Citizen Sort is a research project at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. One of the project’s goals is to encourage participation in citizen science, specifically to help scientists with classification tasks. Citizen Sort is also working with human computer interaction researchers and information scientists to analyze the role of motivation in citizen science. To accomplish these two main goals, Citizen Sort depends on you, the player, to help. But fret not! The help isn’t difficult, in fact it’s so entertaining, you will probably forget it’s real science.
Immersed in Gameplay
Citizen Sort will release three separate video games in the Fall of 2012. The games cover the spectrum from tools to video games. Whether you choose to play the more technical tool, like Hunt & Gather, or the more video game like Forgotten Island, Citizen Sort is interested in knowing why you play. The survey will remain completely anonymous and is used for research purposes only. There is more to Citizen Sort than just research and surveys. The basis of the project is the video games. There are several Citizen Science projects out there, for nature enthusiasts to photographers. Many of them however, don’t involve video games. They tend to be more of an action, like photographing a plant in your backyard. Citizen Sort has taken Citizen Science and incorporated real entertainment, real gameplay into citizen science. Forgotten Island is a point and click adventure game. You are a confused adventurer with a secret past exploring an island. There are dangerous locations, evil robots and an exploded biology lab. The explosion has scattered photos of different species all over the island. An evil robot is ordering you to reclassify all these photos as you investigate the mystery of the explosion. You will use your atomic classifier to sort an image of a moth, shark, ray (which ever version you choose to play). Scientists designed the questions based on important characteristics that will determine what species it is. In Forgotten Island, the classifications are necessary to earn money and buy items. In between classifications you will also solve puzzles, explore and hopefully save the island.
Game for Good.
The video games from Citizen Sort incorporate citizen science activities with entertaining gameplay. You can do some taxonomic classifications while competing (or collaborating) with friends, solving a mystery or saving an island. Citizen Sort was influenced by gamification. Gamification is the use of game like aspects into an activity that doesn’t usually use gameplay.Citizen Sort uses the main aspects of gamification and added video gaming to citizen science. You can post your score on the universal score board, social media sites and see which one of your friends would make the best citizen scientist.