Scientist and developer team wins Wellcome Trust dev contest

Scientist and developer team wins Wellcome Trust dev contest
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

September 5th 2012 at 3:39PM

Giant scientific charity's Gamify Your PhD project plucks project to fund for new initiative

A team of developers from studios Clockwork Cuckoo and Force of Habit have, in partnership with a scientist collaborator, emerged as a the successful team in the Wellcome Trust's Gamify Your PHD games development contest.

The Gamify Your PhD initiative pairs up games developers and scientists in an attempt to meet Trust-founder Henry Wellcome's original mission to bring understanding of science to the masses and democratise scientific work and discovery. The project was established to create new games based on PhDs that explain the latest developments in biomedicine.

The winning team will now receive further funding so as to complete their project in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust, a vast scientific charity and research body based in the UK.

“The quality of the games and ideas produced during this short two day hack is remarkable," said Daniel Glaser, head of special projects at the Wellcome Trust. "The energy of the teams has been driven by a tangible excitement in the exchange of knowledge. Gamify Your PhD has created an inspiring and innovative collision of popular culture and science, and demonstrated bold new paths for communicating science.”

The winning game, titled Dysbiosis, was created by indies Clockwork Cuckoo and Force of Habit, along with scientist Margherita Coccia, and explored the latter's research into intestinal immunology in the form on a tunnel shooter not dissimilar to Jeff Minter's iconic game Tempest.

Mobile Pie and scientist Thomas Forth took the second runner up prize with malaria puzzle game Simalaria, while Jane Elizabeth, Anne Reid and Opposable Games secured the first runner up slot with molecular biology action-puzzle title Monsieur Baguette Presents... RNA transcription of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae.

Of the numerous studios involved in Gamify your PHD, which concluded with a 48-hour game jam (pictured) ending yesterday, many are likely to continue to liaise with the Wellcome Trust, as the organisation remains keen to invest in games development with a view to engage the public around issues of science.