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ISSN 0869-5377
The Logos Journal

Gamification in the Sciences

Author: Bykov Evgeny

About author:
Postgraduate student at the School of Philosophy of the Faculty of Humanities of the National Research University — Higher School of Economics. Address: 21/4 Staraya Basmannaya str., 105066 Moscow, Russia. E-mail:

The paper focuses on the peculiar modes of existence of scientific objects that have been gamified (extended by computer game; examples of EteRNA, Foldit, Phylo projects are used). An introduction to the history of the subject lets the author describe present situations in terms of trilateral processes of involvement between scientists, game and players — wherein two stages are indicated: 1)“[Scientists ↔ Game] ← Players” in which a gamified object appears, constructed with some level of resemblance to its laboratorial analogue but simple enough for gamers to interact with it as a primary given (problem of “acting on a distance”); 2)“Scientists → [Game ↔ Players]” in which the aim is for the game to sustain player interest in itself (since the developers can’t sustain it for the entire time). There are specific changes mentioned in regimes of player experience / thought for both stages. After that, the model of Centers of Calculation is proposed to describe the relationship between scientists and players; it leads to questions about the just use of player resources. The question raises the problem of interchanges of agent identities by each other’s actions. Diversity of player entities and ambivalence of changeable/unchangeable characteristics of Centers of Calculation are considered. The relationship of “use” is reversed by taking Crowds into account (crowdsourcing context). Finally, the author proposes a new conceptual approach — “thinking in spectrum”: different forms of experience here correspond with alterations in networks of identification (that of phenomenally different objects into an integral identity).

Keywords: gamification in sciences; intuitions of object; phenomenology of interestment; centers of calculation; identification of actors; “thinking in spectrum” approach; EteRNA; Foldit; Phylo

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