Announced today, Leyline is a new nonprofit platform which enables gamers — or anyone with a device to spare and the desire to help a cause — to make a positive impact on the world through the power of their favourite hobby.
Users can earn rewards for contributing spare computing power where their computers or smartphones are idle. Through a cooperation with the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), idle systems can lend their processing power to help create a “distributed supercomputer,” capable of crunching data, running massive calculations, and conducting simulations to aid in scientific research.
Leyline and BOINC estimate that if one percent of the world’s gaming population lends their idle processing power, they could collectively contribute a staggering 7,800 petaflops of distributed research computing power, roughly on par with the average supercomputer. (Each petaflop equals one thousand million million (1015) floating-point operations per second.)
Other contributions are also monitored on Leyline, such as donating blood or volunteering with local charities. Participating earns users points toward rewards such as gift cards or in-game incentives for their favourite titles.
The organization was founded by veteran Blizzard employee Jeremy Dela Rosa, who began funding the operation by liquidating his retirement savings and selling his home. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to “scale the in-development Leyline platform,” while the company also seeks other investors and charitable contributions.
“We realize that everyone wants to contribute to making the world a better place, but it can be needlessly complex,” said Dela Rosa. “Through Leyline, we want to create an online ecosystem that rewards doing good things in the real world.”
GoFundMe proceeds will be accelerated toward Covid-19 research. Leyline pledges to remain transparent about where funding is going, updating users on what their efforts have accomplished. Applications are also being accepted for a closed beta in 2021.
Leyline joins the ranks of gaming-related charitable movements such as Extra Life, Awesome Games Done Quick, and Child’s Play, as well as other charity tournaments helping gamers give back.