The Google Snake Game


Here's a party game which needs nothing but a working internet connection (say, a notebook or cell phone), and Google.com's web search. The goal is to create the longest phrase that Google can find by alternately adding one word to the end of the other player's search phrase. Say, the first person starts with "Feelings". Now the second person adds a word, "are", so we get "Feelings are"... (Note the use of quotation marks in the search query.)

Now every time a word is added, the phrase is searched for in Google, and the resulting page count is announced to the group. The one person who creates a sentence with zero results in Google loses and has to do something silly (or if you want to play with points, he loses a point, and the last person who created a sentence with results in Google will win a point). To prevent cheating, the one whose turn is next is not allowed to look at any search result snippet.

Let's take our sample, and see what we get:

Peter: "Feelings" (53,200,000 results in Google)
Mary: "Feelings are" (2,100,000 results)
Jake: "Feelings are nothing" (1,090 results)
Susan: "Feelings are nothing and" (19 results)
Peter: "Feelings are nothing and we" (0 results)

Susan gets 1 point, and Peter gets minus 1 points (or has to do something silly).

If you create too obscure a sentence there won't be any results and you will lose, but if your sentence gets too many results, your opponent will also be able to create a sentence with results.  The basic strategy is to try to create sentences so silly that there are only a few results, but not so silly there are no results…