Who knew that playing video games would help further scientific discoveries? Well, Take-Two Interactive apparently did, as Borderlands 3 is getting a special minigame added that will help directly further science just by playing it. The new addition comes in the way of announcement made on Youtube, where Dr Mayim Bialik of Big Bang Theory fame explains what this minigame actually does, and how you can help.
“We see Borderlands Science as an opportunity to use the enormous popularity of Borderlands 3 to advance social good,” says Randy Pitchford, co-founder of Gearbox Software. “Borderlands Science is the vanguard of a new nexus between entertainment and health: an innovative game-within-the-game, complete with scores, progression and rewards, where your playtime actually generates tangible data that will be applied toward improving research, helping cure diseases, and contributing to the broader medical community.”
It’s a bit complicated, and there’s a tonne of scientific words that get thrown around, but the general gist of it is a puzzle minigame; where players must sort through various puzzle tiles like a mashup of Tetris and Candy Crush. Computers are smart at most things, but dumb at others, so the scientific field of research needs help in combing through enormous amounts of data that need organizing, in the hopes that many different forms of microbes can be identified properly and implemented into modern scientific advancements. I’m going to shut up now and let the expert explain:
Personally, I think it’s really cool to see a AAA title do such a thing, as it brings together gamers and the collective force they can accomplish. It was also revealed certainly at the right time, with everything happening due to the coronavirus pandemic currently, this could really help the field of science make further improvements in, as the video stated; food, medicine, and exercise. Whilst there’s no confirmation that this directly impacts the study of COVID-19 though, I’m sure it will have some effect in that field.
Imagine if this catches on to more popular video games. Imagine if Call of Duty allowed you to help fight diseases by shooting bad guys, or if Red Dead Redemption 2 helped discover new organisms by letting players hunt exotic animals. I'm probably going too far-fetched with this, but it is a nice idea to think about.
Playing the new Borderlands Science minigame will also net players with in-game currency that you can use for booster items within Borderlands 3, so it’s a pretty good deal. You can access the new minigame, Borderlands Science, within Sanctuary III in the corner of Doctor Tannis’ infirmary.
What do you think of the new minigame? How will this impact video games in the future? Will you be jumping in and playing it? Let us know!