Down the Rabbit Hole with Google Roulette
FELIX OPPEN ON A GAME WE INVENTED CALLED GOOGLE ROULETTE
Google Roulette is a ‘tool’ invented just for us! We use it break through the temptation to go with the obvious solution.
Google has developed some very sophisticated algorithms to help you find an answer to any question you choose to ask whenever you do a search. And let’s face it, most of the time (if our search terms have been thought through carefully) we get the answer we are looking for at, or near the top of, the page one. There is a down side to this of course, many searchers now rarely scroll beyond the first two pages in the list that a Google search has thrown up. The implicit assumption is that any answer that is not in these twenty or so entries is probably not relevant, or important, or is of much value.
But what if you use a search as a trigger for creative inspiration, and those first twenty items in a list just don’t deliver? And this is quite likely to be the case, as the rankings are partly based on the popularity contest of PageRank. There is a good chance that those top-ranking listings are the more familiar or more obvious answers. These are the items that are going to most frequently returned for that particular search. Most of the time this is fine. But there are times when you need more, when you need something a little more unexpected, a little more quirky.
This is where our Google Roulette comes in. The steps are as follows:
- Choose your search term
- Choose a number between three and forty (it can be higher if you wish)
- And then choose a number between one and ten.
- Enter your search term, go to the page corresponding to the first number, and then the list entry on that page corresponding to the second number.
- Start reading.
- Remember – you are looking for triggers for ideas for further action, and possibly triggers for additional searches if you still draw a blank (we do not promise that this technique will work first time).
Design team member, and game inventor, Natasha McLoughlin conducted four searches based on these rules and illustrated the results. These have also been dispersed through the Ligature Journal Issue Four. Pick up a copy of this issue at the Tiliqua Press Store.