June 6, 2019

Fans streaming a recent video game tournament that raised funds for kids with cancer had a chance to help SMU researchers by playing Omega Cluster, an interactive game designed to pinpoint promising compounds to add to the chemotherapy arsenal.

Three-time Super Bowl winner and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin  and two-time Madden NFL champion Drini Gjoka competed in a video gaming tournament alongside patients and families at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. The tournament consisted of a live Madden NFL 19 streaming game via Twitch and ExtraLife.

A Twitch interactive gamed called Omega Cluster also allowed people watching the gaming tournament to help SMU researchers.

In the Omega Cluster game, each player acted as a spaceship pilot who must warp from location to location gathering energy crystals before enemies’ lock onto their position and destroy their ship. The process of collecting and sorting crystals was actually sorting by proxy a set of chemotherapeutic co-medications compounds that have been tested in the SMU Center for Drug Discovery, Design and Delivery’s laboratory. The game let players explore these compounds and identify what has allowed some to be successful in lab testing while others have not.

Read more at SMU Research.