Simple Online Games to Help the World

Flashie Battle wrote a very interesting post the other day that predicts that online Flash games (bite-sized games as he calls them) are starting to become a major games category. [For my new student readers Flashie is a very successful Bond IT graduate who writes online Flash games for advertising purposes on major accounts.]

As a person of considerable age I really love these simple online Flash games. You can play them quickly in the browser, the rules take 30 seconds to understand, they keep you challenged for hours, there are many to choose from, and most are free up to a certain level of complexity. My favourite site is PopCap with Peggle and Zuma being my favourites. My wife is totally hooked on Bookworm which we had to actually buy. Of course I was previously attracted to Desktop Tower Defense.

Now the idea of Flash online games has been taken to new heights by ‘games for a purpose’ reported by a Wired Campus post. These new online games with a purpose have been created by Luis von Ahn, the guy who brought us Recaptcha (stop spam, read books). Here users help decipher scans of words that defeat OCR software as well as proving it is a human entering data in an online form.

Now you can start gwapping to obtain high scores as well as helping to characterise, describe and index images so they can be searched efficiently, and also generate keywords that describe music. So you can help the world and be entertained at the same time. Happy gwapping.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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