Okay – first up an apology for there not being any posts over the last week. It’s half term, and there have been other more pressing things to do, unfortunately…
Anyway, I canlt not do Friday fun, so here are a couple of serious games, (I guess?) that you might like to try out.
First up, is the Play the News game, in which you are presented with information relating to a story or situation that is in the news, and you choose one of several actions that people in the story might take. As well as comparing your predictions to other peoples, you also get scored according to how well your predictions turn out (that is, whether the course of action you selected is the one that actually happens).
To what extent is this approach likely to engage you in a news story, and potentially learn a little more about it, compared to something like the New York Times news quiz (which is also available as a social network (Facebook) application)?
The second game – or rather, set of games – that I’d like to mention appear on the beautifully named gwap.com site. That is, Games with a Purpose.
Several years ago, a game appeared on the web called the ESP game, that required two players who didn’t know each other, and who just happened to be online at the same time, to try and find matching words that described a particular picture. The intention was to help index images so that they could be found by a search engines, and the approach represents a form of “human assisted computing”.
Anyway, Luis von Ahn, the creator of the ESP game, has just released several more games on the GWAP website:
- Tag a Tune: both players hear a tune and have to describe it to each other; they then have to decide whether they are listening to the same tune. The purpose? Help a search engine learn more ways of finding songs (for example, whether they are happy or sad).
- Verbosity: players take it in turns to describe a secret word to each other – one person describes the word, the other has to guess it.
- Squigl: both players seem the same image, and are presented with a word; they each trace round the object described by the word as it appears in the picture.
- Matchin: two players are shown the same image; each player picks the image they like the most.
Now who was it working for who again?
Ah yes, we all work for the machine… ;-)