And Or Not? Information Retrieval Game


And Or Not is a platform game for handheld devices and browsers. Currently supported operating systems are Mac OS X, Windows OS, Android and iPhone. The game lets players choose the character of a boy student boy or a girl student. After that the professor will give a subject and the mission is to find the correct books from the shelves. The player has to use common Boolean operators familiar from most search engines in order to find the right publications in time.

How to play the game:

  1. Choose a character
  2. Perform searches according to the keywords given by the (slightly crazy) professor
  3. The search result will make some of the books flash and sparkle. Now you can control your character and jump from one shelf to another and search for the right book(s). Try to avoid a decane (an obscure half-chemical moving obstacle) on the way
  4. The faster your searches are, the more points you get
  5. A new level will start and the game will go on until you complete 10 searches or the time runs out

The game includes a small database of real and imaginary books, their writers, publishers and subjects. The actual book contents are not in the game files, only their meta-data. The data has been copied, with permission, from the Savonia University meta-data databases. The imaginary books are just made up for the game. The possible Boolean operators are: And, Or, Not. The professor is very unlikely to repeat any of the previous search missions. This means that the game changes constantly, which makes the searches more dynamic and fun.

Finity Games is a small start-up gaming and media arts company. So far it has released two titles and if all goes well, there will be two more this year. The And Or Not game was commissioned by Savonia Unversity of Applied Sciences in order to provide a fun way to learn the use of Boolean functions. The game will participate in the IFLA conference held in Helsinki in August 2012.


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