Play EVE Online, help with real-world biological research

CCP has added a rather unusual new feature to EVE Online – a minigame that turns the MMO into a biological research tool. As you play, matching images into categories, you’re actually helping to identify patterns in human cells.

Project Discovery has been devised by CCP in association with the Human Protein Atlas, Massively Multiplayer Online Science and the University of Reykjavik, and presented by the Sisters of Eve. The eagerly-anticipated project was covered in detail at EVE Vegas 2015, and is all about getting humans to perform tasks which they find simple but computers find difficult.

If “doing science” isn’t enough of a reward for you, by taking part you’ll also earn ISK and Analysis Kredits, which you can spend on merch in the LP store… but this is not a way to get rich quick. First off, you’ll be shown a number of pre-classified samples, to test how good you are at picking the patterns. Once you pass that, you’ll move onto fresh content, but your classifications will be compared with those made by other members of the EVE Online hivemind. If you’re found to be doing consistently bad science, the Sisters of Eve simply won’t reward you.

Project Discovery is included in the latest update for EVE Online, which is available now for Windows PC, Linux and Mac OS X. You might not be able to jump in right away, though – CCP has released a statement explaining that Project Discovery has been taken offline, due to “incredibly high load and unprecedented demand”.

Massively Multiplayer Online Science are currently in the process of reinforcing their server infrastructure in the light of the EVE Community’s enthusiasm to contribute to Project Discovery, and once this process is complete, we’ll bring the service back online for everyone to enjoy.

…hopefully it should be back up within 48 hours.

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