Programmer Turns Wikipedia into a Text Adventure Game
Ashley Allen / 6 years ago
Have you ever fallen down a Wikipedia black hole? Before you know it you’re a hundred links deep, many hours later. Indie dev Kevan Davis is surely familiar. Consequently, Davis has gamified the Wiki click addiction. Welcome to Wikipedia: The Text Adventure.
Wikipedia: The text adventure
The web-based game converts the well-known online encyclopaedia into an old-fashioned text adventure. Think Zork, The Hobbit, or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which is now available online. Davis’ game invites players to navigate real locations, using Wikipedia pages for its data. The system extends beyond mere exploration and even includes looking at and picking up items. The game also features a time-travel element, since it allows players to explore historical sites that no longer exist.
Davis was inspired to create the game after digging around in the Wikipedia API for his 2015 retelling of Around the World in 80 Days. He told Mashable:
“I’m always interested in seeing what else can be done with large, organised data sets, and the fact that Wikipedia’s API can serve up coordinates and summaries of locations around the world made it nicely suited to being explored step by step.
It seems a nice way to explore a familiar area, to see if you can navigate it from memory, and to find a few surprises. Wikipedia gives coordinates for historical events and long-demolished buildings, so there’s a lot to stumble across.”
For those inclined, Davis also teased a mystery to uncover:
“There’s also a minor easter egg shortcut, if you know the magic word.”
Wikipedia: The Text Adventure is available to play for free on Davis’ website.