Just how good a judge of others do you think you are?

New FaceBook game gets users to judge how well they know one another

Today Wednesday 13 April 2011 Sheffield Indie Rattle is pleased to announce the beta launch of their new Facebook game Mr Fante’s Games of Judgement– a game which taps into our compulsion to judge others with a look and feel of Victoriana freak show fair ground.

Stemming from the very premise which gave rise to Facebook in the first place, Mr Fante’s Games of Judgement gets players judging one another to see how well they think they know someone from first impressions. Funded by Channel 4’s digital investment fund and Screen Yorkshire, and with backing from Facebook, Mr Fante’s Games of Judgement is a series of mini games, which test how good your first impressions are and unveil what first impressions people have of you. 

"This is our very first game,” says Rattle’s Head of Research, James Boardwell,“it brings together two of our core strands: building brilliant things with data and creating experiences to engage people. We've done heaps of cutting edge stuff for the BBC, Channel 4, Umbro, INQ Mobile and the Science Museum and now this our chance to take some of that learning and put it into a fun game."

Experimental psychologist and advisor on the game Tom Stafford says; "Although this is not an experiment, the game has the potential to reveal surprising psychological facts. We're all exquisitely tuned to the social information available in people's faces, and have learnt by experience of the thousands of people we've met to have certain expectations of them. This game will show us exactly how sensitive we are, and whether we have any blindspots for particular kinds of people or groups".

Each mini game is based on people’s ability to close read different things: age, relationships, education, jobs and interests. The first four to launch in beta are sexuality game Spot the Straight, relationship status game Single or Taken?, Older or Younger?, and People Like You.

Players can opt to put themselves in the game to see how people judge them. As a reward Mr Fante presents the player with information in the form of cards about how people have judged you...

How many times have you been played today?

Press contact

Rebecca Ladbury

Ladbury PR


0208 969 3934 / 07941 224 975

Pavla Kopecna

Ladbury PR


0208 969 3934 / 07702 805 887

Notes to editors

Background to Mr Fante’s Games of Judgement

The idea for the game stemmed from the work of teacher Jane Ellis who carried out a study in the 1960s that revealed how teachers could judge the success of their pupils from their eye colour. This went on to form a long line of research looking at how people discriminate against one another. More recently the work of Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blink documented evidence that humans tend to make decisions in a split second, including potential partners, class, age and interests. Humans naturally pigeonhole people and the closer these people are to our own experiences, any kind of judgement is likely to be correct.

Advisors to Mr Fante’s House of Judgement

Prof. Danny Dorling, Professor of Human Geography

Sheffield University

Research interest: Trying to understand and map the changing social, political and medical geographies of Britain and further afield, concentrating on social and spatial inequalities to life chances and how these may be narrowed.

Professor Dorling says of the game, "Since the late‘60s we have know that how people appear, and others’ prejudices over their appearance, alters life chances in profound ways. Last year we learnt that school teachers in Britain estimated lower marks for pupils they thought of as belonging to one type of group rather than another by how they look. We know looks matter when it comes to who you meet, the kinds of jobs people get who are of otherwise very similar qualifications, and we know we are becoming more and more concerned with how we appear over time. What is superficial, has grown in importance, so it is interesting to see how much people think they can judge on first impressions."

Dr. Tom Stafford

Sheffield University

Research interest: The selection of actions. Neural circuits, which resolve the biological problem of 'action selection', have relevance to human cognitive behaviour.

Tom Stafford is an experimental psychology at the University of Sheffield. His research focuses on the fundamental mechanisms of learning and decision-making. He is the author of "Mind Hacks: Tips and Tools for Using Your Brain" and "The Rough Guide Book of Brain Training". His most recent popular work is an ebook about the psychologies of stories and morality called "The Narrative Escape".

About Rattle

Rattle is a team of five people who design products and services that use data and the Internet in interesting ways. Rattle is based in Sheffield, within running distance of the Peak District National Park. Clients approach Rattle to innovate around their existing business, producing things like applications, games, prototypes and sometimes hardware to engage audiences or create efficiencies.

From engaging audiences with Umbro’s Terrace Tweets, extracting value from data with the BBC’s Channelography a tool that mines TV subtitle data and extracts notable mentions of people, places and objects, to creating concepts and prototypes for products and services– Rattle helped the BBC with concepts for online products for the landmark series A History of the World in 100 Objects.


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