Ocean Hackathon: Plank-tonnes of fun; gamifying plankton data to increase ocean literacy
Friday 17 November 2023 - Sunday 19 November 2023
This event has now ended and is archived
Plank-tonnes of fun; gamifying plankton data to increase ocean literacy in non-scientific communitiesOur Data Systems Architect Dr Thomas Mansfield will be supporting a Plymouth hub in the Ocean Hackathon over weekend of November 17th – 19th.
As part of this support, he'll be both a Data Coach (helping participants find and use PML’s datasets) and a Challenge Owner, leading a challenge called Plank-tonnes of fun; gamifying plankton data to increase ocean literacy in non-scientific communities.
Find out more and register for the Ocean Hackathon in Plymouth >>
As the base of the food chain, microscopic plankton provide a crucial source of food to many small and large animals like fish and whales. In addition, measures of plankton abundance and the number of different species are vital indicators of external pressures like changes in climate and the presence of pollutants, indicating the status of the marine environment. Despite this, plankton are often the forgotten element in marine ecosystems, with limited public awareness of their importance and little discussion about their vital role during public debate and political discourse.
This challenge aims to build upon serious gaming principles to encourage non-scientific communities to explore data and learn about Plymouth’s coastal plankton communities. Motivated by the reward of points, a sense of achievement or intangible prizes, serious games are a powerful tool to motivate players to explore data, develop understanding of their content and use that understanding to solve problems.
Specific examples of games themes that could be explored further are:
- Puzzle games, where visualised elements of a data set must be aligned by the player.
- Strategic role-playing games, where players must understand the data and apply their knowledge to make decisions and solve a specific challenge.
- Data guessing games, where players need to guess the content of missing data sets.
- Story-based games, combining a series of varied mini-games to progress towards an end goal.
The outputs of this challenge are likely to be the design of games, visualisations or software apps that aim to increase plankton knowledge and ocean literacy in non-scientific communities. Considerations may be given to the intuitive presentation of data, ideas on how best to motivate players and the development of wider storytelling though the use of serious games.
What the challenge owner would like to develop over 48h:
Games, visualisations or software apps that aim to increase plankton knowledge and ocean literacy in non-scientific communities.
Which skills the challenge owner is looking for:
Marine biology, game design, graphic design, story telling, software design