Wordhunt

Wikipedia as a giant playground. Wordhunt is a web-based multiplayer game for explorative learning.

Wordhunt begins with some randomly chosen terms; one term as a target and the other terms as individual starting positions for each player. The terms are represented by connected nodes. The object of the game is to find the shortest connection between the starting and the target terms with as few steps as possible. Traversing the term structure requires the players to choose one of seven related terms for each step. A short introduction helps players to orientate themselves within a complex network of 1.4 million terms. The player who gets there first wins the game.

Background

The Wordhunt project is a contribution to the methodologies for creative learning in the context of computing and aesthetics. It was inspired by the inherent structures of large information spaces and the six degrees of separation theory that essentially forms the principle of the game. Wordhunt was designed for students so that they may gather information among numerous disciplines and practice combining facts. Social aspects were considered by a design that allows team play and that fosters collaboration to prevent children getting lost in cyberspace.

Data

Wordhunt uses data from DBpedia and continuously enriches the data with actual information from news sources with a built-in feed reader. The terms that form the playground are derived from the titles of Wikipedia articles and from the relations within the content. The program analyses the content, and calculates the strength of relations with a set of weighted criteria such as bi-directional links between articles, links in the first paragraph, common categories, and special formatting. The description for each term, which is available during game play, is either extracted from the first two sentences of the article or from the Wiktionary.

The image shows the players path through the network of terms and the target term 'France'.
The current player started with the term 'essentialism'. The target term of this session is 'France'.
Movements of other players are represented by colored paths.
The orange line on the left represents the movements of an other player.
Connected terms from start to end
The current player won the game after 23 moves.