We are a volunteer supported research project that provides Cognitive Scientists a faster way to run their scientific experiments. The scientists create their own cognitive models, which they then submit to MindModeling.org to be run on the volunteer supplied computing power. All of these experiments focus on modeling the human mind. We created this BOINC project to support that goal. BOINC allows us to distribute the experiment to volunteers all over the world, who run the BOINC app and donate their spare CPU time.
To make volunteer computing more interesting BOINC has added a competitive aspect to it. When you complete a workunit from a project you are awarded with credit. You can then compete against others as an individual or as a team to see to can get the most credits.
Badges are given out by the BOINC projects themselves as another form of an award system for the user. Generally these are awarded when a volunteer has been granted a set amount of credit for that project. Unfortunately we currently don't have any badges. We would really like to add badges, we just haven't had the time to do it.
To run the project all you need to do is download the BOINC from the boinc website.
Create an account through the app and then add our project.
Hope this helps clear up at least a few of your questions.