Wiki Dive – a solo game

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Collected from a thread of a few posts on Mastodon, with some additional clarification and revision.


This is a game like “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” where you try to make connections between a random starting point and a specific end. But, instead of connecting actors, it follows the links in Wikipedia articles to thread from one article to another to try to reach a particular point.

Wikipedia is good for this because there is lots of range to dive into. The rules of the game are simple enough. Choose the target article you want to reach (your “Kevin Bacon”) and then try to get to that article from a given starting point through the fewest number of links.

To play, start with the featured article of the day on the main Wikipedia page. For the first jump, choose any link in the opening section of the article, which is usually a couple of paragraphs. It’s enough to provide some variety of paths, and makes it a little more constrained out of the gate. This doesn’t need to be a hard-and-fast rule; it’s just something that I’ve evolved in the way I play this game, and the little added constraint just helps a bit, I think. But, after the first jump, the entirety of subsequent articles are open.

The target article I’ve been using is Submarines (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine) – hence the name Wiki Dive. It’s a good, wide topic, not too obscure or niche, but also not something that seems readily connected with most of the starting topics. But there’s no reason not to use another topic of your own choosing.


Wiki Dive example (from a few days ago):

  • Battle of Oroscopa
  • Ancient Carthage
  • Roman Republic
  • Corvus (boarding device)
  • Naval boarding
  • Submarine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Oroscopa


(And, as I started checking, I found a variant game with both start and end points every few minutes. There’s a whole website for The Wiki Game, but it seems that it emphasizes speed more than exploration.) To my mind, a more explorative game is more interesting. To me, it’s more meditative and exploratory than competitive.

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