This article explores the tensions between game play and contributing to science within Foldit (http://fold.it/portal/), an online puzzle game and participatory science project in which participants fold proteins in novel ways. No prior scientific knowledge is required in order to play, but solutions developed by players have led to important scientific discoveries. Based on analysis of online exchanges and interviews with a number of players, we examine the tensions between the experience and pleasure of playing a game and the desire to work and contribute to scientific activity. We examine our players’ experiences in terms of Stebbins’ (1982, 2007) notion of serious leisure.

Source: When Does Leisure Become Work

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