Digital Fishers: Science, Game, or Both?

data from the deep...judgement from the crowd...wisdom from the process

underwater view

Would you like to peer out the window of a submarine as it explores the ocean floor? Did you ever dream of being the first person to see some bizarre underwater phenomenon?  Are you a fisher who likes to watch fish in their natural habitat?  Or a gamer who likes unusual challenges?


We can't offer free seats on a real submarine, but here's a free opportunity to virtually explore the ocean through digital video

Digital fishers web site imagecollected by underwater instruments. You may be the first one to a particular video clip from the mammoth archive and log comments about what you see.


If you like online games, there is plenty of challenge here, and a chance to compete for recognition as one of the high scoring Digital Fishers. For a quick example, see the 15 second video embedded below.


Visit and it will ask you to register to get a username and password. After that you can go to the game site. The main interface is designed to resemble the cockpit instruments of a research submarine, to give you the feeling of cruising around on the seafloor. In the center is a video screen that shows 15 second video clips from the Neptune Canada archive.

Other instrumentation shows more information about the clip and about your game status as a digital fisher. In the lower left corner are buttons for a "How to Play" video and for a tutorial for the game. I won't duplicate the instructions here, but suffice it to say that this is an incredibly cool example of "crowd sourcing" applied to scientific exploration, probably more exciting and certainly closer to home than searching for new galaxies or extraterrestrial intelligence.

You can also follow on Digital Fishers on Twitter and Facebook.


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