The ESP Game
From Carnegie Mellon University comes this multiplayer Java applet simply called: The ESP Game.
The game requires you to register and sign in, and then it pairs you up with an anonymous partner for a round of ten images. You have two minutes and thirty seconds (2:30) with which to agree on labels for the 10 random images pulled from the Web. When an image appears, each player begins typing words that describe or relate to the image in some way. A list of taboo words, if given, indicates the words you may not type—probably because those words were already used to describe the image. When both players type the same word, points are awarded and the next image is displayed.
In an effort to label all of the images on the Web (in English, of course), some rather brilliant folks at CMU decided to turn a dull and tedious task into a... well, slightly less dull and tedious game. Granted, there are lots of points to win and when paired with someone that's sharp, it goes rather quickly and it therefore can be fun. However, if you get paired with someone who hasn't a clue what to do, and there are lots who fill the bill, playing the game is not much more fun than watching paint peel: "Your partner wants to pass."
I wanted to like this game, really I did. There are people right now talking it up at RIT, and the idea of playing with real people, although anonymously, seemed very cool at first. Just call me silly for wanting to use slightly more exciting words to describe things than "man", "woman", "black", "white", "logo" and "ad". And yet, you had better become familiar with those words if you plan to play The ESP Game, as you will be typing them in often. That is, if you want to score any points. Still, it's an interesting idea, so give it a try and do your part in helping to label the Web.