It’s not often we hear the words “crazy granny vigilante” or “mining asteroids for space fuel” in a meeting about cancer, or anywhere for that matter. But it’s not often that we put scientists, gamers and designers, and developers from Amazon Web Services, Facebook and Google, in one room to help us beat cancer.
We recently led the world’s first GameJam to come up with an engaging and simple smartphone game that the public – yes you – can use to help our researchers trawl through mountains of data to spot key faults in genes. We reported from the event in March, and have written before about the fascinating science behind the data.
In just 48 sleep-deprived hours our eclectic mix of Game Jammers came up with countless ingenious ways to allow novices to interpret genetic data through an effortless gaming interface. Little did we know that cartoon grannies and space ships would be among those initial ideas. The outcome: 12 prototype games.
We’re now in the process of selecting a gaming agency to help us bring some of those ideas to life, with the aim of launching the world’s first-ever mobile game based on cancer data in Autumn 2013.
Want to see what a vigilante granny looks like? Check out this short film. As well as featuring some of our intrepid Game Jammers, it features some tantalising Gene-Game snapshots.
While you wait for this epic game to be launched, why not join the thousands of other people who have already helped us analyse real life cancer data by giving five minutes of your time to our other ‘citizen science’ project Cell Slider.