PhD blues? Contest challenges you to gamify your research.

The ideal scientist is addicted to research. But when time is of the essence, crowdsourcing with games of pattern-finding in a real world context has proved an efficient way to get the world to do research for you.  Following suit, Britain’s Wellcome Trust, a global charity for the advancement of biomedicine, has teamed up with Mobile Pie to offer PhD students in biomedical science to medical humanities the chance to turn their research into a game—for science. The contest is called Gamify Your PhD, and to help get you started, they’ve designed a crash course game design app found below. Think fast, the deadline for applications is August 12.

The Trust is inviting researchers to share ideas for games based on their PhD work in biomedical science or the medical humanities, and small teams of games developers to turn these ideas into addictive, challenging and educational games. Those selected will partner at a two day hack in which the games will be created. The best of these will receive funding to develop into a releasable game.

To help inspire ideas and give researchers a flavour of what’s possible a web-app<>, developed by Mobile Pie, has been commissioned, offering an interactive and fully embeddable guide to the nuts and bolts of mechanics and motivation that lie behind successful game design. The web-app also features sample 16bit mini games to illustrate the different elements of gaming, including a Darwin inspired survival of the fittest pigeon game, a Mendel genetics puzzle game, a game based on Asch’s work on conformity, and a Newton-targeting apple game.

The deadline for applications from researchers and developers is 12 August, and the games hack will take place between the 3-4 September 2012. The resulting games will be made available online. All details about the scheme and the web-app guide to gaming can be found at<>