Educate and Game

Citizen Sort is a research project at Syracuse University. The project has multiple goals to help scientists, ecologists and human computer interaction researchers. The three video games Citizen Sort designed also focus on creating an entertaining gaming experience for the users. Citizen Sort is different than most other citizen science projects because the volunteer tasks aren’t based on photographs or recording data. The tasks are performed by playing a video game. This entertaining game play is more than just fun: it’s real contributions to scientific research.

Game play

The three video games from the Citizen Sort research team vary from more of a technical tool to more of a video game. Forgotten Island, a point and click adventure, is the most game like of the three. In this video game, you take the role of a lost adventurer who awakens on a mysterious island. As you roam the landscape you will discover a gushing fiery volcano, a rusty robot graveyard, thick forest and much more. Along this trail you will find falling photographs. These photographs were strewn all over the island after an explosion at the biology lab. As you explore the mystery of the isle, you will also use your handy atomic classifier to classify the falling photographs. Classify carefully and each classification will earn you some money. You can use this cash to buy items from the one shop on the island. You will need to buy some important items to solve some of the Forgotten Island puzzles. You need to solve these puzzles to continue to investigate the new locations and solve the mystery of who blew up the biology lab. This game incorporates a fun detective feel with educational classification tasks. The classifications make vital contributions to scientific research. Researchers, ecologists and biologists take thousands and thousands of photos in the field. Even with their team, the collections are so large, they can’t classify all the photos on their own. That is where citizen scientists come in.Through gameplay users will take on the role of actual scientists, became members of their team. They will classify photos based on questions the scientist designed. The classifications will be recorded and over time relayed back to the scientist that can determine the species. The photographs aren’t just of discovered species, there may also be a previously undiscovered species in the mix. So play the game, learn about classification tasks and even maybe discover a new species. All while fighting off evil robots, exploring locales and solving the mystery of an explosion.

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