Thursday, January 26, 2006

Wikipedia and Whack-a-mole: Part 1

Because my hordes of fans want to know: "Whence Wack-a-Pedia?"

There are actually several similarities between the community encyclopedia and the beloved Chuck E. Cheese/arcade standby, so let's start with The Big One: Both of them beguile you into endless procrastination, one step at a time. It's true! e.g.:

Whack-a-mole player: Hey look, Whack-a-mole! I haven't played this in a while. What the hey, I'll whack a mole or two.

Wikipedia user: Hey look, Wikipedia! I need to research the historical origins of Whack-a-mole. What the hey, I'll look it up here.

Whack-a-mole player: Hey, this is fun! Every time one mole gets whacked, another one appears ... and I never know where! *BAM BAM BAM*

Wikipedia user: Hey, this is fun! The Wackamole entry links to an entry on all sorts of arcade redemption games! *CLICK CLICK CLICK*

Whack-a-mole player: OK, my pizza's getting cold. One more mole, then I'll quit.

Wikipedia user: OK, my work is waiting. I'll read this linked entry on SkeeBall, then I'll quit.

Whack-a-mole player: More moles...more moles...MOLES! MOLES! ALWAYS MORE MOLES!!! *BAM BAM BAM BAM*

Wikipedia user: SkeeBall ... invented in 1909 ... the year of Ernest Shackleton's South Pole expedition ... Royal Geographical Society ... LINKS! LINKS! ALWAYS MORE LINKS!!! *CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK* *BAM BAM BAM BAM*

The end ... or is it?

Tiffany and Amber say: We love to go down to the pier to play Whack-a-mole! We avoid that homeless guy who smells like chili, though.

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This link looked like it'd be of interest to you.
Thanks, Kane! I'm really interested in this. Look for an entry soon.
Wikipedia is just like that. Just to demonstrate, as though further such were needed, how nerdly and obsessive I am, I meant to look up "Google" and instead got "google," which is one followed by a thousand numbers, and links to "googleplex," which is one followed by a google of numbers (and very probably the number of Wiki entries one could surf to); then from there more and more math-y entries about bigger and bigger numbers and their esoteric notation systems. (Here Carl Sagan intones, "Billions and billions and billions...") It was oddly compelling, and vaguely disturbing.

Not as disturbing as Chuck E. Cheese, though; but then, what *is*?
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