2K Games and Gearbox Software certainly hit the jackpot when it came to Borderlands 3. The latest entry in their first-person shooter franchise has built up a strong following. Support has also been constant, with two DLC expansions already launched. However, the latest content to come Borderlands 3 is not more guns and mayhem. Instead, Borderlands Science, a new mini-game, invites players to map the human gut microbiome to advance vital, real-life medical studies while earning in-game rewards.

Significant research

The contribution of players will save medical researchers hundreds of thousands of hours in training computers to do the same. All you need to do is to match up colored tiles emblazoned with familiar faces of Borderlands 3 characters. Much like Tetris, the combinations of shapes and colors will create combos and earn you those bonus points.

The more puzzles players solve, the more they will help decode the human gut microbiome. All of the information contributed in this project will then be shared globally for scientists to utilize.

“We see Borderlands Science as an opportunity to use the enormous popularity of Borderlands 3 to advance social good,” Gearbox Software co-founder Randy Pitchford stated.

“Borderlands Science is the vanguard of a new nexus between entertainment and health: an innovative game-within-the-game, complete with scores, progression and rewards, where your playtime actually generates tangible data that will be applied toward improving research, helping cure diseases, and contributing to the broader medical community.”

This initiative is the result of international partnerships with researchers and scientists at McGill UniversityMassively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS), and The Microsetta Initiative at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Oh, and if the voice in the trailer sounds familiar, that’s because it is that of Big Bang Theory actress and real-life scientist Dr. Mayim Bialik.

You can access Borderlands Science via Doctor Tannis’ infirmary in Borderlands 3.

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