Game: Fold It

Fold It is a game that helps science. Instead of having a great amount of resources destined to fold proteins, they let players around the world do that. With so many players competing to fold proteins, predictions can be made of the shape certain proteins will take. Also, players could end up designing proteins that might just be helpful to cure diseases.

In this game, each level is a "puzzle" which consists on a protein that you have to fold. There are several rules that you can follow to increase your score, for example, the more compact the protein, the better score you get.

The game is quite complex but the tutorials introduce each concept quite nicely. By the end of all the tutorial levels, you'll be able to tackle puzzles with real protein shapes and compete with other people around the world for the best scores.

What I liked about the game:
  • The tutorial levels introduce the game mechanics really well.
  • The game helps scientists find patterns in protein folding, which will eventually lead to understanding diseases and body functions.
  • The game gives you constant feedback and doesn't penalize mistakes so you can easily improve your protein folding techniques.

What I didn't like about the game:
  • Because camera movement and protein movement is performed with the same mouse button (depending on where you click) sometimes I ended up moving the protein instead of the camera, effectively destroying everything I had accomplished (The game comes with an undo command, but still it would be nice to have a different button or combination of buttons to move the camera).
  • Even though the tutorials are excellent, it takes a lot of time to get used to the game once you decide to try regular puzzles.

University of Washington (2009) Fold It []

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