Citizen Science - Instead of video games, I played mapping neurons.
Citizen science is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur (or nonprofessional) scientists.
Citizen science is sometimes described as "public participation in scientific research," participatory monitoring, and participatory action research whose outcomes are often advancements in scientific research, as well as an increase in the public's understanding of science. - Wikipedia, Citizen Science.
It's how a high school student can participate in trending researches like gamma-ray pulsar research, LIGO, brain modeling, cancer marker mapping, and etc.
Ever since I was informed of citizen science from my astronomy teacher, I was all into it. It was my dream to be ever part of the research process. I waited and waited to be a part of expanding knowledge.
The first citizen science project I started was BOINC.
BOINC downloads scientific computing jobs to your computer and runs them invisibly in the background. It lets you participate in cutting-edge scientific research.
It was simple. All I had to do is give up a part of my computer's memory to the project. Although it slowed down my computer, I was glad that I made a tiny contribution to the science community. Countless hours of computing were put into those projects. I hope I really did contribute a little.
The next citizen science project I came across was Eyewire.
It is a game designed to map the brain - to check and distinguish neurons from images. Multiple checking from different users confirmed the accurate positions of neurons. A community was able to do something that a computer couldn't. It was a thrilling experience. It felt like a time-consuming game that I could play instead of other video games.
The fun led me to open up a citizen science program myself. It was when I talked to my Astronomy teacher of opening up our observatory as a citizen science project.
Here's an abstract of the plan I devised:
This plan was presented on a poster presentation session in Korea Geoscience Union (KGU). I hope the plan is executed someday, and I hope I can participate in the research field as a scientist (a.k.a. without sacrificing my computer's memory ^^ ~).