Raimbault, M., C. Clark. 2017. Session Based Behavioral Clustering in Open World Sandbox Game TUG. Proceedings from International Conference Foundations of Digital Games Conference, Cape Cod, MA, Aug., 2017
Volunteer computing is a successful and cost effective computational grid implementation that allows researchers to access idle computing power from volunteer users. One critical challenge volunteer computing grids currently face is finding ways to maintain and expand the volunteer community as the percentage of active users currently trends downwards. Researchers have explored means beyond the traditional approaches of credit and low-intensity utility software in an effort to expand the reach of their volunteer computing grids. Efforts ranging from money to education, to actively involving users in the scientific process have shown success to varying degrees. Video games are growing at a rapid pace, with an estimated 2.1 billion people playing in 2016. For games to be successful, they need to successfully engage the user, enticing users to invest time and money in the gaming ecosystem. The authors explore the potential of games to expand the reach of volunteer computing, including providing a brief history of how games and gaming technology have been used to this point. They propose a game-based volunteer computing system plugin technology that allows sharing of computational resources while users play. The authors then perform some theoretical calculations to determine the potential additive computing power generated. This system allows researchers and developers to interface with the games directly, including tying in game rewards to outside game volunteered computing power. Leveraging the engagement already generated games and the creativity and expertise of game developers may provide a means of expanding the volunteer computing user base.