“Video games will rot your brain!” How many times did I hear that as a kid? Ok, probably not that many but it did seem to be a kind of mantra for adults who thought kids spent too much time playing video games. Personally, I owe much of my professional success to video games. They were the means by which I learned about computers, they introduced me to programing, and perhaps most importantly they helped to teach me how to think and solve problems for myself. Of course I cannot “prove” any of this but it is my personal experience and the experience of several of my friends as well.
For all these reason I am always pleased when I find some something that supports my view that video game can have a positive and important role in people’s lives. A couple weeks ago one of those friends I mention above (whom I also work with at SNQ) sent me this link: Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle. Go on… Take a moment to read it… It is fairly short.
Wow! How awesome is that? A game designed to discover and map chains of amino acids, the structure of proteins. Leading to data that can help save lives by developing new drugs to fight things like AIDS! And it makes perfect sense to me! As a gamer I understand the drive to, find and uncover every nuance of a game, the desire to explore every nook and cranny, or in modern game terms to “get all the achievements”.
I truly hope that creative application of gaming can lead to many such discoveries in the future.