Monday, February 11, 2008

My Addiction

So, I'm a bit hesitant to actually publish this post--not because I'm embarrassed by it, but because I don't want to be responsible for somebody else's downfall. So be warned: if you consider yourself a geography buff, and if you have a competitive bone in your body (and honestly, who doesn't?), read no further. Just scroll on down and read one of my other three scintillating posts. I'm serious. Don't get sucked in the way I have.

Several years ago, I followed a link in a blog (see, that's how it starts...) to the home page of Geosense, and it has all been downhill from there.  I'll give you a brief description so that you don't have to go to the site itself, which is like flirting with fire.  You sign on, with a self-selected username and password (or as a guest), and you are then presented with several map options.  The default is "World Map," but Europe and the U.S. are also options.  Having selected your map, you then click "Play Alone," unless you're in the mood to challenge one of the vulgar teenagers who have latched onto the site as their own personal chat space. Bunch of posers. Anyhow, as play begins, an unlabeled political map of the world appears. In a box at the top of the window, you'll see the name of a country, followed by the name of a city in that country. For example: "BRAZIL, Rio de Janeiro," "GREECE, Athens," and "VIETNAM, Hanoi" are all cities that will show up if you play long enough. You then have ten seconds to click on the map as close to that city as you can. As soon as you click, you are shown the actual location of the city, and are told how many kilometers off your guess was. One round consists of ten cities in succession. Each guess gives you points, based on speed and accuracy. At the end of your round, the window displays your average score and distance for that round.  

I've always loved maps, and I was hooked immediately. Sadly, my name appears in the "High Scores" for the world map, which is a testament to vast amount of time that I have flushed down the toilet for Geosense. If I had a nickel for every hour I've spent, compulsively clicking on exactly the right pixel that represents "JAPAN, Sapporo" or "CANADA, Halifax,"... well, I'd have to roll them up in those little paper wrappers in order to turn them in at the bank. Either that or use one of those CoinStar machines at the supermarket that takes something like a 7% cut from your loose change just for the convenience of dumping it all into a big bin to be sorted automatically. But I digress.

The point, people, is that the internet truly is a dangerous place.

6 comments:

Potato Girl said...

I like the little story about how you got Geosense added to the game blockers at work. Would you care to elaborate?

Leslie said...

leslie gray, that is...

all right, my curiosity is peaked. I will have to give it a whirl - but if you are the poster boy for terrible internet addictions, the world is doing a lot better than I thought it was! :)

Byron & Michelle said...

I just went to the site and even though I am not a geography buff I was instantly addicted. I hold you personally responsible!! I will bill you for all of the lost productivity every month.

Byron

Melinda said...

Now I'm waiting for a General Conference talk about the danger of Geosense.....

Lincolnlogger said...

My comments/complaints so far...

1) On the World map, they use Indonesia way more often than seems reasonable. My guess is to drive up scores (or alternatively force you to learn about Indonesia) as everything is so spread out. You could make the same case for Russia, the US, China, Canada, and Australia- but I know most of those cities! When I'm wrong in Indonesia, it's by at least 1,000 km.

2) On the U.S. map, they use California and Texas way more often than seems reasonable. My guess is to drive up scores (or alternatively force you to learn about California and Texas) as everything is so spread out. When I'm wrong in California or Texas, it's by at least 500 km.

3) On the European map, it seems they love Belgium. They keep choosing Belgian cities. I have no complaint with this, as Belgium is much smaller, and gives you a decent score as long as you know where Belgium itself is. Douglas Adams would have been proud.

4) I feel so validated now, feeling my college course in Geography has no longer been wasted.

Lisa said...

I need you on my Trivial Pursuit team! I love Trivia, but I'm completely useless on almost any geography question!