There are games that may make you smarter, improve your memory or develop your ability to think logically. I am going to discuss one of those here. No, not chess or scrabble. I am sure you know those already. I want to try something new.
The game I will play now is Wikipedia quest. Ideally, you need two players for that one. One player can also play it, though that is less fun.
You chose some two random articles on Wikipedia. To make the task more challenging for your friend (or yourself if you play alone) pick up academia-related article as the first one. The second article should seem very remote from the first one. Starting from the first article your friend is supposed to reach the second one through the chain of Wikipedia hyperlinks. In our example the starting point is the biography of Adam Smith (academic enough), and a destination is a sex-related article. You may have some limitations, say, no more than 10 hyperlinks. So how far away is Adam Smith from Sex? Let’s check that!
Step 1. Adam Smith
Looking through the biography of Smith I saw one hyperlink that seemed interesting to me. Men of letters. What would that mean? I decided to check.
Step 2. Men of letters
Here I discovered that “Men of letters” may refer to several things. I decided to pick up TV series as my next step. TV series often have some sex-related themes, so I hope that would make me closer to my destination.
Step 3. Supernatural
Having a brief look at that TV series, I discovered no sex-related hyperlink. What a disappointment. Well, hot actors often star in those series. They may be referred to as “sex-symbols”, so I decided to try my luck there. One name seemed familiar to me.
Step 4. Jared Padalecki
Indeed, Jared Padalecki looks handsome. Yet, Wikipedia does not consider him a sex-symbol. So I decided to follow “Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor Drama” hyperlink hoping to find someone who looks even better.
Step 5. Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor Drama
One actor was a winner there three times in a row! I must admit, I did not have even the slightest idea how he looked like and where he starred. I decided to check Adam Brody.
Step 6. Adam Brody
Here I came across “Casanova” hyperlink. Since Casanova is one of the most famous womanizers in the history, I supposed there should be some sex-related hyperlink in the article about him.
Step 7. Casanova
Here I saw a word “courtesan”. It reminded me of the book I read. It was about well-educated and beautiful women, who were not only lovers but also advisers and companions for their men. Like Madame de Pompadour. I followed “courtesan” hyperlink.
Step 8. Courtesan
This article had a hyperlink to “prostitute”
Step 9. Prostitute
Well, I guess there is no surprises that this article was the one that finally led me to my destination.
Step 10. Sexual relations. Mission accomplished!
Okay, now what did I learn while browsing Wikipedia? I did not read all the articles, just scanned them fast searching for hyperlinks. Anyway,
- I discovered that Smith was in fact Scottish (I used to think he was British). I also recalled what “invisible hand of market” is.
- I found out which actors have been most popular among teenagers. Some names in that list, like James Marsters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer reminded me of my own teens and made me a bit nostalgic. Well, not that this is of any particular use for academia
- I learnt some funny facts from biography of Casanova. Did you know that he, one of the most famous lovers in history, had a short church career?
It is up to you to decide what the first and the last point of your quest would be. After all, you may invent your own game with your own rules. Be creative and have fun!