Remember that social gaming competition we told you about – the Tag Challenge – where you could win $5,000 for catching five fictional jewel thieves? Well, it took place on March 31st and no one won – not entirely. There was a partial winner though, so let’s take a look at them!
The contest rules tell us that the Tag Challenge was a social gaming competition in which participants were invited to find volunteer suspects in a simulated law enforcement search. In order to win, the participant had to be first to submit, via the contest website, verifiable photographs of each of the contest suspects.
The “winners” of the contest, CrowdScanner, found three of the five suspects – and we may kid about them not really winning, but the accomplishment is nothing to sneeze at, particularly when you consider that each of the five suspects was located in five cities across the globe including Washington D.C., New York City, London, Stockholm and Bratislava in Slovakia.
The CrowdScanner team also won the similarly-themed DARPA challenge in 2009, locating 10 weather balloons scattered through the United States in just nine hours. Team member and computer scientist Manuel Cebrian from the University of California, San Diego, said “the Tag Challenge was much harder.”
CrowdScanner researchers recruited participants using the following model:
And the three suspects (pictured below), found and photographed in Bratislava, New York and Washington D.C., were nabbed by:
- A team of computer scientists from a local university in Bratislava
- A graduate student from Harvard
- David Alan Grier, the president-elect of IEEE and a professor at George Washington University
“We believe the outcome will provide plenty of ammunition for both sides of the social media debate,” said challenge co-organizer Steve Miller. “No one was able to find all five individuals. There may be limits to what social media can help people accomplish in time-critical situations, or internationally.”
Do you think the results of this challenge says all of that? Does it point to limits in social media? Or were there just not enough people participating in London and Sweden maybe?
(Detective photo from Shutterstock)