Although popular movies and television shows make computer programming look fast, exciting, and ridiculously easy, the truth is that making good software is hard work. Making good and secure software is even harder work, and it involves a lot of tedious testing and debugging.
While computers can automatically scan software for some bugs, most “formal verification work,” to use industry lingo, needs to be done by human experts. Unfortunately, the number of software apps vastly outnumbers the number of experts there are in the world. Verigames is attempting to address that problem by gamifying the verification process.
For example, in a game called Binary Fission, your goal is to sort “quarks” into pools in as few steps as possible. However, what you’re really doing is verifying that the software is free of security vulnerabilities. Another game, called Paradox, urges you to “Eliminate conflicts by changing the state of the on-screen variables. Reach the target score and unlock new optimizers.”
Other games include Dynamakr, Monster Proof, Hyperspace, and Xylem.
Although the games will likely be best enjoyed by people in the information security (infosec) industry, anyone who enjoys puzzles or video games will find them entertaining. You can read more about the project at http://www.verigames.com/science#/, where you will find a blog, infographics, link to the project social media accounts, and interviews with game creators.
To play, you need a web browser with the latest version of Flash installed, and you will need to register. Have fun!
Image Credit: Verigames.