Wednesday, February 01, 2006

ESP Game

I found a cool game called the ESP game. You get paired up with a random partner and you work together to try to enter the same word to describe random images (with certain words being restricted like in Taboo). Note my ranking of #2 (I got hooked and played one night for about 45 minutes).

It is an interesting game for a few reasons:

1. Sometimes it seems like it is not another person that is your partner, because I usually seem to get paired with people who are extremely fast. This goes against the more common premise that most people are idiots, especially when doing things on the internet. So it almost seems like a computer. Also, I have found that when you get the same image again you match the same word as before - another clue that it is a computer partner and not a person.

2. I wonder if maybe this is just some sort of psychology experiment. You could study some cool things. For example, I noticed that once you get a picture of something, you are more likely to guess that word for subsequent pictures. For example, if the answer is "water", then for the next picture you might guess "water" even though the subject of the picture is really "lake" or "mountain".

3. People always seem too willing to pass. This is silly, because you only get the big point values if you get all 15 correct. I usually make them wait until I eventually come up with a winning word, which is good for them even though they might noty realize it.

4. I wonder what happens if your partner bails during the game. This has never happened to me, which is another reason I question whether it's really a person.

5. You can tell that some people will stop guesssing if they think they have already entered the perfect word. These are not good team players.

6. It is annoying when people don't identify things intelligently. Like they'll have a picture of John Kerry. So you try "Kerry", "senator", etc. But your partner had entered "blue" because he is wearing a blue tie.

Check it out at


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