the free public collections any time. In Hunt & Gather, users will create their own characters, or questions. They will then group the images based on different answers to that question. For example, the question can be “what color is the moth wings?” And the groups could be “grey, yellow, orange etc.” Creating your own taxonomic key to classify the species could have a major impact on a scientists’ research. Happy Match! is another tool like game. You can choose which version of this game to play ranging from sharks, to rays, to plants and more. In this citizen science video game you will help with classification tasks by dragging images of species into preset categories. The biologists choose this questions based on important characteristics. At the end of each game you can post your score on your social media pages and the Citizen Sort universal score board. See how your score compares with your friends, family and other users. Forgotten Island, is much more game like. Users will explore a mysterious island, solving puzzles, trying to defeat an evil robot. You will do some taxonomic research, with the help of your handy Atomic Classifier, as you try to save the island from an evil robot. So whether you are interested in science, a nature enthusiast, or more of a ‘gamer’ Citizen Sort has designed a video game for you. So, everyone can participate in citizen science.
Human Interaction Researchers
The Citizen Sort video games are citizen science orientated to help researchers, biologists, ecologists and naturalists. But, that’s not all! Sure, the video games are scientific, fun, mysterious, competitive and puzzling. They also help information scientists and human computer interaction researchers evaluate the role of motivation in citizen science. Periodically, Citizen Sort will ask you to complete a short survey. All your answers will remain completely anonymous. These survey questions will help with the Citizen Sort project’s research at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. By evaluating the role of motivation in citizen science we are hoping to better tailor our own projects and future citizen science projects to appeal to citizens and amateurs.