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Posted: Mar 02, 2011
Power of Research: a new online game to inspire the scientists of the future
(Nanowerk News) A new strategy browser game - the "Power of research" - is officially launched. Supported by the European Commission, "Power of Research" has been developed to inspire young Europeans to pursue scientific careers and disseminate interesting up-to-date scientific information. Players assume the role of scientists working in a virtual research environment that replicates the situations that scientists have to deal with in the real world. The game, which can be played for free under www.powerofresearch.eu, is expected to create a large community of more than 100,000 players who will be able to communicate in real time via a state of the art interface. "Power of Research" has already received the support of several international scientists, including 5 Nobel Prize winners, and attracted the interest of well-known European research institutes.
Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "Europe will need by 2020 one million more researchers than we have now. Power of research can help attract young people to science by showing them the immense opportunities it can offer, both in career terms and for society as a whole."
Slipping into the role of a researcher
In "Power of Research" players can engage in "virtual" health research projects, by performing microscopy, protein isolation and DNA experiments, publishing research results, participating in conferences, managing high tech equipment and staff or request funding – all tasks of real researchers. The decisive game elements are communication, collaboration and competition: players can compete against each other in real time or collaborate to become a successful virtual researcher, win scientific awards or become the leader of a research institute.
Discovering current science
The game connects the players to the real world. It is based on up-to-date science content and players work on real world research topics inspired by the FP7 health research programme that will be regularly updated. Popular science events, real research institutes, universities and European health research projects form part of the game. Players also have access to a knowledge platform, where they can search in a virtual library, zoom-into real scientific images and learn more about Nobel Prize laureates. European science institutions and hospitals will have the possibility to contribute to the game and provide details about their research. In a later phase of the game, players will also have a virtual hospital environment, where the game will consist in bringing results of research to virtual patients in the form of drugs and therapies.
The game "Power of Research" received €617.000 from the European Commission through the 7th Framework Programme for research.
The basic concept of the game was developed jointly by two Austrian companies. Biolution GmbH (Iris Grünert) focused on science communication and TPM Games GmbH (Tim Preuster) on development of the game. Tim Preuster is also the creator of the award-winning politics game "PowerofPolitics.com" played by more than 175.000 players.