A behind the scenes look at the EyeWire community.
Meet the EyeWirers who are mapping the brain. Today’s featured EyeWirer is @scoobi.
How did you hear about EyeWire originally?
I happened to know about EyeWire from a TV commercial by Korea Telecom (KT). I got excited to know more about brain mapping by reconstructing neurons, so I started playing the game.
What do you like about EyeWire?
I love the idea that by playing EyeWire anybody, including myself, can contribute to science. Since I was young, I have been interested in science. I value the fact that I help neuroscience research although I have little scientific background in it. This idea is what I like the most. Secondly, I like that players make progress together by building a community— chatting and helping one another in channels. Last but not least, EyeWire is always fresh and challenging. Because every cell has its unique features, it is a new and different pleasure to observe and study each. I hardly get bored, and get into the game more and more because I face new challenges in various cubes generated according to each cell’s features.
Was it challenging at first? How did you get so good at the game?
In the beginning, it was very difficult. I was not sure which pieces I should add, and had difficulties finding boundary lines in the 2D images or checking them in the 3D images. Then, I watched the tutorial videos several times. I could not understand the tutorials at first, but I watched them repeatedly. As I increased my experience in playing the game, I was able to play with high accuracy. After that, I learned higher-level skills from blog posts and the EyeWire wiki.
What do you like better: your role as Scythe, or playing normally?
I like both roles, but I prefer Scythe if I have to choose one. Normal players passively play the system-generated cubes. However, a Scythe actively observes cells and examines cubes, and can add missing branches or fix mistakes such as mergers. Because I can be involved in EyeWire more constructively and actively, I like my Scythe role better.
Do you have any funny stories from chat? Or remember people saying anything funny?
There are not many funny chat moments or stories going on in the Korean channel. If I could share one interesting story that I remember, this is it: when LCU got promoted to mentor and had his chat ID changed to the pink color, one new EyeWirer asked how much he paid for this “cash-tem,” the new color. We all joked about it. “Cash-tem” is a virtual item for a player to buy (with real money) in order to gain more power or special skills in some online games in South Korea.
What do you do besides EyeWire? What sort of job do you have, or are you a student? Do you have any other hobbies?
Besides EyeWire, I play smartphone games and other computer games. On my smartphone, I play simple games; on my computer, I play simulation games. I enjoy reading any interesting books, no matter what genre or topic. I am a college student majoring in fine chemistry.
Do you have anything else you want to share with your fellow EyeWirers, whether they have just started the game or have already advanced?
I would like to tell beginners not to give up, but to keep trying by asking other players, watching tutorials and reading blog posts or the wiki. It was so difficult when I started, and I almost gave up. However, I enjoy it more and more as I understand EyeWire more as a game. As you keep playing, you are naturally mastering the game. When you reach the advanced level, I would like you to become a more active player. It is still interesting enough to stay as a normal player, but it is much more interesting to play the role of a Scout or Scythe. When you go beyond playing with cubes, such as observing a cell, checking its branches, and fixing mistakes, you will receive a different kind of reward and joy. At last, you see as much as you know and you enjoy as much as you see in EyeWire. When you play with more attention, I believe you will experience surprise, wonder, the spirit of challenge, and much more.
Is there anything you want to tell EyeWire HQ?
I thank the headquarters for their persistent hard work. I really like communicating with them in chat and Google Hangouts. I also appreciate the unique and humorous concepts for each special event, and such concepts make the game more entertaining. Although I don’t communicate with them as often as I wish due to time and language differences, I think people at HQ are good friends of mine. Thank you!
Would you like to be a featured EyeWirer? Submit your own responses here: Featured EyeWirer Questionnaire