catfishing - the Wikipedia category guessing game
July 1, 2024 9:25 AM   Subscribe

catfishing - the Wikipedia category guessing game
Guess the Wikipedia article from the categories it’s in. Every day there are 10 articles to guess, from a pool of about 2,500 notable, diverse and interesting people, places and things. It's free and there are no ads.

Articles are collected from various sources including WikiProject Vital Articles. You can suggest articles, score more points by guessing articles other players missed, and share your results.

Original concept by Mefi’s own brainwane in 2006; name and first implementation by Kevan Davis. I made this because of an AskMetaFilter answer.
Role: coder designer
posted by Klipspringer (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
#8 - 800
posted by Klipspringer at 9:27 AM on July 1

Whoa! M'daughter the librarian pushed this at me yesterday. Found a) we didn't do very well b) we did know the same stuff. Thanks for making.
posted by BobTheScientist at 12:06 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]

Thanks sylvanshine! Yes, the game is too hard at the moment and I am in the process of weeding out bad articles and adding better ones. This will take a while — given the number of articles, and the fact I am still learning what players do well and badly at — but the articles should slowly get better all the time.

I spent Sunday afternoon going through every article, removing about 600, and adding over 100 user suggestions (if any of these were from you, thank you, they were brilliant). You should begin to see the fruits of that effort from Tuesday.

It will still be hard, which is partly the nature of an encyclopedia guessing game, but there will be fewer unreasonable ones like Seneca the Younger or Holbein the Younger.

Also now, no two articles on a given day will share any categories (other than Living people or Year of birth or death).

The game has never used Vital Articles or Popular Pages wholesale, they've always been raw material for filtering. So, I include very few biology or space articles as they are mostly unguessable, but I go all the way to Level 5 for Western popular music.

See what you make of the game over the next week or so and if it gets a bit more playable. Thank you for your offer — I am very grateful for any suggestions you feel like making (so far I have probably added about 80% to the game). I will look into making the suggestions form give feedback when an article is already in the DB.

Overall my feeling is what will keep people coming back is the one or two interesting wiki discoveries they make per game, more so than the competitive scoring element. To that end, I've tried to retain a few articles which I would never be able to guess but think are interesting. For example, Arab polymaths, the first woman in space, the disputed inventor of paper, the first salaried woman scientist, etc.

Feel free to use MeFiMail or email (hi at catfishing dot net) if you prefer not to comment here.
posted by Klipspringer at 1:58 AM on July 8

I'm debating whether to add daily and all-time leaderboards. They would be opt-in. A stream-of-consciousness set of pros and cons:
- competition and seeing where you stand is popular in many games and keeps people interested and coming back
- but it could encourage people to take the game v seriously - increasing players' frustration when a reasonable alternative spelling/version of a title has not been set up as a redirect on wikipedia, or a category is a bit misleading
- my friends and I wouldn't use them - we share our progress on all our daily games with emoji in a WhatsApp groupchat - but other players have said they'd like them
- some level of cheating would happen - though it's not necessarily the end of the world, I still enjoy climbing the Duotrigordle leaderboards even when the top 1 or 2 results are clearly cheated
- leaderboards require user accounts, which could have nice side benefits such as syncing your progress and stats between devices, and (optionally) crediting the user who suggested an article when it is shown
posted by Klipspringer at 5:21 AM on July 11

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