Interesting Esoterica

Nice Neighbors: A Brief Adventure in Mathematical Gamification

Article by Chris Staecker
  • Published in 2016
  • Added on
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Last year I came across a strange graph theory problem from digital topology. I turned it into a video game to help wrap my mind around it. It was fun to play, so I made it into a web game that other people could play. I took 3,500 unsolved math problems, made each one into a level of the game, and waited to see if people would solve my problems for me. Within two months, hundreds of people and at least one nonperson played the game, and together they solved every level. I’ll describe the mathematics behind this game and some of the surprises along the way that still have me scratching my head.

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BibTeX entry

@article{NiceNeighbours,
	title = {Nice Neighbors: A Brief Adventure in Mathematical Gamification},
	abstract = {Last year I came across a strange graph theory problem from digital topology. I turned it into a video game to help wrap my mind around it. It was fun to play, so I made it into a web game that other people could play. I took 3,500 unsolved math problems, made each one into a level of the game, and waited to see if people would solve my problems for me. Within two months, hundreds of people and at least one nonperson played the game, and together they solved every level. I’ll describe the mathematics behind this game and some of the surprises along the way that still have me scratching my head. },
	url = {http://cstaecker.fairfield.edu/{\~{}}cstaecker/files/research/nnpublished.pdf},
	year = 2016,
	author = {Chris Staecker},
	comment = {},
	urldate = {2018-04-17},
	collections = {easily-explained,puzzles}
}