This article explores the value of science fiction narratives in games for citizen science. Focusing on the protein-folding game Foldit, it describes the process of modifying and redesigning the game to feature a framing narrative and other alterations to the main tutorial campaign. The campaign narrative, Foldit: First Contact, situates the practices of citizen science in an expanded context of meanings and ethical implications, promoting critical self-reflection on the relations of science and civic values. A study of player responses to Foldit: First Contact suggests the significance of science fiction and critical game design for attuning citizen scientists to the collective responsibilities of experimentation and innovation, drawing attention to the intersecting social, technical, and environmental domains in which gamers may contribute to scientific research.

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