UPDATE ON COMPUTER GAMES AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH. I posted here in 2010—less than six years ago—about Foldit, a videogame, with 57,000 registered users, in which players scored points by finding chemically stable configurations for chains of protein molecules. Nonscientists playing the game had already made scientific contributions.
This article by Robert Lee Hotz in the Wall Street Journal (May 4, 2016) says that there are now “1.2 million people in 140 countries are playing research games online that tackle quantum physics, analyze protein structures, test breast-cancer tumors or investigate genetic diseases.”
Some scientific researchers are trying to integrate their research efforts into popular established commercial video games. One researcher says: ““We have tried to make [our games] look much more like Candy Crusher or Angry Birds.”