Holy $#*!, they’re playing it??

Imitation of Carl
A German-speaking Web show host imitates Carl from Turdhead.com’s “Guess Which Hand” game in this video roundup of Web anomalies today. Thanks www.ehrensenf.de, ailment although we have no idea what you’re saying.

You never know how people are going to respond to things you post on the internet. Last week, stuff I was running behind and fretting about what to do for a February Flash game (I’m bound by the Law of New Years to post at least one each month), and I jokingly told one of my coworkers, “At this rate, ‘Find the Fish’ or ‘Guess which hand?’ is starting to sound good enough.” Fast forward a few days, and suddenly “Guess Which Hand?” (admittedly, still a dumb idea) was a reality. It took about six hours to complete start-to-finish.

So I posted “Guess Which Hand” featuring “Carl the Bus Stop Guy” just before midnight on Feb. 28 and faded off to sleep, ashamed but satisfied that I’d made my deadline. I didn’t bother announcing it or notifying any of the usual weblog aggregators of its existence.

The next morning, Carl had set a record for “least visited post on Turdhead… ever.” In fact, only 18 people had bothered to come check out Carl’s lonely game during the night. So I felt bad for him, and dropped a note on MilkandCookies.com announcing his arrival.

A day later, the logs looked healthier, but lackluster — as could be expected, Carl was getting about 1/2 the traffic January’s game, Cosmic Bounce, had seen from a similar link. And perhaps also as expected, the reviews on MilkandCookies ranged from “Total crap” to “Whatever.”

But then something happened. Something amazing. Something that forced me to buy more bandwidth access and question my very existence.

The Earth turned during the night, and Europeans apparently woke up on March 3 with a newfound passion for Carl and his “Guess Which hand” antics. Among other appearances, he showed up on a German Web show and in the UK’s B3TA newsletter, and suddenly a star was born.

As of noon today, Carl’s post has been visited more than any other post on Turdhead (including the previous unlikely record holder, the geekish “ActionScript Jabberwocky”). In the past few hours, about 2,300 people have managed to take Carl’s money and quit while they’re ahead; the rest have walked away penniless.

This morning, I had to move “Guess Which Hand” to its own server to keep Carl’s dubious popularity from shutting us both down. Carl is bigger than David Hasselhoff… at least for today. But still, he hasn’t given away more than $2.50 in imaginary quarters to any one visitor.

Someday, maybe I’ll learn to understand these internets…

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4 thoughts on “Holy $#*!, they’re playing it??”

  1. The german web host (Katrin) says at the end: “That was ‘ehrensenf’, I’m Katrin – bye !” then plays “Guess which hand” with herself, loses and yells “Oh, damned”. While showing Carl doing the game she describes it and assumes that Carl is cheating.

    “ehrensenf” is the name of the show and an anagram of “Fernsehen” (which means “television”). “ehren senf” isn’t a real word, but the direct translation is “honour mustard”. It should be seen as “tv but differently”.

  2. Thanks, Andreas! But Carl, cheat? Never! Truth is, players have a 50/50 chance throughout the game. I’m amazed somebody’s made it to $2.50 already — that’s 10 correct guesses before VOLUNTARILY quitting while ahead. That takes nerve.

  3. I can vouch for Carl…or I should say Vito. I saw him put Hand together, and no, Carl does not cheat; it really is a totally random, 50/50 chance.

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