If there is a reason developers launch betas of their software is so that users can use the software they normally would, and in the process hopefully come across some bugs or holes that the developers themselves might have missed during testing. After all we all use softwares in our own way, so sometimes it’s impossible to catch everything.
That being said DARPA thinks that by playing video games, gamers will be able to help identify any software flaws in the process. Now we’re not talking about the flaws within the games itself, but rather the process of playing certain types of games would allow DARPA to identify flaws found in the programming language itself or in open source software, after which DARPA would then notify the organization about it.
Dubbed Verigames, this was a program that was initially launched back in 2013 but it seems that DARPA had so much success with it that they’re bringing it back with a new round of five brand new games. The games in question include Dynamakr which is game that tasks players to energize mysterious patterns; Paradox which sees players try to optimize networks using various tools; Ghost Map Hyperspace where players fight off alien invaders; Monster Proof where players battle monsters and solve puzzles; and Binary Fission where players have to mix and match quarks.
According to DARPA, “These games translated players’ actions into program annotations and assisted formal verification experts in generating mathematical proofs to verify the absence of important classes of flaws in software written in the “C” and “Java” programming languages. An initial analysis indicates that non-experts playing CSFV games generated hundreds of thousands of annotations.” If you’d like to learn more about these games or take them for a spin, head on over to Verigames’ website for the details.