Apologies for a one-off non-football related post today, but there is still the Greg Cross Column to come this afternoon. However, Gunners Town feels that it is highly appropriate and critical to bring you this information regarding the battle against cancer. As we’re sure many of you have experienced yourself, Gunners Town are not alone in losing our loved ones to the disease, and urge you to read the below article.
February 4th is already known as World Cancer Day, but a new game that hit the market on this date may bring even more awareness to the disease and help scientists find a cure. The Cancer Research UK organisation announced that their game, Play to Cure: Genes in Space, is officially available, marking the first time that science and gaming will be working together in such a large scope. How does playing a game help with cancer research? For the answer, a person needs to understand how this game came to be.
Looking for a way to help with the routine researching task of spotting human genetic patterns, Cancer Research UK learned that this process is something that computers are not very adept at. However, humans are experts at recognising the patterns. Therefore, the answer was to bring as many people together as possible and put them to the task to take the burden off of researchers. The best way to do this was to create something fun and free that would attract people to the project. A game was proposed and the project was thus begun.
To build the game, Cancer Research UK turned to The Rational Group, which has been a big part of online gaming for over a decade. As parent company to PokerStars, The Rational Group is one of the most well-respected names in the industry and certainly had the skills to help pull off the impossible. Bringing their technical gaming expertise to the table with other volunteers from Facebook, Amazon, and Google, The Rational Group also provided a large amount of the funding needed to give the project the green light.
The team’s result is an interstellar travel game where a player must look for and collect Element Alpha, a fictitious essential substance in the future. As the players race across the galaxy searching out Element Alpha, they are also making an analysis of gene variation, which is sent back to Cancer Research UK. This process essentially identifies the genes that are causing problems in cancer patients and the organisation will use the information to create new medications. By having many players map the same data, the organisation can be assured of accuracy based on the idea of large numbers.
With every second that is spent playing Genes in Space, cancer patients will benefit. In fact, the game is a major breakthrough in cancer research and will make it possible to give a more tailored treatment plan to those suffering from the disease. The game has already had an extremely positive reception and with the amount of good it can do being wide open, it will be sure to gain even more praise as more people learn about it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this piece, we hope it’s proved a bit of an eye-opener for you. We will have football action on Gunners Town today though, so stick around for the Greg Cross Column which will follow shortly.
Matt Cotton, Chief Editor