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Play Smorball to save scanned books from digital oblivion.

RELEASE DATE 06.09.2015


Smorball is a challenging browser game that asks players to correctly type the words they see on the screen–punctuation and all. The more words they type correctly, the quicker opposing teams are defeated, and the closer the Eugene Melonballers get to the Dalahäst Trophy.  As an opponent approaches, type the phrase in the corresponding row and press “enter,” commanding your athlete to tackle the opponent. Punctuation matters, so type carefully and quickly – some opponents must be tackled multiple times before they go down!

In addition to being a fun typing game, Smorball tackles a major challenge for digital libraries: full-text searching of digitized material is significantly hampered by poor output from Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. When first scanned, the pages of digitized books and journals are merely image files, making the pages unsearchable and virtually unusable. Smorball presents players with phrases from scanned pages from cultural heritage institutions. After much verification, the words players type are sent to the libraries that store the corresponding pages, allowing those pages to be searched and data mined and ultimately making historic literature more usable for institutions, scholars, educators, and the public.

Play Smorball and help save scanned books from digital oblivion!