Since games for Mac’s are a little on the short side I have found a gem that could you use to waste some time. Its called Foldit, and is design to be enjoyable as well as help in protein folding science. I find it really fun, and it is all in the name of science.
Once as you have downloaded the application for the site, and signed up (for tracking scores) you are ready to play. It does take a little while to get the hang of how the game works and all the buttons, but I find it quite fun. It does need some thinking, so it isn’t a simple point and click.
The idea behind the game is to unfold the protein and all of the little strands. It sounds complicated, but the tutorials provided make it very easy to understand the concept. As well as this it is the type of game where you have to reach a certain score (you do in the tutorials though). Its open ended.
Currently there isn’t many puzzles to complete. It is coming out of beta at the moment and as a result you are limited on choice. But more puzzles will probably be added all of the time. The game is designed to have a purpose in mind. All of the proteins you see are probably real. They use this instead of computer programs because it yields better results. People are a lot better at finding patterns than computers.
Give it a try, see what you think. It is a CPU intensive game, since a lot of calculations are being made. But if it is in the name of science I am willing to give it ago. All they need to do now is release more puzzles and let the fun begin. If you are interested in this type of thing check out Rosetta@home. It is a similar concept of protein folding, but is designed to run in the background and take a different approach. I run it on my Windows computer, since it sits idle for quite a lot.