Public Engagement Through the Development of Science-Based Computer Games: The Wellcome Trust’s “Gamify Your PhD” Initiative

Vickie Curtis

New developments in digital technologies are enabling scientists to explore novel avenues of engagement beyond face-to-face approaches. “Gamifying” science through the creation of computer games based on scientific research is part of this trend. Recently, the Wellcome Trust held a competitive “hackfest” called “Gamify Your PhD.” Six finalists were selected to develop their research into a computer game with the help of professional games developers. I was able to observe this event with the aim of exploring the collaboration between scientists and games developers and observing how science-based computer games can be used to engage the wider public.



Portrayals of Technoscience in Video Games: A Potential Avenue for Informal Science Learning

Anthony Dudo, Vincent Cicchirillo, Lucy Atkinson, Samantha Marx

Given the proliferation of video games and their potential to contribute to informal science learning and perception formation, we provide an assessment of how commercial video games portray technoscience. Our examination was guided by theories commonly applied in studies of entertainment media’s contributions to public understanding of science. Results indicate that technoscience and its practitioners are common fixtures within video games and that their presence is often conspicuous and enthusiastic. Our findings challenge common assumptions about the treatment of science in media and compel research examining the role of informal gaming in cultivating future generations of scientists.