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S0ckrates's picture
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Joined: 05/19/2017
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Hi folks, Sock here.

Today on #FolditFriday we had a very good discussion between susume, tokens, a moderator of my stream, metaforever, and myself on some key issues that Foldit has in its current state. I'm linking the entire "Video on Demand", or VOD of the stream since I wanted to leave in the beginning and end-cards of the stream (the pre-lab and post-lab, if you will). However, the key discussion starts at around 50 minutes in and continues on until about the end of the stream.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/161042830

On the right of the video page you should be seeing a chat replay displaying what people were saying in my chat since I do not use a chat overlay to broadcast chat on my stream. Below the video player, reads the description I have typed:

"In this livestream I had a lot of good discussion about what proteins are in the first place (so that people who weren't in the foldit community can actually follow along or at least know what I'm doing), followed by some lengthy discussion on the state of Foldit and some of it's issues. I also make some comparisons to other games, and try to articulate possible solutions and approaches to improving Foldit and its playerbase.

For the start of the Foldit discussion, skip to about 50 minutes in; a minor frustration feature starts this conversation about improving upon Foldit."

I'm hoping that this discussion offers some insights that the developers can use in improving Foldit, and maybe spur some additional discussion here too. I know I'm still relatively new here, and the regulars that stop by my stream are very much helpful, but I hope this input is just as valuable.

Looking forward to hearing what you guys have to say about this, from here on out I will try to always stream Foldit on #FolditFriday but this next Friday (July 28) might be canceled since I am getting my wisdom teeth pulled. If there is a stream, I will have mic and webcam off and will be responding in Twitch chat only, though I will send a message in the in-game global chat when I go live. I still haven't locked down a solid timeslot for when I want to stream; expect it to be in the afternoon or evening, Pacific Time.

Thanks for reading!
- Sockrates

Susume's picture
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Joined: 10/02/2011
Now I see what's possible

Now that I have seen Twitch, and read about how to keep viewers engaged with your Twitch channel, and listened to my kids talk about their many computer games, I have a better sense of what is possible in the way of player engagement. Foldit's player engagement system may have been fine when gamification of science was a new thing, but it has not really grown or evolved from its rather basic beginnings (at least not since 2011 when I started playing). I have sent smortier some ideas for student projects and contests to design new, more appealing achievements for foldit (especially ones that can be implemented on the website without touching the game code itself, since developer hours are in such short supply).

In academia, in order to allocate hours to a project, it often has to coincide with someone's research interest, or someone's teaching plan, or someone's grant scope. Baker lab clearly has resources devoted to upgrading the science side of foldit. It is harder to discern an interest at Center for Game Science in evolving the player engagement aspect of the game. It is not sexy research, the way the initial gamification of protein science was. But maybe it coincides with some of CGS' teaching goals. I am hoping that CGS offers classes in digital engagement for which designing improvements to foldit's engagement system would be a meaningful learning exercise.

smortier's picture
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Joined: 03/10/2016
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I *finally* had a chance to watch this one.

And by "had a chance", I mean... I ignored other things that needed to be done and watched anyway. :)

I really liked the ideas that you (and your viewers) came up with. I have put them into my "Foldit Improvement Ideas" document and will be sharing them with the team soon. Thanks so much for your passion and desire to see a better Foldit. We really do appreciate it.

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Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, RosettaCommons