|Folder Madde's top scoring solution to the Mason pfizer monkey virus|
(image credit: Fold.it)
Perhaps the most surprising and wonderful result of Foldit is that even Ph.D. biologists aren't necessarily the best players. Players come from all backgrounds and many of the best players are neither biologists nor tech experts. It's true crowdsourcing--a project that becomes more than the sum of its parts.
But Foldit isn't the only crowdsourcing game out there. Several others have been very successful in solving all kinds of world problems, from oil to malaria, government spending and more.
The Guardian's "MPs' Expenses" Project
|Screen capture of progress bar for the Guardian's "MPs' Expenses" project. Just a slight gaming element aided the productivity of the project greatly. (Image source: Niemanlab.org)|
World Without Oil
|Screenshot of the Week 18 status report from World Without Oil|
(Image Source: worldwithoutoil.org)
|A game of MalariaSpot--simple but powerful|
(Image Source: MalariaSpot.org)
The best part is that crowdsourcing games (and other games built to cause good in the real world) are a growing trend, with real-world results increasing every day. For more information, look around the Games for Change website, an organization dedicated to collecting, promoting, and creating games that make a real-world difference.
Crowdsourcing is an extremely effective tool to solve big problems and achieve big dreams with wide participation done quickly and cheaply. Adding a gaming element to this crowdsourcing inspires even more participation, and rewards participants with fun and satisfaction. Crowdsource gaming (and gaming elements within more traditional crowdsourcing platforms) will only continue to rise as we learn how better to leverage the wisdom of the crowd and better provide satisfactory gameplay experiences around serious issues.
So, what are you still doing here? Go play some games and save the world!