One video game, three challenges: popularizing, teaching, and doing research through citizen science on synthetic biology.

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Hero.Coli is a single-player adventure game where a bacterium explores a living world, collects and combines functional DNA fragments in order to get new abilities.
This game has been developed since 2013 at the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity in Paris to popularize synthetic biology to the general public and to make it easier for students to learn about this topic. Game-based learning is indeed a key feature of the future of education, be it self-learning or academic learning.
This game also intends to evolve into a Citizen Science tool: users could craft new bacteria and the best ones would be synthetized in our labs. Then, they would either be as good as simulated in the game and end up in a scientific discovery, or they wouldn't, helping us having better insight or even correct the cell models we use. This win-win scenario was inspired by the FoldIt and EteRNA games.
The game is open-source on GitHub, developed using Unity, and playable online.

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