With the hunt for a new Earth very much the fashion right now, Icelandic developer CCP has announced that EVE Online players will soon be able to do their bit.
Yesterday NASA announced the discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting dwarf star Trappist-1, around 40 light years from Earth. The system will be the centre of significant future study in the hope that it could provide the first evidence of life beyond Earth.
Now CCP in collaboration with Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS), Reykjavik University and the University of Geneva, EVE Online is to offer a new gameplay experience via EVE's Project Discovery that allows players to interact with real-world astronomical data.
Players will help to classify the data, which will then be returned to the University of Geneva where it will help in refining the search for more exoplanets.
We were thrilled to see the successes of our first foray into citizen science, in which EVE players have been voracious contributors to the database of the Human Protein Atlas,” EVE's executive producer Andie Nordgren said.
In searching for the next dataset for our massive player community to tackle, the stars aligned for players to have the opportunity to directly contribute to the search for new planets with a world-renowned scientific team. Real people around the world collaborating in a virtual universe to explore the real universe is the stuff science fiction, and soon science fact, is made of.”
Project Discovery has already seen players submit over 25m classifications of human cells back to the Human Protein Atlas.
The exoplanet functionality will be introduced to the game some time this year, with more details be revealed at EVE Fanfest in Reykjavik in April.