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Games Entertainment

The Wiki Game 37

Posted by Zonk
from the wiki-this dept.
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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The Wiki Game

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  • 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 b
    • Re:Neat... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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."

    • 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...
    • This user has already implemented six degrees in Wikipedia: http://kohl.wikimedia.org/kates-tools/sixdeg.actio n [wikimedia.org]
    • 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.
  • 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?
    • I think it's like the Keyboard Shortcuts in gmail.. In Firefox it works, loading a random Wikipage.
    • Re:Alt-X? (Score:5, Informative)

      by aj50 (789101) on Monday November 22, 2004 @11:46AM (#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]

      • 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
      • Re:Alt-X? (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        On the Mac, it's Ctrl-X.

        Cheers! :-)
      • 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 do
        • 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.
    • 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...
  • I wonder how long it will be before pages are vandalized to create quick "solutions" to the problem.
    • 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.
      • 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 :)
        • 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.
  • 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!


  • by dario_moreno (263767) on Monday November 22, 2004 @11:53AM (#10888403) Homepage Journal
    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 !
  • by Profane MuthaFucka (574406) <busheatskok@gmail.com> on Monday November 22, 2004 @11:59AM (#10888462) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • Play solo (Score:5, Funny)

    by pizza_milkshake (580452) on Monday November 22, 2004 @12:07PM (#10888544)
    Although the instructions suggest at least two people to play it, it's very easy to play solo

    just like sex.

  • Find the filth (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kidbro (80868) on Monday November 22, 2004 @12:25PM (#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 ;)
  • once the developers with the automated path-finding tools [wikimedia.org] suddenly start to win every single time.
  • We did this... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ...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.
  • 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?
  • The "Random page link in the left navigation menu" links to the Wiki Main Page. The one in the Wiki Game Wiki works.
  • 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.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin