Cancer Research UK have today launched “the world’s first free mobile game that uses the collective force of players to analyse real genetic data and help beat cancer sooner.”
The new app, titled Play To Cure: Genes In Space, is a completely free game which, as the name suggests, lets you Play, whilst helping to find a Cure for cancers.
“We urge people to give two minutes of their time wherever and whenever they can – whether they’re on their daily commute or in the hairdressers having a blow dry. Together, our free moments will help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”
The game came about after the UK charity held a Game Jam way back in March 2013 – with bods from Facebook, Google, Amazon and numerous scientific and educational academies across the country joining programmers and developers with one succinct aim – to transform Cancer Research UK’s genetic data into a playable and engaging experience that would allow for crowd-sourced, accurate and robust scientific analysis on a grand scale.
The idea of Genes In Space is simple – players guide their spaceship through galaxies littered with asteroids and collect a substance dubbed Element Alpha; The clever bit, however, is that prior to each stage you’re asked to map your passageway, plotting the density on a graphic representative of the upcoming level – this graphic being a sample of actual genetic data.
Together we can help analyse data which ordinarily would take scientists years to wade through. Impressive, indeed.
Oh, and as if helping to cure cancer wasn’t reason enough, celebrity funnyman Dara O’Briain will retweet your high-scores. So, there’s bragging rights too. Yay.
— Dara Ó Briain (@daraobriain) February 4, 2014
Genes in Space was developed by Dundee agency Guerilla Tea alongside Cancer Research UK’s scientists, and is available now on the Apple Appstore and Google Play storefronts – and trust me, it’s a much more satisfying experience than trying to break double-digits on Flappy Bird.