I don't often blog about games - in fact this is only the second time that I've done so, but this one is rather interesting. It's called Akinator, and describes itself as 'the web genius'. Simple in concept - you just think of a real or fictional character, answer the questions that it asks while it attempts to guess the person that you're thinking of.
All well and good. Except that it's very clever, to a freakish extent. I tried it with historical figures, cartoon characters, footballers, characters from films, you name it, I tried it. It failed a couple of times - on a footballer and a very minor American historical figure. Other than that - it was right every time, and often within 10-15 questions. It also looks very smug when it wins:
It tells you how often the character that you thought of has been played before, and if it gets it wrong it asks for information about the character, checks it against its database and then adds it.
This is a great resource for a fun evening, but I can easily see how this could be used in a school/educational environment with children researching a person in order to be able to answer the questions correctly. Also, if something like this can be used for entertainment purposes, (and so, so well!) just think how the technology could be put to use in other situations - deciding on a career and which university to attend, assisting in answering reference questions, working your way through a complex red tape driven government site!
It's a great tool, and certainly one worth trying out. Plus it's fun, but as several of us who were playing with it and reporting back last night via Twitter found - highly addictive as well.