The deadly Coronavirus has ravaged the entire planet to the point of recluse. As with everything else, the video game industry has been gravely affected by the rampant COVID-19 virus as well. With most gaming events/conventions like E3 and GDC getting cancelled and production cycles for hardware getting halted to combat the spread of the virus, the safe thing to do right now is self-isolate and practice social distancing.
Obviously, this means that video game players around the globe now suddenly have a lot of free time on their hands and they’ve been utilizing that time to catch up on some of the games that they might have skipped earlier. As a result, platforms like Steam have been reporting a sharp increase in player count. In fact, Steam managed to hit its all-time high concurrent player peak last weekend with numbers expected to rise even further.
However, if you’ve been sitting at home playing video games and feeling powerless over the fact that you cannot really do anything substantial to contribute to the society right now and fight against this virus without risking your own life, you don’t have to worry anymore. Now, you can actually use your powerful gaming rig and put that PC to good use against the Coronavirus.
NVIDIA asks PC gamers to donate unused GPU power to fight against the virus
During these dire times, the need to find a potential cure or vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as possible is absolutely crucial. So NVIDIA, being the hardware powerhouse that it is, has stepped up to the task and has asked the video game players on PC around the globe to rise up and unite for the fight against the coronavirus.
PC Gamers, let’s put those GPUs to work.
Join us and our friends at @OfficialPCMR in supporting folding@home and donating unused GPU computing power to fight against COVID-19!
— NVIDIA GeForce (@NVIDIAGeForce) March 13, 2020
Team Green has partnered up with the folks at PC Master Race to launch an initiative that would help us gather more information about the virus and potentially find different ways to counter it. However, they cannot do this alone so they need PC gamers to donate their unused GPU clock cycles for additional compute power that would eventually help with speeding up the research process.
How does this all work though? Well, by downloading and using the Folding@home software, PC gamers (or anyone with a computer really) can donate some of the spare clock cycles from their powerful graphics cards and lend their energy to a network of PCs that have been linked together globally. This would essentially mean that you could be part of a massive supercomputer that spans the entire world.
Even the world’s fastest supercomputer is being used to fight against the Coronavirus and us lending our hand would only speed up the process. Furthermore, it is just a really cool way to help from the comfort of your own home and is very similar to lending your energy to Goku for the ultimate Spirit bomb against our common villain, the virus.
Can gaming PCs actually make a difference in this fight?
The first question that comes to mind when you think about donating your computing power is that, “does it even matter?”. Obviously, this is not something that you see everyday so there are always going to be questions and concerns raised over it but we need to realise that our modern graphics cards are actually insanely powerful on their own and process insane amounts of data in mere milliseconds.
In addition to that, when you combine these already powerful PCs together, the processing power really adds up and can even rival the most powerful supercomputers around the world.
According to Folding@home, which is a distributed computing project currently combating the Coronavirus, power like this can really accelerate the process of “simulating potentially druggable protein targets from SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 Coronavirus) and the related SARS-CoV virus (for which more structural data is available).”
So, all of this extra computing power does go a long way in understanding the properties of the latest coronavirus and hence, also plays an instrumental role in coming up with different ways to manage the virus including a cure.
If you’re worried about the software eating up too much of your computing power and slowing down other parts of your computer, you don’t need to worry since you can pause it whenever you want and play your games at full power. Just remember to turn it back on when you’re done with your gaming session.
Currently, the situation around the world is not favorable and this is most certainly the more efficient and safer way to step up and fight against the rampant global pandemic. So, gamers unite and rise up!