Play Games to Help Cancer Research & Macular Degeneration
What would be the impact if we harnessed the resources of massive online communities to help solve the most pressing problems facing mankind?
BALANCED Media | Technology asked that exact question, and now with the aid of their proprietary HEWMENTM technology platform, video gamers have the power to fight disease through data. On December 21, 2017 from 6-8pm CST, BALANCED will host an Alpha Launch to give gamers everywhere the opportunity to help launch a modified version of the popular Minecraft “Bed Wars” designed to find new cancer therapies – all during regular gameplay.
Four gamers renowned for their Minecraft content will be live streaming the Alpha Launch, and you can participate by watching on their Mixer pages: GhostfromTexas, Direwolf20, TangoTek, and ImpulseSV. These gamer-streamers will demonstrate the possibilities and potential of both BALANCED’s new HEWMEN technology platform and Mixer Interactive using Minecraft and its "Bed Wars" mod, plus an all-new standalone game, Wiley Wizard. Mixer viewers and Minecraft players can contribute to helping fight cancer and eye disease while simply enjoying the games in this event.
Additionally, giveaways sponsored by Special Reserve Games will take place during the event, and participants will be invited to donate to Child's Play Charity.
How to attend:
- Prior to December 21st, download the HEWMEN Client, and play Wiley Wizard and Eye in Sky: Defender within the HEWMEN client to earn credits to spend during the live stream
- Watch the Alpha Launch live stream via Mixer on December 21st from 6-8pm at one of the streamer pages listed above
- With your credits, you can interact with streamers live while they play the Minecraft mod during the Alpha Launch event
Download the HEWMEN client
Download Full Size Versions: A | B | C | D
How to participate as a viewer
The four nationally known gamer-streamers will help the BALANCED team launch the new modpack for cancer treatment research. In an exciting twist on gaming livestreams, Mixer Interactive will enable viewers to become participants.
Prior to December 21st, participants can download the HEWMEN Client and play Wiley Wizard and Eye in Sky: Defender within the HEWMEN client to earn credits to spend during the live stream. With those credits, participants can interact with streamers live while they play the Minecraft mod during the Alpha Launch event. Through a virtual control panel that appears beneath the screen, individuals watching the live streams will be able to directly control the environment in and around the streamer’s broadcasts. These controls dynamically change according to live events and update in response to different situations that occur within the broadcast.
When a viewer interacts with the controls, their input is sent directly to the experience, allowing the developers to see exactly who is interacting and what they are doing. This level of engagement allows for the creation of truly unique and interactive experiences.
The December preview marks the beginning of the game’s testing phase. It is scheduled for wide release in April 2018.
How it works
The BALANCED Media | Technology platform, HEWMEN (Humans Engaged With Machines via Elastic Network), is a groundbreaking data-processing and distributed computing technology that executes machine-learning algorithms coupled with human-guided interactions and integrates research data on cancer-fighting drugs. In this initiative, BALANCED will leverage the power of crowdsourcing and a global two billion strong gaming community, which spends a billion hours online daily with the average gamer playing approximately 10,000 hours by the age of 21. Through HEWMEN, these entertainment hours can be used for solving critical problems and, at the same time, serve as a platform for crowd capitalism.
The platform will create a large-scale distributed computing environment, creating a voluntary distributed network by uniting passionate gamers who download the software to donate spare CPU cycles to research. Users simply play games, while in the background, the HEWMEN data-science platform uses the hours they spend consuming entertainment to crowdsource solutions, like helping researchers process cancer research data.
Often, companies and researchers are delayed in discovery and product completion by a lack of resources needed to find solutions hiding inside massive amounts of unprocessed data. Cloud-based computing is largely transactional and generally expensive to use to process and analyze data. By uniting the gaming community with the combination of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and human innovation, BALANCED can increase access to computing power, decrease process time, and improve the quality of the data. Researchers and customers around the world can then utilize this network to solve some of mankind’s most pressing problems.
Players' choices in the game will help algorithms learn to search data better and faster. This puts human intuition into the middle of the equation and is a first step toward human guided AI with gaming. This approach empowers massive online communities to put hours playing games to use in solving real world problems. Through the use of mini games, BALANCED will be processing crucial data that will help in finding solutions for multi-drug resistant cancers and macular degeneration. The data gathered from one of the games will be used to narrow down the best hits which will then been taken into labs at LSU and SMU for testing compounds to be used in therapeutics to battling cancer. The data from another game will be used to assist in creating AI technology for automating eye-scan graphing, shorting times and cost to discovery.
While performing standard gameplay actions in Minecraft, the players partition data on co-medications into two cluster types:
- Positive: Improved the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic response
- Negative: No effect on chemotherapeutic response.
Identifying the properties of these clusters helps researchers identify new co-medication candidates out of the millions of compounds available. The co-medication data sets are supplied to both Minecraft clients and servers through the BALANCED HEWMEN Java integration. This integration allows game-mod builders to visualize and manipulate co-medication data directly in Minecraft world. Each player’s interaction with these modpacks simultaneously clusters co-medications and supplies a training input into a deep neural network (DNN) that is learning and mapping the solution space. Lead researcher Dr. Corey Clark and his team at SMU Guildhall are developing the distributed DNN for the HEWMEN game-based volunteer grid computing platform, which integrates directly with the Minecraft modpacks.
Meet the researchers
BALANCED Media | Technology
BALANCED is a technology company that harnesses the power of distributed network computing, human interaction, community, and gaming to facilitate real world problem solving through the proprietary data management. Users donate CPU cycles and play games to contribute to causes and problem solving. By combining immense computing power with crowdsourced human insight, BALANCED will empower a community-driven collaboration that brings expertise together to focus on solutions and innovations.
- Dr. Corey Clark is a BALANCED co-founder and deputy director for research in SMU Guildhall, as well as an adjunct research associate professor in the Dedman College Department of Biological Sciences at SMU. He is a leader in finding solutions to large-scale problems through a convergence of diverse disciplines, including human computational gaming, systems biology, distributed computing, and artificial intelligence. His research combines immersive gameplay, crowdsourcing, dynamically distributed computing infrastructure, and machine learning to discover new treatments for cancer, macular degeneration and other diseases.
- Robert M. Atkins, BALANCED co-founder and adjunct faculty member in SMU Guildhall, has developed software, designed games, built teams and run companies for more than 25 years. As a founding member of five interactive entertainment companies, he has contributed heavily to more than 50 titles, with some considered the industry's highest acclaimed franchises, including: Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, SiN, Heavy Metal, Tomb Raider, Star Trek, Metal of Honor and Counter Strike. His companies and titles have won dozens of industry awards and worldwide acclaim.
SMU Guildhall is the #1 Graduate Program for Game Design in the world. Many of the school’s founders are industry icons, and classes are taught by industry veterans. Since 2003, the program has graduated over 700 students, who now work at more than 250 video game studios around the world. SMU Guildhall offers both a Master of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development degree and a Professional Certificate of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development, with specializations in Art, Design, Production, and Programming.
SMU Center for Drug Discovery, Design and Delivery
The Center for Drug Discovery, Design and Delivery (CD4) at Southern Methodist University's Dedman College of the Humanities and Sciences is a novel multi-disciplinary focus for scientific research targeting medically important problems in human health. Using innovative approaches, CD4’s mission is to potentiate the development of new therapeutics, their delivery methods as well as the translation of these new therapeutics to clinical studies. Training new generations of biomedical researchers in state-of-the-art techniques completes the overall mission of the Center.
- Dr. Pia Vogel is a professor of biological sciences in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and founding director of the CD4 at SMU. As a membrane-protein biochemist and biophysicist, she engages in drug discovery projects to find inhibitors of proteins that cause multi-drug resistances in cancers and other diseases. She holds a patent on molecules that reverse multi-drug resistance in cancers.
- Dr. John Wise is a professor of biological sciences in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at SMU and a CD4 researcher. An expert in membrane-protein biochemistry and computational biology, his research focuses on using supercomputing to search millions of compounds for drugs that can turn off the mechanisms that allow cancer cells to reject chemotherapy. He developed the data sets that help power the BALANCED HEWMEN crowd-computing platform.