a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

Want to change the world? Play Evoke

Posted on the March 4th, 2010

Jane McGonigal (PhD, UC, Berkeley) believes that we can best change what’s broken in the world by playing games.

In a Q&A interview with WIRED last month, McGonigal explains her thinking. She also talks about her new game EVOKE — launched yesterday — that puts her saving-the-world premise into action (“TED 2010: Reality Is Broken. Game Designers Must Fix It” Feb 11, 2010).

Video of how-to play the game, below. McGonigal’s personal website is here.

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Gwap and my lost afternoon

Posted on the May 19th, 2008

The researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science want a whole bunch of Good Samaritan type game players to log on to a new website they’ve created so as to give a little assist to their computers. I found out about this free fun zone at Nicholas Carr’s Rough Type blog from a post last week (“Von Ahn’s Gwap” May 16, 2008):

The site, called Gwap (an acronym for “games with a purpose”), is the brainchild of computer scientist Luis von Ahn (who also cofathered the Captcha). “We have games that can help improve Internet image and audio searches, enhance artificial intelligence and teach computers to see,” he explains. “But that shouldn’t matter to the players because it turns out these games are super fun.”

I clicked on to the Gwap site with the firm intention of spending five minutes checking out what was what. An hour and a half later, I broke away. Word to the wise, that’s all.

The Rough Type post has the breakdown of the various games here.

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