Game with a purpose

Bernice Thomas


Supervised by Irena Spasic; Moderated by Ian M Cooper

A game with a purpose (GWAP) is a human-based computation game developed to address the problem of creating difficult metadata (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESP_game). The idea behind the game is to use the computational power of humans to perform a task that computers cannot (originally, image recognition) by packaging the task as a game.

Rules of the game

Once logged in, a user is automatically matched with a random partner. The partners do not know each other's identity and they cannot communicate. Once matched, they will both be shown the same image. Their task is to agree on a word that would be an appropriate label for the image. They both enter possible words, and once a word is entered by both partners (not necessarily at the same time), that word is agreed upon, and that word becomes a label for the image. Once they agree on a word, they are shown another image. They have two and a half minutes to label 15 images. Both partners have the option to pass; that is, give up on an image. Once one partner passes, the other partner is shown a message that their partner wishes to pass. Both partners must pass for a new image to be shown.


The aim of this project to implement a GWAP as described above, but instead of images players will focus on words and be asked to provide their synonyms (same meaning, e.g. child vs. kid), antonyms (opposite meaning, good vs. bad), hypernyms (more general meaning, e.g. dog vs. animal), etc. The words will be retrieved from WordNet (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/). WordNet also contains the above mentioned relationships and will be used to support single-player version of the game, which can be applied to test someone's knowledge of the English language.


The skills required for this project include the knowledge of web development technologies including database management.

Initial Plan (05/02/2018) [Zip Archive]

Final Report (11/05/2018) [Zip Archive]

Publication Form