Jane McGonigal (lead designer of "I Love Bees") has made a career of designing games that expand minds and serve multiple purposes. Now she's turned her sights on science. In her recent AAAS presentation, she declared that massively multi-citizen science is almost here.
Jane (and others) note the many similarities between science-as-social- process and alternative reality gaming: both are massively "multi-player" (puzzles cannot be solved by one person alone); and develop consensual ontologies and teleology ("reality" and purpose are collectively defined); and emergent communities (solutions require broad and sustained cooperation).
She promises that soon we will see "a truly popular scientific research practice that engages the global public in hands-on, brains-on collaboration, via sites Citizen Science and Amazon's Mechanical Turk and through immersive, story-driven play."
Can't wait to see it.