The Association Game is a non-verbal educational game to develop and exercise your visual imagination.
The game starts with a picture chosen more or less at random from the Open Museum collection. Participants reply with an image that resembles, reminds them of, or is associated with the original image in some way. Viewers vote for the associated images that they like. At the end of the round, the moderator chooses one of the highest rated images to be the new image for the next round. The game then resumes based on the new image. The result is a sequence of images each of which is related to the one before. The game ends if the series comes full circle or reaches an otherwise obvious ending point.
We think just watching the game and rating the images will help improve your visual skills, but actually playing the game will really stretch your neurons. Besides, its a lot of fun to play.
The mechanics: The game takes place in the context of an art&play collection. The first object added to the collection holds the initial image, and players propose successor images by posting them as replies within that object. The “candidate” images proposed can be from anywhere; a link to the source and credits should be posted when possible. At the end of the round, the winner is announced and a new object representing the winning image is added to the collection. Players then post images for the new round in a comment thread of the object. Thus, there is one object for each round played and the most recent object represents the current round.
Note: Images must be attributed in order for an image to be considered for selection. Copyrighted images from outside Open Museum will be displayed in low-resolution format unless permission has been received from the rightsholder. Although we maintain a certain preference for the use of public domain and creative commons licensed images in this game on esthetic grounds, we believe that the use of images in this context qualifies as Fair Use under United States copyright law. (We invite your thoughts and comments on this issue.)
There are three rounds a week. A winning image is posted around 10:00 pm ESY on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings (i.e. visible Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings most places.)
If you friend this museum, you will receive notifications of each round when it begins. If you subscribe to the museum wall (which you can do here) you will also receive email notification of each candidate image as soon as it is posted.
To play the game, go to art&play home page and look the announcement of the current object Association Game object.
Note: You need to register in order to play. (In fact, you need to register to see the players’ candidate images.)
Now here’s a funny thing. I can post an image on T.A.G., get a bunch of kudos, then switch it out at the last minute to something totally inappropriate….
That is true. I guess at some point we decide the game is a keeper and implement it for real instead of using the comment system.
I love that you’re playing this game here. It reminds me of these hipbone games. I have a question about the play – can you load up an image from anywhere, or is it limited to images already within the Open Museum? Sorry if it’s an obvious one, but I’ve been pootling around and can’t figure it out.
It can be from anywhere. Its fun when somebody finds an image from within Open Museum that matches, but everything is fair game. As far as copyright goes, we encourage the use of small versions of images in keeping with our understanding that the ‘fair use’ depends on not using more detail than necessary. (When Ole promotes a winner and creates a new object, I think he scales copyright images to 350 pixels in the largest dimensions. I am sure he appreciates it when the original poster does it for him…)
Thanks for the pointer to the hipbone games. I’m off to explore the link right now…
Thanks Jeff! Cool, I’ll see whether I can come up with anything to contribute – in the appropriate dimensions :)
Perhaps I’m out of line with this post. I hope Ole doesn’t get to it before everyone can read it. I’m inviting all of you lend your smart and creative minds to a question posed by Lauri on the curator resources forum regarding the criteria for museums to use Open Museum Fund raising. The broader question lurking behind the fundraising inquiry is what are the criteria of a successful Open Museum museum.
Another interesting version of t.a.g would be a garden of branching paths association game that grew out in all directions from one starting image like a tree, every possibility proposed being a candidate in turn for a proliferation of sub-possibilities… If people could vote, then you could compute and compare the “interestingness” of the various paths. This version of the game has the interesting quality of being scalable to hundreds or even thousands of players.
Would it be worth a flag on TAG pages to always show all comments? Or perhaps make the “load all X comments” stand out more?
Loading the current game and only seeing 2 comment images made me look for the rest (since I knew from Jeff’s tweet that there were 20 entries). If I didn’t know to look I’m not sure it would jump out at me.
In any case, very cool that this one hit some sort of critical mass.
It might not even have to be a special case. Perhaps, if there is only one comment, we should always show all the replies.
I’ve noticed that when a new day starts you can give kudos/vote for images you already voted for the day before…Not that I’m loading Jerry up with extra points…
Thanks for letting us know! My feeling is Jerry deserves to be loaded up, so strike while you can. Fabulous pic. Great match with the original. And by him! Seems like players ought to get an extra kudo or so for using their own work.
One other thing to consider, you can invite the participants to create an image in reference to the selected image. This could be an interesting angle on how the game is played…
Maybe I’m slow and you’ve already thought of this, but it just occurred to me that….
The Association Game can be initialized as “TAG.” This is pretty interesting from a marketing POV:
“Come Play TAG at OpenMuseum”
“TAG #7: Inukshuks on the Sacandaga River”
Tweet: “New TAG at OpenMuseum: [URL]. Please RT.”
Promotions: “Can you TAG?” / “Are you a TAGger?” / etc.
It also creates a lightweight insider/outsider dynamic, primarily for the insiders. (People who don’t know what it means can easily find out.) “Big” in/out dynamics are bad, but I think lightweight ones can increase participation and attraction.
It’s convenient that ‘tag’ is sort of what the game IS, as well.
Down the road, could also celebrate “TAGgers” who are frequent participants, or frequent kudo collectors. Again, a strong status hierarchy seems undesirable, but a light one may increase participation and ‘stick.’
(To separate this from other “tagging” (i.e. objects) I would capitalize TAG.)
I like this—although I agree with someone who mentioned that the Brooklyn Museum has a game called “Tag,” too. But maybe a slightly different version—like “ArtTag?”
When the programming dust settles, it would be cool to display the number of players along with the winning image.
I agree. Of the various possible places, where? Maybe in the Contribution?
I think it should show to non-registered users, too. So possibilities include: collection/show/83 (art@play collections page) and contribution (when image announced, also show total number of images submitted).
About the Association Game
Museum friends receive announcements of new additions to the museum and other noteworthy events.