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WikiWars turns Wikipedia searches into a competitive sport

June 16, 2012|By Deborah Netburn

Looking for something to do this weekend? Consider a game of WikiWars.

The Gregory Brothers, a comedy troupe famous for creating viral online videos, has just released a new video that introduces the world to WikiWars, the high-stakes game of competitive Wikipedia searching.

The premise of the game is fairly simple; Players are given a start word and an end word. Both players begin on the start word's Wikipedia page, and must get to the end word's Wikipedia page by clicking on highlighted links on the various pages. Whoever gets to the end page first, wins.

"Victory requires mental focus, precise clicking, a surprisingly large need for a knowledge of geography, and the ability to not start hyperventilating," the comedy team writes.

The game definitely sounds fun to play, but is it really fun to watch? YES!

The three rounds played by two of the Gregory Brothers border on nail-biting as they make their way from "GIF" to "broccolini" and "hair gel" to "Sun Beam bread."

It also helps that there is some high-level commentary provided by a hush-toned female voice and someone who appears to be speaking in a British accent, as well as some mid-game interviews.

As for whether the game is entirely new -- apparently, it is not.

While it has never occurred to us to turn Wikipedia searching into a one-on-one game of wit and skill, it has occurred to plenty of other people.

"If you’re young enough that Wikipedia existed while you were in high school, you've probably played WikiWars in a library computer lab," wrote Eric Limer of Geek O System

Full disclosure: We are definitely not young enough for that.

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