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OntoGame is a project and series of games that aim at weaving the Semantic Web. It was initiated by Katharina Siorpaes and Martin Hepp at the University of Innsbruck. The core idea is that, despite significant advancement in technology and tools, building ontologies, annotating data, and aligning multiple ontologies remain tasks that highly depend on human intelligence, both as a source of domain expertise and for making conceptual choices. This means that people need to contribute time, and sometimes other resources, to this endeavor.

The approach of OntoGame is to masquerade core tasks of weaving the Semantic Web behind online, multiplayer game scenarios, in order to create proper incentives for humans to contribute. This adopts the findings from the already famous “games with a purpose” by Luis von Ahn, who has shown that presenting a useful task, which requires human intelligence, in the form of an online game can motivate a large amount of people to work heavily on this task, and this for free.

OntoPronto, the first prototype in the series of online computer games: The motivation for this game is that the English Wikipedia contains more than 1.8 Million entries that are reliable identifiers for countless useful conceptual entities. For example, Wikipedia contains more than 220,000 URIs for types of products and services and is thus eight times larger than eCl@ss or UNSPSC, the two largest categories for products and services. If the players are able to ground those 1.8 Million conceptual elements properly in the Proton ontology, this will create the largest general interest ontology for annotating Web resources – 1.8 Million identifiers for anything from artists to high schools, from products to organizations.

An upcoming game is OntoTube, which aims at annotating YouTube videos on the Web. Players have to answer several questions and solve a couple challenges per video.