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Bernardo Pereira Nunes, Terhi Nurmikko

Submitted Entry for 2013 Competition

Unravelling the Secrets of History at the British Library


Since the dawn of civilization, a wealth of data and human expression has been produced using different forms, styles and scripts on diverse materials from clay tablets to parchments, to videos and online media, with interactions and interpretations continuously adding to the mix. Libraries, galleries, museums and archives (GLAM) are in a central position for the collection, preservation, storage, indexing and dissemination of this vastness of human creativity and knowledge.

The collection and storage of objects and manuscripts are but one aspect of a multi-faceted entity. Interpretation of inscriptions and their content is intrinsically influenced by not just their provenance, but also the social, cultural and historical events surrounding their creation, use and revision. As such, additional information extending beyond basic metadata can enrich and improve our understanding by providing context. Although there is a great deal of potential in terms of inter-linking between resources and metadata, they often remain disconnected even within collections - the problem is exacerbated when related or connected resources are located in separated corpora or collections, with data locked away in inaccessible information silos.

Aiming to discover, connect, enrich and unveil implicit information of the resources available at the British Library, we propose a playful approach that combines human knowledge, bibliographical data and external resources to foster the creation of links between unknown related resources. We will provide an informal educational environment, where participants engage in a quest for knowledge through solving riddles and helping others to do so - each participant also has the opportunity of creating their own riddles using resources available in the library and on the Web. Each user can create tracks with clues that (in)directly provide connections between information resources.

Applying lessons learnt from other successful crowdsourcing projects (such as Duolingo.com, Zooniverse.org), we introduce a system of reward schemes and social interaction to encourage a group of users (the Treasure Explorers) to engage with the game and solve these user-generated riddles. Validation of the paths created by the users will be performed by the solving of the riddle by the Explorers of that track. This will, in turn, create links between various resources and potentially result in the discovery of such underlying links between them as automated recommendation and retrieval methods might not be able to find. Validation is based on the ‘wisdom of the crowd’: as soon as a number of users solve the riddle, the links between the resources are automatically created and validated.


Assessment Criteria

The research question / problem you are trying to answer*

Please focus on the clarity and quality of the research question / problem posed:

How successful would an informal learning environment be in encouraging members of the public to engage with a game with a purpose, to unearth implicit knowledge and hidden facts within the collections of the British Library?
We are interested to see how successful a game with a purpose would be in two main aspects related to the collections at the British Library.

Firstly, we are interested in the potential of utilising the Linked Data publication paradigm for the online collection content. Our aim is to establish the extent to which it would be useful in increasing interlinking within the collections (highlighting previously unknown connections and facts), but also to see how and whether the data of the British Library’s collections could be enriched by external sources.

Secondly, we are interested to see whether a game with a purpose would encourage a new type of audience to engage with the collections.

Please explain the ways your idea will showcase British Library digital collections*

Please ensure you include details of British Library digital collections you are showcasing (you may use several collections if you wish), a sample can be found at http://labs.bl.uk/Digital+Collections

We propose “Treasure Explorers”, a serious game or a GWAP (‘Game With A Purpose’). It is designed for the multiple tasks of user entertainment, the acquisition and dissemination of new knowledge and to aid in the improvement or completion of tasks beyond the limits of automated systems.

In this project, we use the basic principles of game design to create a playful environment that promotes learning through fun - tasks are outsourced to human participants as part of the gameplay. Our scope is not limited to any particular part of the collection, rather, our system benefits for the entirety of the wealth of knowledge at the British Library, and furthermore, has the potential to enrich it further with relevant, complementary external datastreams.

Our project is not limited to any particular area or expertise or interest, nor requiring any existing skill-set. As such, we believe that we are in a position to showcase the collections to new and diverse audiences, and the game layout of the project may attract participants from those demographics which have been traditionally low in attendance and engagement with GLAM collections [2]. Furthermore, the linking of data and resources will help improve traffic to the British Library’s site, and open up the collections to new directions.

Our aims support the British Library’s Values, Mission and Vision [1] in the following ways:


- Inspiring people around the world to share and contribute through engaging with the Library’s content and existing expertise to create and solve riddles, which in turn will enable increasing interlinkage both within the collections and with external sources,

- Achieving more by working with other institutions, projects and individuals, and to promote a sense of openness by connecting to external data-streams via the Linked Open Data publication paradigm,

- Contributing to the image of the British Library as an open, responsive and reflective organisation, by connecting with new datasets and audiences in different ways, including,

- Engaging with users by encouraging them to create new insights from existing content and utilising those insights in the generation of their riddles and subsequent connections, and

- Respecting those insights as valuable and beneficial to the collections and their management, and

- Integrating this expertise of the users into the British Library’s networks.

Mission and Vision

- Our project will help ensure access to British Library’s collections for future generations by engaging with adults and young users, and by publishing data in ways that are protected from the failure of a singular storage point,

- Opening up the collections to everyone who wants to do research and disseminating information to new audiences, and making the Library’s collections increasingly interlinked, and thus easier to find through online navigation,

- Supporting research communities both within the British Library and with external partners, with the potential of connecting with communities that have previously had little interaction with the collections,

- Enriching thus the cultural life of the nation across the board, and not only for existing audiences,

- Supporting the British Library’s aim and position in a leadership and collaborative role in growing the world’s knowledge base by presenting the Library’s collections as a hub or particularly important node in an extensive network of data sharing and connection.

In recent years, GWAPs have contributed to Artificial Intelligence algorithms, helping to solve problems in several fields, such as Semantic Web and Information Retrieval. According to previous studies by von Ahn and Dabbish [3] , 200 million hours are spent every day with games within the United States alone. This opens up an opportunity to gather valuable information produced by the players in a short time and using a low-cost process. If only 1% of this time is spent playing GWAPs,it would represent a saving of US$20 million per day (based on an assumption of a US$10 per hour salary). The numbers do not significantly vary for these in a UK-specific context: according to a survey conducted by the Website askaboutgames.com, 38.2% of the UK population are active gamers and spend in average 11 hours per week, which results into approximately 264 million hours spent playing games every week [4].

Synopsis of the Game

Ben is a young boy, locked in his dreams and unable to wake up. Imprisoned in his dreamworld, Ben desperately seeks for the way out when he meets Muia, an owl who tells him she knows the secret to waking him up. Muia guides him through many adventures all over the world, from task to task - at each stop, Ben must solve riddles in order to safely escape from his dream. For each riddle solved, he gets another clue that will help him solve the final riddle.

Help Ben to wake up, you are the only one who knows the way out!

Gameplay/Plot/Game rules

For the journey to free Ben from his dream, the player takes control of Ben’s character, and tries to solve the enigmas and riddles posed to him. The game starts with the display of a world map with geographically positioned riddles. These form part of a track that takes Ben to a Portal where he can be broken free from his dream - if he manages to solve the Portal's riddle.

For each dream Ben has, there are a predetermined number of riddles on the way to the Portal, which the player can (attempt to) solve it at any time or in any order. The player earns points for each solved riddle, contributing to his overall score in the game. Each attempt to solve the Portal’s riddle uses up these points - the user can select any amount of points that he wants to spend to break Ben free: if he fails, he loses the points wagered, otherwise doubling it.

The riddles that form part of the journey follow a different score strategy. Unlike the portal, where the user chooses how many points he wants to spend, each intervening riddle has a maximum potential point score which can be earned by correctly answering the riddle. For each failed attempt, the available points are decreased. The player can still attempt to solve the riddle once all the points have run out - successfully solving the riddle will still be rewarded with the appropriate clue for the final question at the Portal. Thus, there is no scope for failure - there are no criteria which will permanently prevent the player from achieving a given goal or from completing the game, as long as one persists in answering the questions and solving the riddles.

The user can get additional points by trying to solve the Portal’s riddle without solving all the preceding riddles. As the player will gather fewer clues, he is awarded with the points that he would have got solving the locked riddles plus the award points. The player is not locked into a predetermined order of riddles, but can solve them in any order and even skip through to the final riddle, should they wish. The riddles can be one of four different types, describe as follows:

The Quiz

A simple multiple-choice layout, where the player is presented with a question, and possible options as the answer. The player will select one answer from the given possibilities. Should he correctly identify the right answer on the first attempt, he will receive five points. On the second attempt, three, and so until finally reaching the correct answer (having exhausted all others) and receiving his reward in the form of a clue for the final, Portal riddle.

These questions will help increase the scores of knowledgeable and committed players, who are engaged with the game and eager to improve their standing in the hierarchy of the ranking lists. These questions provide a relatively simple framework for the assessment and identification of reliable data-generators.

The Image Tagger

A question and an image are showed to the player, who must then tag the image according to the question posed. Behind the scenes, there are existing tags for the scene which match the questions - if the user provides a tag that matches one of the provided ones, the riddle is unlocked (and the clue is given to the player).

In terms of limiting scope and adding elements of gamification, the limiting option is not one of predefined choices, as above, but one of time. The aim is not to penalise the player for incorrect tags (as this would discourage participation with the given question) we instead include a timer, and the player is encouraged to input as many relevant tags as possible within that timeframe, incentivising the addition of the greatest possible number of tags per player. In our subsequent analysis, we can rank tags by occurrence: the most mentioned tags (top 10, for example) will describe that resource.

These questions will help facilitate interlinking within the collections and to help connected resources of different types, such as written material with images such as photographs. This interlinking is based on the player-generated tags, and knowledge bases such as DBpedia and Freebase which are, in turn, used to enrich these tags, extending query capabilities. This will enable the retrieval and relating of resources from different datasets, and what is more, DBpedia’s role as an interlinking hub allows us to access further datasets from the Linked Data cloud through it [5].

Even in the case of erroneous or omitted tags, players can match their tags with those of other contributors - this in turn can be used to describe the resource, and help us identify questions or images which are considered particularly complex or challenging. Such feedback will help us with the refinement and possible redesign of the game format and example questions, or contribute towards a clearer layering between difficulty levels.

The Sound / Music Tagger

The sound and music tagger follows the same concept as the image tagger. The player must listen to an audio-file and tag/answer the question posed with tags. If they match, the riddle is unlocked.

Although conceptually similar to the image tagger, the sound tagger fits an identified, largely uncatered for, niche in the types of interactivity that most GLAM games and interactive resources have offered to date, and makes use of the vast collection of audio files in the British Library’s Sound Archive. Whilst both audio and image retrieval remain complex task, our project will help in describing these resources and in the transformation of the media retrieval problem into a text retrieval one, which in turn will be less complex to solve and manage.

The Multiple Resource Connector

This type of quiz allows for the linking of multiple heterogeneous resources with each other, such as metadata, bibliographic references, images, audio and multimedia resources. The aim of the quiz is to identify resources which are connected to each other in more implicit ways, such as a geographical location associated with the creation of a piece of literature; a historical event which might have inspired a composition (such as Craiglockhart War Hospital as the location where Wilfred Owen first met Siegfried Sassoon) or a reinterpretation of a given piece, such as Virginia Astley’s rendition of Owen’s poem "Futility" set to music she had composed.

The questions, riddles and queries of this type are complex and requiring of either specialist knowledge or engagement in research by the user. Rather than “wisdom from the crowd” (multiple agreeing voices), these types of riddles and conundrums may mostly benefit from “wisdom in the crowd” - the knowledge of an individual expert or small number of experts or those with a passion for a given subject matter. As these queries are complex, there is no time limit.

Reward Scheme

The game has a ranking for the top players for each riddle and for the overall game. A player that reaches a certain amount of points will be leveled up and get a 'gold star‘. These high-ranking players unlock the privilege of being able to create riddles themselves. Creators will in turn receive additional points for each riddle played and completed by another user, incentivizing users to continue on as active participants, and to maximise the retention of engaged members. Each type of riddle coined for the game was carefully selected as one that not only has the most to contribute in terms of the Semantic Web field, the Linked Data community and British Library resource description, but also in terms of the enjoyability and engagement of the participants.

User Scenarios

Below we have outlines the ways in which different types of quizzes and riddles can be used to facilitate the interlinking, discovery and publication of resources within the British Library’s collections and across various external data-streams. We have included one example of each level of difficulty (easy, medium and difficult) to illustrate the different types of questions and quizzes our game can facilitate - these are merely indicative of the types of questions which could inspire users to create their own.

Example 1: The Quiz

What has a body of a lion, the head of a human, sometimes depicted with wings...but never existed?






We consider this type of quiz to be an example of the Easy level, as it is not an open question, the options are provided for the player, and these options are not complex to find or define. If the player fails to answer the quiz correctly on the first attempt, additional information is included to guide the player towards the correct answer. For the example above, these clues might include:

1) The creature appears in several world mythologies, including that of ancient Greece

2) In the Greek tradition, the monster is defeated by Oedipus

3) A famous example guards the great pyramids at Gisa in Egypt

4) The creature is known for having a Riddle.

In this scenario, the first set of clues can indirectly help the player solve the final riddle. Although it does not provide the answer to the Portal’s Riddle, nor to any part of it, the player is introduced to the Riddle of the Sphinx - for which it is, in turn, relatively simple to find the answer for (for example, through a search engine).

Portal's Riddle: What goes on four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, and three feet in the evening?

Example 2: The Image Tagger

What is the displayed resource, and what is its relationship to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (1864)?

This section will facilitate the tagging of image resources and the drawing of connections between them. This will enable the drawing of parallels between existing resources and capture the retelling of narratives in new contexts: in this case, for example, the retelling of the Lewis Carroll’s (or Charles Dodgson’s) stories of Alice in modern mediums and formats. Similarly, this section of the subgame allows us to draw connections between individuals and groups related to a given resources, such as authors and publishers, but also, if known, contexts and influences which may lay beyond the sphere of bibliographical data, such as the role of Alice Liddell as the inspiration behind the character for Alice.

This section of the subgame has a time limit, but the player will not be penalised for incorrect or omitted tags.

(Please see URL for image)

Potential tags: Alice, Alice in Wonderland, Alice’s Adventures Underground, Queen of Hearts, white rabbit, Carroll, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dodgson, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice Madness Returns, Alice Liddell, Alice Hargreaves, Alice Liddell Warehouse 13, and so forth.

In this scenario, this particular subgame may alert the player as to the origin of this riddle, and may help them locate the final answer or possible answers, or lack thereof.

Portal’s riddle: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Example 3: The Multiple Resource Connector

The Multiple Resource Connector: Which was the next book published by this crime-novelist Dame (depicted here with her archaeologist husband) after her visit to this city of the Sumerian storm god?

For connecting resources with known individuals, geographical locations and historical events. An opportunity to provide a wider context to known resources, and to support curatorial knowledge by bringing about complex context for a given item in the Library’s collection.

(Please see URL for image)

Game Workflow

(Please see URL for image)

[1] Growing Knowledge: the British Library’s strategy 2011 - 2015. http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/stratpolprog/strategy1115/strategy1115.pdf

[2] Graeme Evans. 2004. Measure for measure: evaluating the evidence of culture’s contribution to regeneration. In Urban Studies, 42 (2004), 959-983.

[3] Luis von Ahn and Laura Dabbish. 2008. Designing games with a purpose. Commun. ACM 51, 8 (August 2008), 58-67. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1378704.1378719

[4] Facts and Figures, The Games Info Centre. http://web.archive.org/web/20070613033013/http://www.askaboutgames.com/?c=/pages/factsFigures.jsp

[5] Linked Data Cloud http://linkeddata.org
Please detail the approach(es) / method(s) you are going to use to implement your idea, detailing clearly the research methods / techniques / processes involved*

Indicate and describe any research methods / processes / techniques and approaches you are going to use, e.g. text mining, visualisations, statistical analysis etc.
To avoid repetition, please see below.
Please provide evidence of how you / your team have the skills, knowledge and expertise to successfully carry out the project by working with the Labs team*

E.g. work you may have done, publications, a list with dates and links (if you have them)
Our interdisciplinary team has extensive experience in online engagement via social media and online projects, including a long-standing, upto-date and well-maintained presence across several different social networking sites. We have combined expertise in the fields of Web Science, Semantic Web, Information Retrieval, Technology Enhanced Learning, Museum Studies and Digital Humanities.

Bernardo Pereira Nunes is a Ph.D. candidate from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio, Brazil) and is currently a research assistant at L3S Research Center of the Leibniz University Hannover (Germany). He holds a MSc in Computer Science and a computer engineering degree from PUC-Rio, Brazil. His main research interest areas are Semantic Web, Web Science, Information Retrieval and Technology Enhanced Learning. In these fields, he has coordinated, as a member of the Distance Education Department of PUC-Rio, many academic and industry-oriented projects, which have been awarded by Brazilian and International institutions. At L3S Research Center, Bernardo has worked in many E.U. projects (such as LinkedUp and ARCOMEM) and scientific papers that have been recognized by international media worldwide and presented in high-level conferences such as ESWC, WWW, WebScience, ICALT, amongst others. He has also been member of program committees and reviewer of conferences and journals in the e-Learning and Semantic Web fields. As a proven track record of successful online projects, we refer to the following recent works: Cite4Me.com (2nd Place in the Linked Data Challenge), FireMe.me (Worldwide press coverage), Condigital Project (Awarded by the Brazilian Government as the best academic project - development of Learning Objects [ http://condigital.ccead.puc-rio.br/condigital/ ]).

Terhi Nurmikko is a PhD student at the University of Southampton, fully funded by the RCUK Digital Economy Programme and based at the Web Science Doctoral Training Centre; she is also a member of the Archaeological Computing and Digital Humanities Research Groups at the University of Southampton. Terhi has a First Class BA (Hons) in Ancient History and Archaeology, and MPhil Cuneiform and Near Eastern Studies. She also has MSc Museum Studies (Merit) examining the potential of Linked Data for Museum Curators, and MSc Web Science (Distinction) on Linked Data for ancient data. In addition to teaching experience and peer-reviewing for conference proceedings, she has recently published on the topic of citizen science for museum collections, and is part of a multi-institutional, AHRC-funded project for the digitization and dissemination of ancient data. She is also an active member of the Linked Ancient World Data Institute.

A recent list (since 2012) of participants' publications can be found below:

T. Nurmikko, J. Dahl, K. Martinez, and G. Earl. Web Science for Ancient History: Deciphering Proto-Elamite Online. In Proc. Web Science 2013, ACM, May 2013. (Best Poster Award)

B. P. Nunes, B. Fetahu, and M. A. Casanova. Cite4Me: Semantic Retrieval and Analysis of Scientific Publications. Proceedings of the LAK Data Challenge, held at LAK 2013, the Third Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, 2013. (Cite4Me was awarded with the second prize in the LAK Data Challenge)

R. Kawase, B. P. Nunes, E. Herder, W. Nejdl, and M. A. Casanova. Who Wants To Get Fired. Proc. Web Science 2013, ACM, May 2013. (Worldwide Press Coverage - CNN, FOX, Le Monde, Bild, etc. - google: fireme.me)

B. P. Nunes, A. A. M. Caraballo, M. A. Casanova, and R. Kawase. Boosting Retrieval of Digital Spoken Content. In Manuel Graña, Carlos Toro, Robert J. Howlett, and Lakhmi C. Jain (Eds.), KES Selected Papers, (7828):153-162, Springer, 2012.

B. P. Nunes, R. Kawase, S. Dietze, G. H. B. de Campos, and W. Nejdl. Annotation Tool for Enhancing E-Learning Courses.. In Elvira Popescu, Qing Li, Ralf Klamma, Howard Leung, and Marcus Specht (Eds.), ICWL, (7558):51-60, Springer, 2012. (Best paper nominee)

T. Nurmikko, J. Dahl, N. Gibbins, G. Earl. Citizen Science for Cuneiform Studies. In Proc. Web Science 2012, ACM, June 2012.

B. P. Nunes, S. Dietze, M.A. Casanova, R. Kawase, B. Fetahu, and W. Nejdl. Combining a co-occurrence-based and a semantic measure for entity linking. ESWC 2013 - 10th Extended Semantic Web Conference, May 2013.

B. P. Nunes, S. Pedrosa, R. Kawase, M. Alrifai, I. Marenzi, S. Dietze, and M. A. Casanova. Answering Confucius: the reason why we complicate. 8th European Conference of Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2013, September 2013.

R. Kawase, M. Fisichella, B. P. Nunes, K.-H. Ha, and M. Bick. Automatic Classification of Documents in Cold-start Scenarios. WIMS 2013: International Conference on Web Intelligence, Mining and Semantics, June 2013.

R. Kawase, B. P. Nunes, and P. Siehndel. Content-based Movie Recommendation within Learning Contexts. ICALT 2013: 13th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies ICALT, July 2013.

R. Kawase, P. Siehndel, B. P. Nunes, and M. Fisichella. Automatic Competence Leveling of Learning objects. ICALT 2013: 13th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies ICALT, Beijing, China, July 2013.

R. Kawase, M. Fisichella, K. Niemann, V. Pitsilis, A. Vidalis, P. Holtkamp, and B. P. Nunes. OpenScout: harvesting business and management learning objects from the web of data. In Leslie Carr, Alberto H. F. Laender, Bernadette Farias Lóscio, Irwin King, Marcus Fontoura, Denny Vrandecic, Lora Aroyo, José Palazzo M. de Oliveira, Fernanda Lima, and Erik Wilde (Eds.), WWW Companion Volume, 445-450, International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee / ACM, 2013.

B. P. Nunes, R. Kawase, B. Fetahu, S. Dietze, M.A. Casanova, and D. Maynard. Interlinking documents based on semantic graphs. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Information & Engineering Systems KES2013, September 2013.

B. P. Nunes, A. A. M. Caraballo, M. A. Casanova, B. Fetahu, L. A. P. P. Leme, and S. Dietze. Complex Matching of RDF Datatype Properties. In Proceedings of 24th International Conference on Database and Expert Systems Applications, 2013.

L. A. P. Paes Leme, G. R. Lopes, B. P. Nunes, M.A. Casanova, and S. Dietze. Identifying candidate datasets for data interlinking. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Web Engineering, 2013.

B. P. Nunes, R. Kawase, P. Siehndel, M.A. Casanova, and S. Dietze. As Simple As It Gets – A sentence simplifier for different learning levels and contexts. ICALT 2013: 13th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies ICALT, Beijing, China, July 2013.

B. Fetahu, B. P. Nunes, and S. Dietze. Summaries on the fly: Query-based extraction of Structured Knowledge from Web Documents. In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Web Engineering, 2013.

B. Fetahu, B. P. Nunes, and S. Dietze. Towards Focused Knowledge Extraction: Query-based extraction of structured Summaries. In Proceedings of the 22nd World Wide Web Conference, ACM, 2013.

S. Dietze, S. Sanchez-Alonso, H. Ebner, H. Yu, D. Giordano, I. Marenzi, and B. P. Nunes. Interlinking educational Resources and the Web of Data - a Survey of Challenges and Approaches. Emerald Program: electronic Library and Information Systems, (47)12013.

R. Kawase, P. Siehndel, B. P. Nunes, M. Fisichella, and W. Nejdl. Towards Automatic Competence Assignment of Learning Objects.. In Andrew Ravenscroft, Stefanie N. Lindstaedt, Carlos Delgado Kloos, and Davinia Hernández Leo (Eds.), EC-TEL, (7563):401-406, Springer, 2012.

B. P. Nunes, A. A. M. Caraballo, M. A. Casanova, and R. Kawase. Automatically generating multilingual, semantically enhanced, descriptions of digital audio and video objects on the Web.. In Manuel Graña, Carlos Toro, Jorge Posada, Robert J. Howlett, and Lakhmi C. Jain (Eds.), KES, (243):575-584, IOS Press, 2012.

B. P. Nunes, R. Kawase, S. Dietze, D. Taibi, M. A. Casanova, and W. Nejdl. Can Entities be Friends?. In Giuseppe Rizzo, Pablo Mendes, Eric Charton, Sebastian Hellmann, and Aditya Kalyanpur (Eds.), Proceedings of the Web of Linked Entities Workshop in conjuction with the 11th International Semantic Web Conference, (906):45--57, November 2012.

Please provide evidence of how you think your idea is achievable on a technical, curatorial and legal basis*

Indicate the technical, curatorial and legal aspects of the idea (you may want to check with Labs team before submitting your idea first).


The technical requirements for the implementation of the proposed game are modest, simply requiring a Linux or Windows-based Web server with PHP (version +5.2) and MySQL (version +5.0) support. For the client, or user, players only require devices with Web browsers that support Javascript.

The game is Web-based and will be developed using Web languages/scripts such as PHP, HTML, and Javascript/JQuery, for the most common Web browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari). Thus, the game can be played in mobiles, tablets and computers (laptops and desktops alike). Crucially, as Web-based service, a domain name is required in order to make the game public (this could perhaps be a subdomain under the British Library Labs domain: xyz.labs.bl.uk, for example).

Alternatively, should the Library be unable to provide an environment as described above, we can also provide such an environment for a predetermined period of time.


Providing materials and knowledge for the formation of the original connections between resources will be an opportunity to showcase types of curatorial knowledge which might not frequently be exposed to the public. Connections drawn by the participants may help bring to light such implicit connections that have as of yet to be made, simply due to restrictions of resources such as curatorial time. The project will enable curatorial staff to engage with the public via mediums that are not excessively time-consuming, and at the same time help foster relationships between the institution and the public.


Since we are, in the first instance, concentrating on the collections of the British Library, we are adhering to the copyright restrictions of the collection (http://www.bl.uk/copyright). As for external sources, we will only be seeking to link to resources published under the Creative Commons licence and attributing rights as required.
Please provide a brief plan of how you will implement your project idea by working with the Labs team*

You will be given the opportunity to work on your winning project idea between July 6th - October 31st 2013
The activities proposed for execution of the project idea with the Labs team are estimated to last an approximated three months, with the stages outlined below. The estimated timeframes reflect a realistic minimum required for the implementation for each design, and additional flexibility has been allowed into this preliminary over-all structure.

Initial Start-up Period

- Setting up the development environment (server + database) (2 days)
- Modelling of the game in PHP (5 days)
- Database Modelling (5 days)
- Design of the game interface/layout (3 weeks)
- Game rules (3 days)
- Creation of Riddles (3 weeks)

After the first month
- BL validation meeting (if necessary) ---
- Creation of new Riddles after discussion of the riddles with BL staff (4 weeks)
- Adjusts of game rules and modelling according to BL staff meeting (1 week)
- Development of the Quiz (5 days)
- Development of the Quiz - administration view (4 days)

After the second month
- BL validation meeting (if necessary) ---
- Adjusts of the game after BL meeting (1 week)
- Development of the Image Tagger (5 days)
- Development of the Image Tagger - administration view (4 days)
- Development of the Sound/Music Tagger (3 days)
- Development of the Sound/Music Tagger - administration view (3 days)

After the third month
- BL validation meeting (if necessary) ---
- Test and amendments - ready to go (1 week)

These activities can be performed partly remotely and partly locally with the help of the British Library staff. As the proposed game includes the development of riddles and the use of the Library’s resources, it would be useful to work together with BL staff to select resources that might be part of the game. Regarding the development of the game, it will be developed in an incremental process with some deliveries in between, which would be possible to validate the progress of the game and adaptations when needed.

The images listed below are intended as illustrative examples of the hypothetical user-interface. The final product will differ from these examples and showcase original work and images available under Creative Commons License.