Finally, concrete evidence of gaming’s ability to help change the world: for the first time, “gamers” have received credit for a scientific breakthrough. Using a program called Foldit, they produced an accurate model of the monomeric protease enzyme, a result which could have implications for treatment of disease, HIV in particular:
One of Foldit’s creators, Seth Cooper, explained why gamers had succeeded where computers had failed.
“People have spatial reasoning skills, something computers are not yet good at,” he said.
“Games provide a framework for bringing together the strengths of computers and humans. The results in this week’s paper show that gaming, science and computation can be combined to make advances that were not possible before.”