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Scatter plots are a type of data visualization that scientists create to display the correlation between variables. Omar Wagih, a budding statistician, wanted better information about how people assess them. Sound dull? Omar thought so too. “I knew that people wouldn’t spend much time guessing correlations if there was no incentive,” he told The Royal Statistical Society, “so I decided to build a game around it.”
Omar’s game—Guess The Correlation—is a runaway hit. He launched the game in December 2015 and by February 2016, the game’s players had made two million correlation guesses. It’s easy to see why. The simple task of guessing, then getting a result, gives the player instant gratification, like pulling a slot machine lever. Omar’s few simple additions—the game tracks your high score, and gives you point bonuses the closer to the correlation you get—gives players the drive to keep going.
What’s next for Guess The Correlation? Omar thinks the data will “show some insightful trends” but he wants to make the data he’s collecting even more valuable by creating quality control and controlling for variables like the demographics of players. Check it out, you’ll have a little fun and help science at the same time.