Play Six Degrees Of Wikipedia

Play Six Degrees Of Wikipedia

Ten years ago, we played around with Six Degrees of Wikipedia, a cute web page that would find the link path between any two Wikipedia pages. Now there’s a new visual version, by a different developer, with an updated database. The new Six Degrees of Wikipedia visualises all the shortest paths between any two entries as a network map.

You can drag the map around and click any point to go to the relevant Wikipedia page, where you can see the context in which things were linked. The results give you the trippy feeling that everything is connected – because it is. For example, Janelle Monáe and Maggie Smith both won a Critics’ Choice Movie Award; Maggie Smith was married in Guildford; and Ford Prefect, a character in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, pretends to be from Guildford but is actually from the Betelgeuse star system. Meanwhile Monáe is influenced by David Bowie, who has an asterism (a constellation) named after him, and Betelgeuse is in the Winter Hexagon asterism.

We especially recommend finding connections between something you’re associated with, such as your hometown, employer or university, and your celebrity crushes.

The new Six Degrees comes from developer Jacob Wenger, who also built a team version of tic-tac-toe.


  • I remember at high school about 5-6 years ago we all had laptops and we would do what we called “wikipedia races”, it basically took this concept and used it for a game.
    Everyone would click ‘random article’ on wikipedia at the same time and then race by clicking links in that article and each after until we got to hitler.

    You’d be surprised how easy it is to get there even from some of the weirder things.
    e.g. land on pythagoras theorem, click the mathematician that thought it up, click the country he’s born in, click on world war 2 in its history section, bang found hitler. So there you go found hitler in like 4 links. this game got very intense if you were really close to finding him and so was someone right near you and you new any wrong click could be your downfall.

    Also worked well for other people (we found people was usually best as it was a good balance between difficulty and still having enough links to actually get to them.)

    Anyway, hope you enjoyed my weird semi related story

  • While it may be fun to play with that, the real challenge is if you do it yourself – or against someone else. You each pick a topic, start on its Wikipedia page, and then you have to find the shortest route to the other person’s topic before they find one to yours.

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