Our story

We created Massively Multiplayer Online Science to connect scientific research and video games as a seamless gaming experience. Research tasks completely integrated with game mechanics, narrative and visuals can open up a new channel between the gamer and the scientific community. Converting a small fraction of the billions of hours spent with playing video games will bring an enormous contribution to scientific research, and in the meantime will change how video games’ expertise is perceived.
Citizen Science for Serious Gamers

still a long way to go

  Classifications Completed
  Research Projects
  Partners
  Classifications To Come

Key concepts

Citizen science

Citizen science is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur or nonprofessional scientists. (source: Wikipedia). To see some amazing examples make sure to check out Zooniverse.org, Foldit, CrowdCrafting or Eyewire

Games

Cooperating with games - not gamifying. Harnessing the enormous power that lies in already established, major video games. Millions of gamers can become citizen scientists to help scientific research. They already solve difficult problems in virtual worlds - now they can make a change in real life too.

Seamless integration

Seamless integration of citizen science tasks with games. Injecting research tasks into games as an integral part of the game - a part of the game mechanics, the narrative and the visuals. Now it is the time to show, that gamers can solve real world problems while enjoying their favourite games.

Motivation

Building on the intrinsic motivation of helping science, but adding an additional layer of motivation: the integration with in-game reward systems for long term engagement. We anticipate this to solve the high drop-out rate in traditional citizen science approaches.

Level up

We spend billions of hours playing video games every week. With the largest online game - World of Warcraft - people spent more than 6 million years. Converting a small fraction of that time will be a power-house for scientific research.

MOOCs

Using the same concept and same technology to offer the students of MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) the possibility to work on real life research material. Let students show real life research data in the assignment section of courses.

MMOS API

A standardized API for the game industry and MOOCs to incorporate citizen science taks easily. This lean interface between science and games lowers the entry barrier for both parties.

MMOS API

The technological background of the project is provided by MMOS API, which provides a thin interface between scientific research data and games or MOOCs. It takes care of everything related to the citizen science problems: task allocation to players, tracking and scoring player performance, giving feedback to the game reward system and aggregating results for scientific research. The unified interface makes it easy for any game company to integrate this feature in a game. Game companies don't need to modify their core codebase and databases, they just need to implement a thin interface in-game. This substiantially lowers the entry barrier to implement this feature.

MMOS API combines cloud services with proprietary technology to provide a robust solution that can handle millions of players and millions of scientific tasks.

Projects

Here you can see a list of our projects that we are currently working on. The list is short, but hopefully will grow rapidly.

Partners

As a fresh initiative we are honoured and proud to work together with the most prestigious institutions in scientific research and in the gaming industry. We are continuously looking for new partners in the field of gaming, science and MOOCs. Please don't hesitate to contact us.

CCP
Human Protein Atlas
University of Geneva
Department of Astronomy of University of Geneva

The MMOS Team

Bernard Revaz

Founder

Bernard holds a PhD in physics from the University of Geneva and spent 15 years in physics research at the University of Geneva, University of California and EPFL. Later he founded Sensima Inspection in the field of non-destructive testing.

Attila Szantner

CEO - Founder

Attila has 16 years of IT background running his company Virgo Sytems Ltd creating custom-tailored IT solutions. He was a co-founder of iWiW in 2002, which was the biggest social networking site in Hungary with 4.7 million users at its height before Facebook.

Friends of MMOS

Amos Bairoch
Group leader
SIB – Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

Jacques Fellay
SNF Professor
EPFL School of Life Sciences & Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

Martin Hjelmare
Lab manager - Cell Profiling
Science for Life Laboratory – Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Lydie Lane, PhD
co-director CALIPHO group
SIB – Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

Yvan Le Bras, PhD
e-Science Postdoc, e-Biogenouest project coordinator
CNRS UMR 6074 IRISA-INRIA, Rennes, France

"In these economically hard times, citizen science approach provides us with a wonderful opportunity to have extra staff on public scientific projects. In the meantime it improves relations between science and society, scientists and citizens through an immersive way: games"

Assoc. Prof. Emma Lunderg
Cell Profiling - author file
Science for Life Laboratory – Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

"With over 13 million images in the Protein Atlas database it is a perfect opportunity to explore novel ways for interpretation of these images. I truly hope that citizen science can bring the image annotation to a whole new level."

Gabriele A. Musillo
Research Director
dmetrics.com a venture-backed MIT spinoff whose innovations in natural language processing have received five consecutive US National Science Foundation awards

Charles Pineau, PhD
Research Director, Inserm
Director, Proteomics Core Facility Biogenouest

Félix Schubert, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Mineralogy, Geochemsitry and Petrology Faculty of Science and Informatics – University of Szeged

"This approach could provide an essential tool solving unique tasks that needs human judgement during data processing in order to understand geological processes in more detail."

Pétur Örn Þórarinsson
Game Design Director
CCP

"I think it's a very-very strong concept, both from the perspective of as a player and also as a game designer."

We thank you all the support and enthusiasm during the last year. It really helped us move forward.

Press

Must read

  • The New Yorker - Better research through video games

    On a warm evening in 2014, Attila Szantner, a Hungarian Web entrepreneur, and his friend Bernard Revaz, a Swiss physics researcher, sat on a balcony in Geneva and discussed the perils of video games. The medium’s greatest threat, they concluded, is not that it turns people into vicious killers, or that it dulls their communication skills, or that it sunders their minds from reality. No, the problem is that, in providing players with a sense of accomplishment, games may distract our species from genuine achievement. Who hasn’t felt a house-proud throb of satisfaction at clearing a clutter of Tetris blocks or landing a rocket ship on the moon after centuries of effort in Civilization? Like crosswords and pornography, these activities are both alluring and vacuous: they do little to meet life’s challenges on this side of the screen. But it occurred to Szantner and Revaz that the tremendous amount of time and energy that people put into games could be co-opted in the name of human progress. That year, they founded Massively Multiplayer Online Science, a company that pairs game makers with scientists. >>>

  • Neue Züricher Zeitung - Gamen für die Forschung

    Im Computergame «Eve Online» analysieren Spieler das Erbgut einer mysteriösen Alien-Rasse und liefern dabei der Wissenschaft wertvolle Erkenntnisse über die Struktur von Proteinen. >>>

  • Independent - EVE Online players recruited by scientists to take part in crucial genetics research

    Scientists are getting gamers to do their work for them, by getting players of popular space RPG EVE Online to help categorise a giant database of proteins. The scheme, named Project Discovery, is a 'game-within-a-game', where players can earn in-game rewards for helping to classify different types of proteins from a massive database. >>>

  • Wired - EVE Online recruits pilots for real-world genetics research

    Space pilots inside the vast universe of EVE Online will be given the chance to help real-world science with a new project to classify thousands of proteins for in-game rewards. Project Discovery is a joint endeavour between Iceland's CCP Games, the Sweden-based Human Protein Atlas (HPA), Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS), and Reykjavik University. >>>

  • Wall Street Journal - Gaming in the Name of Science

    Scientists are recruiting videogamers to help crowdsource answers to research issues. The videogames -- designed to emulate popular games -- ask players to solve puzzles and complete other tasks to help sort through data and identify patterns. >>>

  • TEDx Lausanne - Gamers make a better world

    During the last year I’ve worked with the Swedish research group who is building a map of how all human proteins are distributed in our bodies, the Human Protein Atlas. It is a huge database of millions of images, that over 100.000 researchers use every month to understand human biology better, to fight diseases and to create more efficient drugs. But for the images to be useful, they need to classify the patterns and localise the corresponding protein. >>>

Scientific journals

Videos

2016

2015

Our recent posts

November 15, 2016

Ascension

Ascension is here. Let's see some charts before the new era of free-to-play arrives.

November 14, 2016

New Horizons

The consortium led by MMOS ranked first in a call on gamification of the European Commission.

July 13, 2016

Childhood's End

Chilhood of Project Discovery is over with 10 million classifications. Let's see some charts.

March 28, 2016

What did the Easter Bunny bring us

Sweet numbers... of course

March 10, 2016

D-day of Project Discovery

3... 2... 1... Project Discovery is out on Tranquility

February 28, 2016

O7 show

Live interview at the O7 show about Project Discovery

Contact us

Send a mail to hello@mmos.ch

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MMOS Sàrl

Rte de l’Ile-au-Bois 1A c/o BioArk, Monthey
CH-1870, Switzerland

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