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The Wiki Game

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the wiki-this dept.

Games 37

Dan Smith writes "A new nerdy Internet activity recently popped up at Amherst College called the "Wiki Game". It works off of Wikimedia's amazingly popular electronic encyclopedia, Wikipedia. The Wiki Game is simple, doesn't require any registrations and gives your brain a thorough workout. Although the instructions suggest at least two people to play it, it's very easy to play solo. The instruction "manual" is (naturally) posted on Wikipedia: The Wiki Game."

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37 comments

Neat... (1)

Gestahl (64158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10888230)

It's like six degrees of Kevin Bacon, but with general knowledge and 10 degrees. My friends and I used to play something like that where we would name two (mostly) un-related things, and someone would try to come up with the shortest trail from one to the other.

I would guess the winning condition might be to make it in less than 10 hops on the Wiki, since the second page it gives you is 10 random hops away... or you could have two people on laptops competing time-wise, without all the extra rules at the bottom about no back button, etc. You should be allowed to go back in head-to-head, as it only costs you time. Maybe even in single player, and just play against the clock. Otherwise you learn less.

Re:Neat... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10888328)

Sounds an awful lot like "Web that Smut" [ukonline.co.uk] from 1996!

From The January 1996 MacUser..
WEB THAT SMUT! - Andy Ihnatko
How to play..

The object of Web That Smut!:
To proceed from a perfectly innocent starting point on the web to... hang on - I've got the text of the litigation here somewhere. Aha!- "words and/or images of a prurient nature which violate reasonable standards of good taste in the town and/or county of it's source or destination of transmission."

Re:Neat... (1)

Moustache N Tits (828608) | more than 9 years ago | (#10888582)

we took the 6-degrees of Kevin Bacon a step further with the help of IMDB.com [imdb.com]. Similar concept except you start with a random actor's (or actress's page) and are required to get to another actor (usually Kevin Bacon's) IMDB page within a given set of clicks. You can use any link on a page to navigate around. it's actually becoming quite addicting. the hardest part is the "random" starting page...

Re:Neat... (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 9 years ago | (#10894169)

Unlike "six degrees", wikilinks are not transitive. For example, the longest path found, from DnaC to U.S. Senate election, 1972, is 19 hops. Going the other way, from U.S. Senate election, 1972 to DnaC, is only 7 hops.

Alt-X? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10888235)

To begin, a random page on the Wikipedia database is loaded (keystroke: Alt-X).

I've never heard of Alt-X before... it doesn't do anything on Safari. Is this some kind of weird shortcut I've never heard of before which seeks out and clicks the 'random' link of whatever page you're on?

Re:Alt-X? (5, Informative)

aj50 (789101) | more than 9 years ago | (#10888347)

I've never heard of Alt-X before... it doesn't do anything on Safari. Is this some kind of weird shortcut I've never heard of before which seeks out and clicks the 'random' link of whatever page you're on?

No, its written into the HTML code. The author of the website can assign an Alt-letter combination to any link or form item using the ACCESSKEY attribute.

More information here [cs.tut.fi]

Re:Alt-X? (1)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889460)

And this "feature" frustratingly breaks the systems of those of us that haven't gone the way of Microsoft and still use 'alt' as our accel key. I can't search within a wikipedia page(alt-f) or even open a new tab(alt-t).

It was just annoying when mozilla changed the default from 'alt' to 'ctl'; they claimed the unix folks could easily set it back to 'alt', but the newbies coming from the microsoft world are used to 'ctl'. I suppose it makes more sense due to mozilla's cross platform nature.

It is a whole new level of frustration when websites arbitrarily change what your key strokes do. Sadly, I guess I will have to convert to the Microsoft "standard", too. :(
... which also breaks text field editing shortcuts like ctl-u to delete line(quite useful to clear url), ctl-a to go to beginning of line, etc.

Re:Alt-X? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889534)

On the Mac, it's Ctrl-X.

Cheers! :-)

Re:Alt-X? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10890359)

No, its written into the HTML code. The author of the website can assign an Alt-letter combination to any link or form item using the ACCESSKEY attribute.

That's great and all, even though I'd never heard of it before... but should the Wikipedia be advertising a feature that does not work?

I say again, hitting Alt-X on Safari does nothing. Yet that article says that Alt-X is supposed to open up a random Wikipedia page. Therefore, that article is wrong. (And I'm sure Safari isn't the only browser that doesn't support that feature considering it's based on KHTML.)

Then again, maybe I was to assume that it didn't work since Macintosh doesn't really even have an Alt key... it has an Option key which is only labelled "Alt" for backwards-compatibility purposes.

Re:Alt-X? (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 9 years ago | (#10891112)

It DOES work on the Mac- only you have to hit Ctrl as the Mac has no key labeled Alt (although the Option key is generally considered equivalent to Alt, and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably by multiplatform people). It's the responsibility of the article writer to find a better way to describe that feature.

Re:Alt-X? (1)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 9 years ago | (#10888997)

It's ctrl-X in Safari. There are lots of useful shortcuts like that on Wikipedia. Not that I can remember any of the others offhand...

Quick end to game (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#10888257)

I wonder how long it will be before pages are vandalized to create quick "solutions" to the problem.

Re:Quick end to game (1)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10888492)

I think you may be overestimating the popularity of the game... Regardless, you would have to do this before the game starts and the random nature of the game makes the chance that you violated the appropriate topics quite slim indeed.

Re:Quick end to game (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889512)

I was thinking that you come up with a few key topics that you have a boatload of links to. You know in advance what these are, making your ability to find your way from pointt a to point b relatively easy.

Your point about the popularity of the game is quite correct, however :)

Re:Quick end to game (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 9 years ago | (#10894191)

The "year" pages are pretty good for this, as are the "day" pages. Major topic pages, like "World War II", are a good way to get to those pages, since many minor articles link there.

Win every time! (1)

curtisk (191737) | more than 9 years ago | (#10888326)

It is the object of the game to find one's way back to the Homing Page using as few clicks as possible

You can win every time, regardless of how many pages you go through by simply using tab and enter to navigate. No clicky!

Bwahaha!*cough*

Re:Win every time! (1)

AnwerB (255422) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889218)

It is the object of the game to find one's way back to the Homing Page using as few clicks as possible.

I can do it with one click; I just use the little button with the left arrow on it.

Re:Win every time! (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 9 years ago | (#10891096)

"DO NOT use the backspace or back arrow to return to a previous page. History is bunk in the Wiki Game (unless a referee or an opponent demands a recount). PENALTY: Automatic forfeit. "

the Wiki games for me (2, Funny)

dario_moreno (263767) | more than 9 years ago | (#10888403)

I either correct mistakes on sight on wikipedia taking directly from my brain and check afterwards if I was right and if the pages are corrected back, or try to introduce realistic looking fake data and check if I was spotted or not...those are games I can play alone !

What's with the complicated rules? (2, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#10888462)

people really like to overengineer their fun, it seems. I play the same game, and what I do is open a browser window, click random topic. Open another browser window, click randome topic. Now, the goal is to get from the article in one window to the article in the other window. No timing, no team play, just clicking. It's like solitaire.

When you get to the goal, just click random topic in one window and keep navigating to get to that topic. The game never ends.

Re:What's with the complicated rules? (1)

JeffTL (667728) | more than 9 years ago | (#10888511)

Actually, your version sounds like golf -- and that's good, I like golf. You can play by yourself, no timing. Get from Point A to Point B in as few shots as needed. I'll have to try this on the wiki

Find the filth (4, Interesting)

Kidbro (80868) | more than 9 years ago | (#10888703)

This is a bit sad, but back in my web developer days (this must have been 1998) I and a couple of colleagues played a similar game we called Find the filth.
The idea was very simple. Everybody starts at a reletively "clean" site (big corporations or government agencies were normal targets). You were just allowed to click links - never use your bookmarks or type URLs in directly.
The first person to find porn won.

I don't think it ever took more than two minutes ;)

Reminds me of a better game... (0, Redundant)

Kevin143 (672873) | more than 9 years ago | (#10888820)

Start at Yahooligans [yahooligans.com] and see how many clicks it takes to get to a porn site. You can only click, you're not allowed to search.

Hint -- the beginner's method is to click on the "Terms of Service" link at the bottom of the page which features a convenient link to the real Yahoo. From there, it's easy. I consider that cheating, but whatever works for you.

We did this... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10889310)

...with allmusic.com [allmusic.com]. Start at any artist/group, then think of a very different artist. Then see how few clicks on "Same personnel," "similar artists," "influenced by," etc you can make to get to that band. It actually tests your knowledge of music. Those who know more know which bands and artists are more likely to fill in the gaps.

Solo play (1)

arose (644256) | more than 9 years ago | (#10889923)

Where's the Firefox extension that measures the 20 seconds and does the random link hopping and ereases the the history for those hops afterwards?

wikigame.org (0)

pluke (801200) | more than 9 years ago | (#10890198)

I always loved 6 degrees of separation, and i love wiki, truly a match made in heaven cool, i own the domain already. I've been thinking of a wikigame for a while now, i.e. actually programming/designing/compiling/testing/documentin g a computer game (or any other software) using only a wiki interface, pushing those open source paradigm boudaries to the anarchic limits. Will it work or just tie itself up in a big messy ball, it'll be fun finding out. Sorry this was abit of a nothing post, but i needed to get it off my chest

Random page link... (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 9 years ago | (#10891161)

The "Random page link in the left navigation menu" links to the Wiki Main Page. The one in the Wiki Game Wiki works.

I wonder if the game is being compiled.. (1)

blacklily8 (780659) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893711)

It'd be neat if Wikipedia was compiling the data from this game--it'd provide some interesting stats that might give us some insight into the strange connections and intersections of the wikian's collective intelligence. I wonder what kind of bizarre graphs or images we could get by mapping out all the wiki pages attached to a single term. It's almost like that old psychological game of free association.
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