An addictive online Pictionary
The rules are simple: everyone gets a piece of paper. At the top of the page, you draw a small picture. When everyone’s done, pass to the left. Beneath the drawing passed to you, write a descriptive caption. Fold down the original drawing, then pass it on.
This game, essentially a game of telephone, is a favorite of artsy college folk around the nation. It’s known by many different names depending on who you ask, ranging from “Eat Poop You Cat” to “Leprechaun Cat,” and now, it is also available online.
Created by Dylan Greene and Aaron Silverman, founders of the software company Opower, the online game called “Doodle or Die” can be found at http://doodle.no.de.
Upon entering the website, users will be faced with either a drawing to caption, or a caption to draw. When they finish drawing or captioning and hit “submit,” they can see the entire chain of drawings and captions leading up to their contribution. They can watch the chain continue to progress as others respond to their contribution.
While undoubtedly fun, Doodle or Die has suffered many speed bumps along the road to Internet success.
Upon its discovery through popular social news site Reddit, the game’s server crashed almost instantly.
A team of programmers was soon assigned to take on Doodle or Die’s primitive design. Servers went back up, and a series of improvements were implemented; chains became collapsible, users gained the ability to return to their chains over the course of more than one session, the drawing tools were improved and character minimums were implemented in captions and certain words banned in order to minimize trolling.
Unfortunately, the game still suffers from extreme amounts of “trolling.” It’s hard to come across a chain of doodles and captions without encountering some sort of random phallus or an equally inane caption. In spite of this, Doodle or Die has maintained a large base of users.
“It’s so fun,” said Puget Sound student Kerry Egger, ’14. “You get feedback on something you did yourself, and you get to see how your own work—even though it’s silly—how it’s reacted to. That’s what’s fun about it. You get to see what happens to what you’ve created. Plus you can do it more at your own pace than when you’re playing with people in real life.”
The Doodle or Die team has promised to continue improving their website, with additions to look forward to such as an up/down voting system, a public gallery of chains, and a “skip” function. So get doodling!