Wikipedia is a very popular source of information on the Internet, arguments about accuracy notwithstanding. Did you know, however, that it can also be a source of entertainment? There are tons of great ways to use Wikipedia sites as games and this post will cover two of the absolute best.
The Wiki Game is a fun site that has tons of great ways to use Wikipedia as a game, including “Find” and “Six degrees” modes. WikiTrivia is just what it sounds like; a trivia game based on wiki articles that is constantly new and fresh.
Both of these wiki games are free, and both have much to offer the fun-seeker as well as the student. So lets take a better look at them.
The Wiki Game: quite possibly the best way to ‘play’ Wikipedia.
Among all the different ways on the Internet to turn Wikipedia into a game, The aptly named “Wiki Game” is probably the best and it is certainly my favorite. It features a number of fun modes to turn Wikipedia into a game that is both fun and educational, which is a rarity in today’s world of First Person Shooters and Real Time Strategies, not to mention the influx of Massive Multiplayer Online games. There’s the standard ‘speed test’ mode, which will give you a starting point article, and your goal is to get to the ending article in as few clicks and seconds as possible. There are also modes to find the ‘degrees’ of separation between two articles or search for references to religious icons in five clicks or less.
Each game is refreshed on a regular basis throughout the day so there’s always new content on offer, and there’s a social aspect as well that allows you to compare your own performance against other players from across the world. There is even an iOS app available through the iTunes store so you can play The Wiki Game on the go. In short, The Wiki Game is quite possibly the best way to turn Wikipedia articles into a fun and rewarding game experience, and it costs absolutely nothing!
WikiTrivia: exercise for the mind, fun for the rest of you.
WikiTrivia is a very simple but amazingly addictive web page that takes Wikipedia articles and turns them into a game. You’ll get to choose a starting subject, but you may find that as you g
o through the questions the subject matter may jump from one subject to another with only the most tenuous of connections to the subject you originally chose. Rather than being a drawback, however, this is actually a nice feature since it will broaden the scope of articles the game pulls from. Each article that is chosen by the program will be presented as a snippet with a selection greyed out with question marks, which you must guess based on the snippet presented and your own knowledge on the subject. Each correct answer will earn points for your session, which can be saved to spread bragging rights to your friends and challenge them to beat your score via any of the social networks you already use on a regular basis. If you don’t answer a given question in a rapid manner, you’ll be given the first letter of the answer as a hint, which can be a real boon on some of the stumpers.
Overall, I found WikiTrivia to be lots of fun and totally compulsive; I couldn’t quit playing it. Combine that with the fact that it’s totally free to play, and you’ve got a real winner on your hands (or at least your screen).
So now that you know you can turn Wikipedia into a game that is also educational, you can use it to your advantage. The next time a parental unit asks what you’re doing on the ‘net you can tell them you’re studying (which is technically true) and the same goes for the spouse when they ask. Even teachers could make use of these games to engage their students and make learning less of a chore and more of a fun experience. Both of these games are great fun and while they cost nothing to play it is quite plain that lots of time and care have gone into their development and implementation as web pages. I’d recommend either of them for anyone who enjoys learning new things or just testing their own knowledge and critical thinking skills.
Until next time, my friends!