This massively multiplayer game for almost fifteen years allows the exploration of a gigantic fictional universe. Space enthusiasts are passionate about EVE Online, but an upcoming change to the game will give it a real science edge.
EVE Online allows everything that is not possible in reality: travel from planet to planet, communicate with extraterrestrials or cross our solar system at full speed and participate in interstellar battles. Hundreds of thousands of users are therefore immersed in this fascinating universe.
The game will soon offer its users the chance to discover new exoplanets as part of Project Discovery, the result of a collaboration with the University of Reykjavik (Iceland), the organization Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS) and the University of Geneva. Michel Mayor, discoverer of the first exoplanet, should also be there.
The search for exoplanets will certainly be modeled on the existing and current model making it possible to identify artefacts in cell section planes (microscopic photos) already helping to classify proteins and cellular “objects”. This research could first take the form of a mini-game inserted during loading times.
“It is estimated that there are approximately twelve planets that remain to be found inside these images,” says Michel Mayor to the MIT Technology Review.
While the guarantors of EVE Online want to launch what is nothing more than a vast crowdsourcing project, users will have at their disposal 167,000 images provided by the European Space Agency (ESA). It will be a question of annotating, commenting and detailing the shots using a color code about which very few details are available. After a massive participation of the players, the information will be sent to the University of Geneva which will process it.
While waiting to see what this project will lead to, here is an overview of the EVE Online game:
Sources: Mashable – Numerama