If you’re a history buff, or are looking for a new web game to play, Wikitrivia may be worth your time. The game’s creator, Tom Watson, describes it on his site as “Wikidata as a trivia card game,” and the tweet that brought it to our attention called it an “online clone of the card game Timeline.”
Playing it is simple: it gives you a card that represents something that has a date, which is pulled from Wikidata; some examples I saw asked me to pin down when the Bastille was built, when the Foo Fighters were formed, and when the October Revolution ended (unfortunately, it was looking for a year, not a month). You then have to put the card on the correct place in the timeline. You’re allowed three mistakes, which are represented by hearts, and you’ll lose one if you put a card in the wrong place. Losing all your hearts will will end your streak and force you to restart with a new timeline.
Okay, I promise that last one was a slip of the mouse. pic.twitter.com/9rhO1ztm1K— Mitchell (@strawberrywell) January 17, 2022
Wikitrivia isn’t flawless. While the action of moving cards onto the timeline actually works almost flawlessly on my phone, I wouldn’t say the game is much fun to play on mobile; the concept really benefits from as wide a screen as possible, in my opinion. Also, as some players have noticed, some of the titles can act as a giveaway — while I was playing I got at least one that had a year in the title, making it pretty easy to place. I also got this card:
There’s also the possibility of data being wrong. I didn’t notice any instances where that was the case (though keep in mind that I’m not a history buff; you could tell me that the Roman Empire ended in the 1900s and I’d probably think “eh, that could be right”), but Watson does have a thread started on Github where people can report incorrect cards or data.
The page also calls on users to make any necessary corrections to Wikipedia or Wikidata itself, which could end up making answers across the web more accurate — for example, Google sometimes pulls data from Wikipedia for its knowledge panels, so errors may end up being reflected there unless they’re fixed.
For those who like saying “wow, I never realized that was so recent / long ago,” (or anyone looking for something to do after finishing today’s Wordle puzzle), Wikitrivia may be a great way to spend some time.