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InfoGarden | Making Archiving a Game!

InfoGarden | Gamifying archiving | assigning tags and metadata

Oh my goodness everyone! You have to hear about this!

(Sorry, not sorry if you're not as excited about this as I am!)

I came across this game this week, which helps you care for your digital stuff!

The aim of the game

To tend your garden by removing weeds and growing plants with tons of fruit.

(also, to assign tags to your documents, to make them easier to search for and find later!)

What happens?

Weeds pop up at random places in your garden. Each weed represents a document that has no tags. You aim the reticle at the weed to view the document.

When you fire keywords at a weed, it will "disappear in a fiery explosion with a satisfying boom." (Gardening friends, you'll confirm that this is standard horticultural practice, right?!)

A plant will then grow in its place. If the new plant shares keywords with any of the other plants, then both plants will grow fruit.

And then there are the gophers. They hide behind weeds and eat your plants!

If you neglect your garden, then weeds spread.

There is a whole point-scoring system based on how many weeds and gophers you shoot, how many fruit you grow, and the tags you choose.

Before you ask

No, sadly I haven't played it... as far as I can tell the game is still a prototype (at least it was in 2014). I heard about it by stumbling across this article:

Maltzahn, Carlos, Jhala, Arnav, Mateas, Michael and Whitehead, Jim. 2014. Gamification of private digital data archive management. In Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Gamification for Information Retrieval (GamifIR '14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 33-37.

This is great!

I've already written about how people care about their digital stuff, but struggle to make the time to care for it. And making it a game aims to turn it on its head - by making it addictive!

But it's still a work in progress - the original article I've linked to above shares some of their lessons and challenges. But, y'know. This is great!

Thanks for reading!

This was part of my Deep Dive into Personal Archiving Series!

Previous Article: Why do we cherish things?

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