Fun with Google's Image Labeler

Mike says:

Picture 84
I have a new Internet addiction, and this time it has nothing to do with porn or shooting something. I am addicted to the Google Image Labeler. The gist of the "game" is to come up with a word or phrase that identifies a random picture. If your partner has the matching word or phrase you get points depending on how specific the word or phrase was. For example, words like "blue", "red", "sky", "ocean", "man" and "woman" are all worth only 50 points. While "ninja", "wrestler", and "dancing" are all worth 140 points. So if the picture is of a wrestler, you get more points – almost 3x as many – if you and your partner can match on "wrestler" as opposed to "man". The object being to try to get as many points as possible in two minutes. My high score so far has been just over 1,000 points. It has been an interesting experience to try to do a mind-meld across the Internet.

After the two minutes are up, you are shown the pictures again, and this time you see your partner's answers. Some of the answers blow me away, they're so dead on. Some are good because they are able to name the celebrity that was on the tip of my fingers, but I just couldn't type fast enough, so I settled for "star" or "actress" or ashamedly "man". Those are the good partners and the ones who I wish I could chat with afterward. When you get 1,000+ points with a partner you feel like you are in the zone. But alas, you work together for two minutes and it's over.

Then there are the other ones. The ones who don't/can't type. I have resorted to taunting them in my answers. I'm sure that there will be a name for this anonymous taunting soon, but I'm not clever enough to come up with it. In a recent attempt, the picture was a cat. It was a fluffy white cat on a black background. I knew that "cat" would be many more points than either black or white, so the only thing I typed in was "cat" and "fluffy". You can see when your partner enters a term, but, obviously, you can't see what they typed. Thirty seconds go by and they have only entered two search terms. Knowing that they will be able to see what I type at the end of the game, I start entering taunts into the search item. I type "type c-a-t". "It is a cat". "You know, cat". "My 3yo can spell cat". That round I only received 80 points, but I did feel better afterward.

One suggestion would be a "continue with this partner" button where if you are in the zone, you can keep going. You hit a few people who can't type "c-a-t" and you long for the ones where you both enter "anime" within one second. To everyone who tries, have fun with it, type quickly and keep your responses as specific as possible.