Procrastination Destination: Wikipedia Racing

We’re almost at finals week, which means it’s time for Wesleying’s biannual Procrastination Destination feature. If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering why you haven’t started studying yet. You should probably start studying… But if you need a good study break, you might as well procrastinate while learning new things.

So on that note, let me introduce you to Wikipedia Racing!

There are two forms of the game that you can play. The first version of the game is something that you play with your friends. The rules are simple:

  1. Choose an article to start on, and an article to end on. (For example, start on Justin Bieber, end on candy canes)
  2. You have to get from the first article to the destination article by only clicking on links within the wikipedia articles.
  3. First person to get to the ending article wins!
  4. For an extra challenge, you can add rules like no using the back button, or you can’t click through the United States (hot wikipedia racing tip, you can get to almost anything from the United States Wikipedia article). You can also change the rules and say that the person who finds the shortest path to the destination article wins, regardless of how long it takes. You can really add any rules you want to, it’s a very flexible game.

Using the example I gave before (Justin Bieber to candy canes), here is a demonstration of how Wikipedia racing works.

Justin Bieber –> Under the Mistletoe –> Christmas Music –> Christmas –> Candy Canes

That was a pretty easy example, but you can do some really weird ones, like Limes to the Treaty of Versailles, or Las Meninas to Wesleyan University. Maybe you can trick yourself into feeling like you are studying by choosing topics for the start/end articles that are related to your work. If you are having trouble thinking of articles, try the random Wikipedia article generator.

As for the other version of Wikipedia Racing, maybe you want to procrastinate alone in the library, or you don’t want your friends to see you avoiding your work. Fear not! There is also an antisocial version of Wikipedia Racing that you can play online. The online version of the game decides the start and end articles for you (you can’t even pretend like you are studying), but it is still a great way to avoid your work.