The Eyeballing Game - Still Going Strong
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Want to see a couple hours vanish from your day? If you haven't gone down this path already, give the Eyeballing Game a try. This seemingly simple game was hatched in the mind of Matthias Wandel, a prolific woodworker with a talent for mechanics and mathematics. Thanks to his efforts, anyone can test their abilities in common, woodworking-related "eyeball" measurements any time they'd like. The rules are easy to master. Through a series of screens, players are challenged with common eyeballing tasks, including finding the midpoint of a line segment, pinpointing the center of a circle and judging a perfect 90 degree angle. Piece of cake, right? Well...

The Eyeballing Game has been around for a while. We thought the excitement might have died down by now. Apparently not. Judging by the number of new scores that keep rolling in, it's alive, well and keeping woodworkers everywhere pasted to their computers for hours on end. So, even though we've been warned against the game's addictive properties, we had to give it a shot.

Our conclusion:

1) Everything they say about the Eyeballing Game's addictiveness is absolutely, positively, certifiably 100-percent true. Approach with CAUTION. For some reason, facing down the impulse to give it "just one more try" can take hero-class mettle.

2) On a more practical note, the results of our carefully controlled scientific in-house study suggest that players tend to improve with practice. So, this could be an excellent opportunity to hone skills that any woodworker can use, without creating pile of unplanned scrap wood in the process.

3) The Eyeballing Game is a very clever invention.

The game keeps track to players' accuracy "scores". Even though the Eyeballing Game is nowhere billed as a competitive sport, it's hard not to check stats on how you stack up with top players from the most recent 10,000 games. We understand that around 4.00 is about average, so don't feel discouraged if you don't find yourself vying for numero uno with "Hawkeye" on your first try.

Is the Eyeballing Game a valuable tool for anyone interested in fine-tuning their spatial skills, or a demon, laying in wait to drain valuable shop time from an unsuspecting woodworker's day? The truth lies somewhere in between, we suspect - but really can't decide. It may require further research. When you've got a little free time on your hands, give it a try. As soon as you can tear yourself away, let us know what you think.

posted on March 20, 2009 by Kim Adams