Wikipedia: The Text Adventure will satisfy your inner geography nerd

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Reading Wikipedia just got a whole lot more fun.

A new game called “Wikipedia: The text adventure” helps you navigate and learn more about the world using a clever modification of the online knowledge database’s API. You can start your journey with a suggested location or choose your own, and from there on the game dynamically generates options of places to explore.

For example, I started with my home state of Maharashtra in India. From there, the game gave me a few choices of other places in the state to explore.

People have discovered classic text adventure features like the ability to pick up items, examine them, and keep them in your inventory.

Developer Kevan Davis originally made a predecessor to this project a retelling of Around The World in 80 Days that he generated in 2015 using Wikipedia’s map content.

“I’m always interested in seeing what else can be done with large, organised data sets, and the fact that Wikipedia’s API can serve up coordinates and summaries of locations around the world made it nicely suited to being explored step by step,” Davis said in a message.

“It seems a nice way to explore a familiar area, to see if you can navigate it from memory, and to find a few surprises,” Davis said. “Wikipedia gives coordinates for historical events and long-demolished buildings, so there’s a lot to stumble across. “

The game came out of a novel Davis generated in 2015, which used Wikipedia maps to generate a “weird retelling of Around The World in 80 days.”

“II’s also been good for highlighting gaps in Wikipedia’s data,” he said, like this one:

“While exploring in the game, I’ve gone into Wikipedia and hunted down coordinates and photos for a few local landmarks which were missing them,” he said. The game is a nostalgic and addictive way to test your own knowledge of the places you’re familiar with, while learning about them. Its ‘choose your own adventure’ style makes for a fun fall down more than a few rabbit holes. If you get stuck, just type “help.”

“There’s also a minor easter egg shortcut, if you know the magic word,” Davis said. You can try the game here.

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