Free rice game

If you haven’t already seen this, you might like to give it a go — not just because of the free rice aspect, but because it’s a fun and well-designed game.

Get three in a row right and you go up a level — get one wrong and you go down a level. At higher levels you get asked more difficult words, difficulty being assessed by the proportion of previous contestants who’ve got them wrong.

50 is the highest level, so if you can stay there for any length of time, you’re doing pretty well. My longest run at 50 was 4 words. Beat that if you dare!

And you’ll learn lots of interesting (but, for the most part, practically useless) words.

(Thanks to watervole for pointing me at it!)

21 replies on “Free rice game”

Only if you want to dash bowls of rice from the mouths of the world’s hungry. But you can have a special kudo from me if you like.

(Hmm, my COD has that as acceptable, while my ODWE says not. Get your act together, Oxford!)

Oxford tracks usage, so it’s probable that a lot of people mis-spell it. I certainly did the other week and had the red squiggle of wrongness underneath it, which is how I knew that it should be minuscule!

Stay at 50? I couldn’t even reach it.

Made 48 a few times, but that seems to be my limit. Even getting that far involved having no idea about most of the words but being able to eliminate the wrong answers because the word had the wrong ending (eg. had to be a person and the other three options were adjectives).

Yes, there are a few too many guessable like that. It’d be interesting to know the scheme by which it decides which wrong answers to offer — ideally that would also be “learning” in some way, although I can’t think how.

How about:

* A wrong answer is considered “good” if it receives a high proportion of votes.
* If the spread of quality amongst wrong answers to a question is wide enough, swap out the worst after some fixed number of uses.
* If the spread is narrow, randomly swap in any other dictionary word for the worst option, again after some fixed number of uses.

This will converge all questions to a situation where all but one of the false options are maximally confusing.

The tricky part is that you’d have to have a hand-coded list of all words which could be considered correct answers so that you never present one of those intending it as a false option!

That sounds good. I guess ideally each word would have a bank of wrong answers classified by their quality from which it could select randomly according to a defined desired spread of quality (maybe something like 50%, 33%, 17% of people who get it wrong chose that one), with the quality values being adjusted over time according to “performance during most recent n exposures to players” sort of thing.

It’d take a lot of trials to converge on good values, but I guess they have plenty of trials going on.

(I suspect the hand-coding of synonyms is something that’ll be difficult to do without in any automated system. It wouldn’t surprise me if they had it already.)

Okay so my dream of ending world hunger with my vocabulary skills has to be modified a bit.

Well, actually I look and see we’ve piled up some 7 – 8 tons since Oct 7 — considerable, actually.

So in three weeks it’s made enough to feed about 50,000 people for three weeks, going on 2 oz per person per day. Not bad at all, considering that it started from nothing and presumably will keep accelerating as word of mouth spreads.

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