Borderlands has guns, vault, bullets, and lots of loot to hoard. But starting today, it has one more thing in it: actual science.
Borderlands Science is a new minigame being added to Borderlands 3 today. It's a matching puzzle game of sorts that rewards players with unique items and boosts, but it's also secretly a program that can help real-life scientists sort and understand human microbiome information.
Developed in partnership with McGill University, Massively Multiplayer Online Science, and The Microsetta Initiative, Borderlands Science is a game that secretly identifies real-world computer analysis errors using matching puzzles. Scientists have gathered data about tons of human gut microbes, and this new initiative will let Borderlands players help sort and identify computer errors in the readings, ultimately assisting scientists in discovering more about the human body. Understanding these DNA sequences means understanding more about our weird, volatile bodies, hopefully contributing to future research into treatments.
Considering we're all cordoned off into our homes right now because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this seems like a great time to do video game science for a cause. I wouldn't say doing any of this makes you a scientist, but by completing puzzles you will have helped a scientist, so isn't that enough?
Borderlands 3 consistently led sales in 2019 and was even cited as a notable success during a Take-Two earnings call in February, so clearly, some of you probably have the game. If you've got the time and drive, do your civic duty and solve some matching puzzles. It's for the good of humanity, and you'll get some sweet loot, too.