January 11, 2007

The Wikipedia Game

During the month that all the college students have been home, my living room has been filled with laptop computers, usually set carefully on the oak bench that we use as a coffee table. Sometimes a bunch of kids might be piled on the couch, watching an episode of Futurama on one of the laptops. Other times, they might all be gathered around a laptop puzzling over Weff Riddles. Updates from friends at other houses will come in the form of instant messages. "Philosophical Boy and Older Neighbor Boy are coming over," Boy in Black will announce as he glances at his computer screen.

Skater Boy recently began a new craze called the Wikipedia Game. He'll grab a laptop and challenge someone else on a different laptop. Both people go to Wikipedia and start in the same spot. I think the day he started the game, Shaggy Hair was working on his chemistry homework and so "Chemical Sources" is traditionally the place where they begin. Then someone calls out a word or term or person, like "Bob Dylan," and they race to see who can get there first. The rule is you can't type anything; you can only click on links. And you can't go backwards.

It's a surprisingly fascinating game. I raced Boy in Black the other night, and I got stuck for a long time in medieval weapons. We were racing from "Chemical Sources" to "Thor's Hammer." I lost the game, but I have to say it's the most random information I've read in a long time. And it's cool to see that no matter what two terms someone yells out, everything ultimately can be connected.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

That sounds interesting!

When my friend was here a couple of weeks ago we sat in the living room with our laptops and "tandem blogged". We're such geeks!

Anonymous said...

That is the coolest game EVER.

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a great game. I'm having some trouble conceptualizing it, though. I'll have to see if I can get to Bob Dylan from Chemical Sources.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I did it. That's so cool!

Ianqui said...

Holy crap that is SO COOL, and so something my super geeky husband and I will do the next time we're home with our relatively young, childless selves on a Friday or Saturday night.

(This is not a reflection on any other readers, but solely on our lameness.)

What Now? said...

Damn, that's a great game! I've just told D. about it, and now she's totally jazzed to play it. Kudos to Skater Boy for coming up with such a creative game.

wolfa said...

I assume you don't want to cheat, but if you ever are so inspired:

http://tools.wikimedia.de/sixdeg/

But it gives up within 10 links, so for chemical_sources to Thor's_Hammer, you are on your own.

wolfa said...

That said, there is a weird connection from Blog to Mjolnir.

http://tools.wikimedia.de/sixdeg/index.jsp?from=Blog&to=Mjolnir&ign_dates=1

PPB said...

very cool game!

Anonymous said...

Nice! I'll have to try that.

Scrivener said...

What a fantastic idea for a game! I'm trying to think of someone around here who'd want to play with me...

Anonymous said...

Most creative! I only play lame ass web games like Bespelled.

Anonymous said...

Stupid blogger. It ate my comment. That keeps happening to me.

What I said was, this is a cool game & I'll have to forward it to my brother-in-law, whose dream is to write a Wikipedia entry.

His favorite game is Stump Wikipedia: find something which so far has no entry! (It's not quite as hard as you'd think.)

Anonymous said...

WOW Cool. Should try that.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to play. That is a great, great game.

BeachMama said...

That sounds like fun, a little like the six degrees of separation game (where we are all six degrees away from someone else no matter who they are), but on a computer :).

Repressed Librarian said...

I agree with Phantom--that is the coolest game ever!

Anonymous said...

I love this idea! Must try it.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Sounds like a riot!!! LOL! Have to try it!

Anonymous said...

Oooh! I must play that!!

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

So for a few seconds I was all excited about the Wikipedia game, but that's all forgotten now, because I am obsessively hooked on Weff Riddles! You may have just single-handedly destroyed any hope I had of being productive this semester.

(And for all you who want to try out the wikipedia game, I'd be happy to host a tournament at the bar sometime!)

Anonymous said...

What an awesome game! I must try it...

Saoirse said...

I LOVE that game. Your house sounds like so much fun.

Anonymous said...

I think I just got lucky but I got it in 6 steps.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_sources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_organic_compounds
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norse_Mythology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mjolnir

Anonymous said...

If you enjoy playing the Wikipedia Game, you might find this intriguing... a freeware game has been created on the same concept. It is a downloadable program which automates the game, keeps track of scores, and enforces the rules. You can download it for free here: The Wikipedia Game

Have fun & enjoy!

Nissanskyline said...

I started this game up with a friend but i had no idea other people already played it. I do it random article and then you both go to a chosen page or another variation e play is starting from the main page. Another variation we ask two people to choose two pages and then we go from 1 to the other.

Anonymous said...

this is just like the game at http://thewikipediagame.com.

i just found that site the other day, and the game is actually a lot of fun!

lacertus said...

There's also a dedicated computer game. Try this: http://rndware.info/content/Wikipedia+The+Game

Anonymous said...

It's more fun this way..
your friend gives you two random things like.. racoon and shoelace, and from racoon you have to click the links and find shoelace (and obviously you can't click back either) and then your friend gives you two random things and you do the same and whoever finds theirs first wins.

Indraneel said...

Hi,

Now play the wikipedia game on wikiaata

J said...

This GAME RULES!!!