Total infallible proof that gaming has value...
"Before Alpha Fold cracked [the problem of how proteins fold in 3d space], you'd watched human gamers trying to get to grips with it. And to some extent that inspired you, right?
That's right. I first came across it as an undergraduate, 20-plus years ago.
But then it came back on my radar in about 2009, where there was this game called Foldit, where some people had created a puzzle game out of proteins.
Gamers played it - and what they were doing was actually trying to turn the protein into a particular shape.
It turned out that through playing this game... they actually discovered a couple of very important structures for real proteins.
Firstly, it was a fascinating use of games in science - and games is another one of my interests."