Guerilla Tea appointed by Cancer Research UK to build ‘cancer-curing’ mobile phone game
Games and software development agency Guerilla Tea has been hired by Cancer Research UK in a bid to create a mobile phone game that aims to pinpoint new genetic causes of cancer.
Launching in the UK later this year, it is hoped that the game will accelerate ideas for potential new cures, as anyone with a smart phone and a few minutes to spare can play to analyse Cancer Research UK’s gene data.
Guerilla Tea is based in Dundee, and creates mobile, handheld and online games, and was selected by Cancer Research UK with help from games expert Channel 4’s games commissioner, Colin Macdonald.
Chosen because it was both fun to play whilst also feeding highly accurate analysis of variations in gene data to Cancer Research UK’s scientists, ‘GeneGame’ is the charity’s second project set up to harness the power of the public to help analyse these colossal amounts of data, with the aim to drastically speed up research. The first initiative, Cell SliderTM, has already been visited by 200,000 people after being launched in October 2012. The game allows the public to classify archived breast cancer samples, helping Cancer Research UK scientists to better understand breast cancer risk and response to treatment.
Amy Carton, citizen science lead for Cancer Research UK, commented on the recent news: “We were very impressed by the initial format produced by Guerilla Tea and we’re excited about seeing the final result.
“We’re right at the start of a world-first initiative that will result in a game that we hope hundreds of thousands of people across the globe will want to play over and over again and, at the same time, generate robust scientific data analysis.
“Combining complicated cancer research data and gaming technology in this way has never been done before and it’s certainly no mean feat but we’re working with the best scientific and technology brains in the business, we’re ready for the challenge and believe the results will have global impact and speed up research.”