Google announced today they are shutting down Livvely, their 3D world. Details here.
Interesting article over at New Scientist on how researchers are using games to enlist human volunteers to help solve computationally intractable research problems. There have been previous efforts in this line, but the games are definitely getting more sophisticated. Case in point: the Foldit game where users compete to come up with the best folding structure for a particular protein. Protein folding is a computationally nightmarish process; the number of degrees of freedom in even a simple protein structure makes the possible solution space enormous. Researchers with the project are hoping that human beings’ pattern recognition and problem-solving abilities will enable them to solve these problems more efficiently than computers can.