Fall Update from CGS

cgs“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. ” – Edwin Way Teale

For the Center for Game Science, autumn is a time of kicking off a great new season of website updates, announcements (including the triumphant return of the Washington State Algebra Challenge later this year), and enjoying the return of life to the University of Washington Campus. Welcome students and staff, returning and new!

We’ve made two significant overhauls so far you might enjoy, with a third underway to the website. This isn’t the last of our changes, but were noteworthy enough to mention while we’re working on the rest. (We also appreciate your patience and humor as we move things around a bit in the near future!) First, we have illuminated some of our related projects on our Projects page. If you want to know about arranging a field trip, or how we are related to the Algebra Challenges, this should be your first stop.

Next, to assist your reference needs, we’ve expanded our research section and gotten it up to date. Look for these research papers to also make an appearance on the various game pages as we continue to sort and classify them, and our media section to be more robust as we capture all the great places the Center and our projects have been mentioned.

Looking for the Center for Game Science in person? You’re in luck, as we will be attending a couple of events this fall. Mark your calendars for the following events.

  • Pacific Science Center Life Sciences Research Center on November 7-9, 2014. Foldit scientists will be on hand to provide hands-on science and face-to-face time!
  • Computing Open House, 1pm – 5pm on Saturday, December 6th, 2014. This fun event for middle/high school students and families will let you chat one on one with a couple of our developers and get some hands on time at our display!

Foldit Helps Statewide Efforts in Ebola Research

CGSWebSiteFolditCircleFoldit’s role in Ebola is clearly becoming more important than ever. The Seattle Times took a look yesterday evening at the statewide efforts being made to combat Ebola. Taking a look at nonprofit organizations, grants, and nurses mobilizing towards this epidemic, Foldit and the Baker Laboratory are called out for their contributions and efforts towards finding cures. “Especially for Ebola we put everything out there [through Foldit] because we want things to move quickly,” explains [Baker Lab scientist] La, who hopes these efforts will result in a cheap, easily replicable treatment for Ebola “sooner rather than later.”

Follow the puzzle progress or lend a hand towards the effort here.

CGS in the Seattle Times

Late last week, the Seattle Times referenced our Center for Game Science in an article called “At UW, computer games studied as a serious cultural form”, noting the efforts brought about by the Comparative History of Ideas program by acknowledging, “Critiquing gaming from a cultural standpoint may lead to the development of more ethical and artful games.” Although our mention was not large at all, it is fascinating to note how the UW approaches gaming from a variety of angles to fit a broad scope of interests.

Interested in taking a deeper look at the various ways the University studies gaming? Try these links out, as well as our Projects page:
Comparative History of Ideas program
Critical Gaming Project

Foldit in the News!

140826_gamer_bigYesterday, two great stories appeared about our work with the Institute For Protein Design and Foldit. The first is this great selection from the Seattle Times, titled “Gamers helping UW in Ebola research”, pointing out “Months before the recent Ebola outbreak erupted in Western Africa, killing more than a thousand people, scientists at the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design were looking for a way to stop the deadly virus.”

Next, IPD graduate student Brian Koepnick was interviewed by KOMO TV for a segment on using Foldit! If you’re ready to join in the fun and haven’t yet, start playing today!

CGS Summer Camps A Success!

summercamp2Over the course of the summer, we have been working with local area Boys & Girls Clubs to provide fun summer play testing activities for several programs currently in development. While most of our day camp visits have been here at the University of Washington, we spent three afternoons this week at a local club, allowing campers the opportunity to explore art activities related to currently online Riddle Books and build games progressively over the week. It was a great opportunity, and we are already discussing plans for next summer. If you want to get in on the ground floor by keeping up to date on our Summer 2015 activities, drop us a line!