Google “Games” with Words: Spell Up

An Evil Invitation

I really like a lot of what Google is doing. Really. Cars without pedals, glasses except for people who need them… Okay, fine: much of my online presence is Googlish.

One of their pastimes has been games. There was a great physics game where the object was to make intricate Rube Goldberg machines out of flippers, bouncers and other pinball-esque pieces.

I’m not sure what they learned about me from that game, but I’m pretty sure that Spell Up has a couple of bonuses for Google aside from the warm fuzzy feeling of helping to cure hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobics of their fear of achieving sesquipedalianhood.

  1. It gets chrome users to allow Chrome to use their microphones. This is big if they want to get people using their voice-command search service.
  2. It gives them a huge sample of people all over the world speaking single letters. A great way to improve their voice recognition algorithms, perhaps even tying them to the player’s account

This second has, for the tinfoil-hatted crowd, the obvious issue of “the microphone will go on and I’ll be spied upon by clean-cut, serious Mormons in Pochatello, Idaho who are determined to keep Amerka safe at all costs.” That’s sort of an issue, I guess, if someone is truly sloppy with where they go on the Internet and how they set up their systems. Which means, about 90% of users.

For me, I see the game as a lost cause, since it’s us polysyllabic aphorism users who will wage war with the game. And give Google a very good vocal profile of people who already know how to spell and have great diction.