Game: GWAP

Gwap is a web site created by Carnegie Mellon University that tries to make computers smart. The site contains several games defined as GWAP (Games With A Purpose) that were designed to be fun but also to accomplish tasks that are easy for humans but difficult for computers, such as tagging photos, tagging songs, separating good looking pictures from bad looking ones, tagging videos, etc.

For example, the first game you can play in GWAP is called ESP. In this game, two players are shown a picture and both have to guess a word that the other player thinks that describes the picture (much like Google Labeler). This improves web image searches by generating descriptions of uncaptioned images.

Another game, Tag a Tune involves two players listening to a song. Players must decide by the one-word descriptions if the songs they are listening to are similar or different. This will allow complex music searches like "love songs".

One that caught my attention was Verbosity, in which one player helps the other one guess a specific word by describing as much as posible everything related to the word. This helps create a big amount of facts that artificial intelligence programs can use.

Every game will give you a score and that score will accumulate cross-games in you gwap score. With this, players can compete and advance their gwap level, which creates a fun environment and encourages people to keep playing (and helping computers get smarter).

What I liked about the game:
  • There's a great variety of minigames to play, keeping things interesting if you ever get bored by one of them.
  • This game will help the search engines give better results.
  • Short game spans allow players to play in their free time.
  • Global scores keeps players interested and encourages them to play more.

What I didn't like about the game:
  • Sometimes, when playing a game involving a picture, the game will present a file that has been removed, leaving you with a blank 'file not found' page which takes away all the fun.
  • It can become frustrating if the other player takes too long to answer or disconnects (it's not the game's fault, but it happens, and having to wait in a game that's supposed to be fast, can make you quit it entirely).

Check out the article that brought this to my attention.

Gwap (2011) Retrieved March 16, 2011 from

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