This week I heard about two things that struck my fancy.
Cool Thing #1 Foldit--Solve Puzzles for Science
I heard about it once before, and forgot to leave myself a note. The other day I remembered. I am no scientist, but here is my version of what this "game" does:
Some muckety-muck scientists at the University of Washington created a game out of unfolding proteins. My understanding is that proteins are folded up in some grand scientific way, and unfolding them leads to breakthroughs for curing illness and solving problems. How that works is a mystery to me and will remain so. A less simple, perhaps better explanation of that can be found here. Either way, the smarty-pants scientists made a game out of unfolding proteins and all the gaming geeks in the world are solving protein problems galore. Here's a video:
If you are like me in any small way, this video little other than show what the game is about. What I understand is that unfolding these proteins leads to cures for things like Parkinson and Alzheimer and stuff. Simplistic explanation, I know, but cool. For more info, try this.
Cool Thing #2 Super Better
This isn't completely up and running for the public yet, but here is a blog that describes one users experience. It sounds like it is a game structured like a social media site. You use the site to achieve personal goals. The description was intriguing, but not altogether clear. I requested access to the "sneak preview" so we'll see what happens!