SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, may have recently been forced to shut down its Allen Telescope Array, but don't count the wily alien-hunters out yet. SETI is co-sponsoring a unique contest with Gamify that uses video games to help comb through the data they've collected.
SETI's now-shuttered telescopes have recorded a ton of radio signal data oiver the years, and while SETI has scanned the data looking for certain kinds of patterns that they think could indicate intelligence, there could still be evidence of outer-space transmissions in the data. Here's where games come in: SETI and Gamify would like to find a way to "gamify" the data search, to find a fun way for tons of people to go through the radio transmissions looking for evidence of outer-space intelligence.
If you have an idea, go to this page, and leave your suggestion on how to "gamify" SETI's data hunt. Contest winners will receive a SetiQuest-customized Astro A30 Audio System, but, more importantly, If SETI uses your idea, you could be the earthling responsible for the first contact with outer space aliens from other planets. Big time, right?
A word of caution: If I've learned nothing from 30 years worth of video games, I've learned this: Aliens want to kill us, either by inserting alien fetuses in our bodies so they can burst through our chests, or violently dehydrating us by sucking all the moisture from our bodies at once. Maybe you shouldn't try to contact them...Still, if you must tempt fate, draw attention to defenseless humans and cause an alien invasion, help SETI out-- but don't forget "To Serve Man" is the name of a cookbook!