Fold.it is a web-based platform for collaborating on scientific research that allows gamers to compete against one another to design new proteins.
In our research for PSFK’s Future Of Gaming report, we noticed a growing tendency towards games being used To Solve The Unsolvable. One example of this trend is Fold.it-a web-based platform for collaborating on scientific research that allows gamers to compete against one another to design new proteins which could be used to help prevent or treat diseases like HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s and Cancer. Developed by researchers at the US based University Of Washington, the platform asks online players to build 3D models of protein molecules online to earn points and status based off their problem solving abilities. Researchers recently took advantage of the platform by inviting gamers to compete in configuring the structure of a retrovirus enzyme related to HIV/AIDS. The resulting breakthrough in configuring the 3D structure of the protein in question took players just weeks though the puzzle had stumped scientists for years.