If you are newly stuck at home with science-minded kids, or are just looking to add another website to your internet routine in this time of social distancing, here's a list of educational and productive science games that might come in handy. If you have a favorite that doesn't show up here, send me a link on Twitter and I will add it.
FoldIt: We wrote a great article outlining one of the major scientific discoveries made with this protein-folding game a few months ago. Try it yourself – there are even coronavirus puzzles that you can do, if you want to take out your stress on (a virtual copy of) the virus itself.
Zooniverse: This site has an enormous range of projects you can contribute to. You can do everything from helping scientists classify bird breeding behavior on NestCams, to identifying wildlife from camera trap photos as part of Snapshot Ruaha, to locating black holes on Radio Galaxy Zoo. There is truly something for everyone!
March Mammal Madness: The basketball version of March Madness has been canceled, but this animal-themed competition is still going. Although several battles have already been fought, it's not too late to fill out a bracket (assistant editor Max Levy is cheering for the Australian feral camel to win it all!). You can catch up on the competition and get some great science content — complete with references to peer-reviewed research — on the competition's Twitter feed.
Kerbal Space Program: This is co-founder Allan Lasser's pick. In this fictional game you are the leader of a space program for an alien race called the Kerbals, and you get to construct spacecraft, perform space experiments, and even make budgeting decisions for your organization (because funding science is important). This game would be great for kids who want to learn physics and astronomy alongside some real-life space scientists.
Eyewire: In this game, your goal is to map neurons in the brain. You are presented with a cross-section of a real brain map, and your job is to trace a neuron through that cross-section. Consortium member Dori Grijseels, who sent me this suggestion, calls it "weirdly addictive!" If you're interested in the science behind the game, here's a TED talk by the game's director.