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Forgotten Island

Forgotten Island
Image: Image courtesy of Syracuse University, Citizen Sort

Forgotten Island is a citizen science project disguised as an adventure game. The premise is this: A mysterious explosion has destroyed the island's biology lab and scattered living specimens across the strange landscape. Now, a bombastic robot named DOC73R-CY3N53 is calling the shots, ordering you to re-classify his specimens and rebuild the island in his image.

In this point-and-click game, citizen scientists can participate in scientific research while foraging through fearful forests, vicious volcanoes, desolate docks, and more.

Forgotten Island was created by Citizen Sort, a group of researchers and student developers at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies. Citizen Sort’s Web contains tools and games to classify various species of insects, animals, and plants. One of the site’s goals is to help biologists and ecologists with scientific classification tasks. The second goal is to help information scientists and human-computer interaction researchers evaluate the role of motivation in citizen science.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Kevin Crowston and Jun Wang
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: Syracuse University
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Data Processing
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages
  • TIME COMMITMENT: Variable
  • HOW TO JOIN:

    Go to the Citizen Sort Web site and register.

See more projects in FreeData ProcessingAll Ages.

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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