tiltfactor » Blog Archive » Tiltfactor presents Metadata Games: Mobile!

For Immediate Release

January 22, 2014

Hanover, NH — A photograph or a piece of film might stay in a library storage box for one hundred years and be seen by very few visitors. What if that image or that film could be digitized and posted online, so that the public could not only see it, but help librarians discover its subject? Or identify the speaker in an archival video? And what if the public could contribute that new knowledge through play?

Tiltfactor™ Laboratory is proud to present Metadata Games: Mobile. Metadata Games uses the power of computer games to help augment digital records by collecting metadata on image, audio, and film/video artifacts through gameplay. Metadata Games invites players to “Play, Tag, and Connect” with each other, with national humanities institutions, and with newly revealed media.

The free and open source (FOSS) software is customizable, portable, and easy to install, and is compatible with institutional standards. The pilot Metadata Games implementation produced approximately 85-90% useable data per participant, with evidence of particular game designs lending themselves towards the generation of tags that are both accurate and specific. The project is in preliminary use at institutions across the US and internationally (e.g. Boston Public Library, Clemson, UC-Irvine).

The Metadata Games platform includes a palette of games that cater to a variety of player interests. Two new mobile games for both Android and iOS include the single-player “Pyramid Tag,” which has players race the clock to match popular tags for images; and “One Up,” a two-player game where players ‘one up’ each other with increasingly detailed tags. Three more games complete the browser-based lineup: Zen Tag and NexTag are casual single-player games, while Guess What! is a two-player cooperative game.

Metadata Games enables archivists and librarians to gather and analyze new information for image archives in powerful and innovative ways. The platform is developed by Tiltfactor at Dartmouth College, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).

Tiltfactor is actively developing and improving this novel, innovative game platform to help digital collections gather high-quality metadata, and just as importantly, provide players with enjoyable and enriching experiences that connect them with cultural heritage institutions. Current collaborations include the Boston Public Library, The Open Parks Network, and the Digital Public Library of America. This list is growing, and institutions interested in joining this collaboration to leverage Metadata Games are encouraged to contact Tiltfactor.

More information on the project can be found on the official Metadata Games Website at  http://www.metadatagames.org.

Play Metadata Games

Mobile Apps

One Up | Pyramid Tag

Browser Games

Guess What! | NexTag | Zen Tag | Stupid Robot (coming soon)


About Tiltfactor

Tiltfactor Laboratory (http://www.tiltfactor.org) is a design studio dedicated to understanding how games can be used to generate new knowledge. Tiltfactor designs, studies, and launches games across a variety of platforms that use core psychological principles and strategies to promote learning and impact players’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Founded and led by Dr. Mary Flanagan, Tiltfactor uses its unique design methodology, Critical Play, to incorporate fundamental human values and psychological principles to promote pro-social values such as cooperation, perspective taking, empathy, and civic engagement.


Metadata Games


246 Black Family Visual Arts Center

HB 6194

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH 03755 USA





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  • Tiltfactor invents new ways of thinking about important social issues through engaging games and play. Founded and directed by leading innovator Dr. Mary Flanagan, Tiltfactor is the award-winning design studio and research laboratory that takes on problem areas of national need and creates solutions through playful design.