Nick, a game design intern, and I teamed up for this term’s metadata game design challenge. Our assignment was to create a game designed to collect metadata to be associated with audio files, in order to make these files more accessible and retrievable via search engines. For this task, Nick and I (mostly Nick) designed a “Words-with-Friends”-style smart phone game, called Lost In Transmission, in which players are presented with segments from two sound clips: 1 “solution clip” (for our initial prototype of the game, we used the audio from an old school Chevrolet commercial) and 1 trash clip (for our prototype, the audio from an old coffee commercial). These clips were chopped into segments, scrambled, and divided randomly among players. By assigning tags to their segments, sharing them with each other, and collaborating to differentiate the “solution clip” from the “trash clip” and place the “solution clip” segments in the proper order, players work to accomplish the tagging required for providing accurate, quality metadata.
The following is the first in a 3-part series of posts by Tiltfactor student interns describing the process of creating and testing new game prototypes for the lab’s Metadata Games project. Metadata Games is a NEH-funded, open source project that uses games to help crowdsource descriptive tags for archive and library holdings. Here, Joe outlines the design process he and fellow intern Nick devised for a new audio tagging game: