In what has to be one of the cooler real-world applications of video games in the last few years, Eve Online players can now help find actual exoplanets. Developer CCP Games has just updated Eve to include Project Discovery, which features a database of measurements of distant stars that players can investigate to try and locate planets outside our solar system.
It’s a collaboration between CCP, Reykjavik University, Massively Multiplayer Online Science, and University of Geneva professor Michel Mayor. Project Discovery uses data from CoRoT, a European Space Agency telescope designed specifically to search for exoplanets. Check out CCP’s video about the project below.
If helping out the effort to locate celestial bodies isn’t enough, you can also earn in-game rewards through Project Discovery. You can get the game’s Plex currency, ship skins, and blueprints for special CONCORD ships.
“The University of Geneva is proud to pioneer this new way to interact with so many people,” University of Geneva rector Yves Fluckiger said in a press release. “The image of the ivory tower is long gone when hundreds of thousands are invited to participate to scientific discoveries.”
This is actually the second iteration of Eve’s Project Discovery. The first version presented players with data gathered from research on human cells, and the project helped scientists identify a new cellular structure.