It’s been an interesting start of the week, with the tiny Regifting game going viral of sorts within our office. Hit the jump and you’ll see just why.
Instant reactions to this were typically disbelief, the impression that the computer/software actually observes the user, or that it’s some sort of trick. Typically users follow repeat the game a few times to see if the game can actually guess your numbers. Once they see it does so repeatedly, most move on. However, there were some individuals who went one step beyond – they immediately notice what most term as a ‘pattern’. They could see an emergent order though repeatedly attempting the exercise. Perhaps all games can be regarded as composed of patterns of play. To master the game is to master its possible patterns of play, and to implicitly understand the variables that determine that pattern, and be able to manipulate that pattern to a player’s advantage.
This mini game was extremely engaging, pointing to another aspect of the design of interaction. That engaging interaction is ALWAYS human focused, and that such interactions can be crafted without sophisticated graphics and programming.
Can you see the pattern in the Regifting game? If you can, my immediate question is ‘do you play games regularly?’ I’d really be interested in knowing, leave us a comment here. I’m forming the impression that regular game play influences (perhaps enhances) an individuals’ ability to perceive and interpret patterns.
Spoiler Alert: How did I find the pattern?
I tried a few random numbers first
11:- 11-1-1 = 9
23:- 23-3-2 = 18
47:- 47-7-4 = 36
Couldn’t see any emergent pattern there right away, though I might have had I been observant enough to observe all resultant numbers are multiples of 9.
So I went on to check a few numbers in series; this is the typical brute force approach to try to interpret a pattern.
88:- 88-8-8 = 72
87:- 87-7-8 = 72
86:- 86-6-8 = 72
85:- 85-5-8 = 72
There it was – the pattern I was looking for. For all two digits numbers beginning with 8, the result is always 72. Similarly, for two digit numbers with 7 its 63, for 6 it’d be 54, so on. If you look at the table, you’ll notice you always have to choose from one of these numbers.