Borderlands Science is all about playing games and helping real life scientists!


An in-game activity in Borderlands was designed so players can help real-life scientists obtain vital data by simply playing the game. So not only are Borderlands 3 players actually contributing to society but they’ll be able to earn some real neat in-game items for the participation too!

It’s not often that one can put the title “Borderlands 3” with the phrase “The Greater Good” but 2020 has been throwing curveballs left, right and centre and this is, quite frankly, one of the more pleasant surprises of the year so far. Borderlands Science has just launched within Borderlands 3 and it’s all about taking the passion players have for shootin’ and or lootin’ and using it to advance the field of science, specifically in relation to the human gut microbiome. Tasty!

The initiative, which is being conducted as a joint venture between Borderlands developer Gearbox, the game’s publisher 2K Games, the McGill UniversityMassively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS), and The Microsetta Initiative at UC San Diego School of Medicine. The program will see players mapping the trillions of microbes found within the human gut, some of which are suspected to play an active role in diabetes, Parkinson’s, obesity and cancer to name but a few illnesses. So how does this all function in the game?

Borderlands Science encodes the DNA of each gut microbe as a string of bricks of four different shapes and colors. Players connect those colored shapes to help scientists estimate the similarity between each microbe. The more puzzles players solve, the more they help decode the human gut microbiome, all while earning rewards that can be used in Borderlands 3,” reads the press release sent out by 2K Games.

If you needed another reason to hop aboard this train of medical science, the team over at Gearbox even got Dr Mayim Bialik, real-life scientist, researcher and star of the TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory to lend her vocal talents to the mini-game.

“It was a simple choice to join Gearbox and its partners in making Borderlands Science a reality,” says McGill University professor Jérôme Waldispühl. “Working to help align the gaming community with the biomedical field allows these two passionate groups to work together toward a result that we might not realize without the collaborative effort.”

So if you’re keen on doing your part for science and maybe earning some cool loot too, check out the mini-game in Borderlands 3. You can also head on over to the Borderlands Science webpage to learn even more about the initiative.


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I completed a Masters Degree just so someone might take my opinions seriously one day. Also writes about video games over at Critical Hit.

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