Acrophobia is an online multiplayer word game. The game was originally conceived by Anthony Shubert and programmed by Kenrick Mock (aka Mach) and Michelle Hoyle (aka Eingang) in 1995. Originally available over Internet Relay Chat, the game has since been developed into a number of variants: as a download, playable through a browser, via Twitter or on Facebook.
Acrophobia has similarities to the board game "Acronymble," which came on the market in 1991 and is produced by Acronymwits Inc. Acronymble works almost exactly like Acrophobia, but with the added twist of sometimes giving players all same letters to work with (e.g. 6 G's) and at other times allowing players to use their own words (e.g. using a 5 letter word that begins with "P") as the basis for their acronym.
Players enter a channel hosted by a bot which runs the game. In each round, the bot generates a random acronym. Players compete by racing to create the most coherent or humorous sentence that fits the acronym - in essence, a backronym. After a set amount of time expires, each player then votes anonymously via the bot for their favorite answer (aside from their own).
Points are awarded to the most popular backronym. Bonus points may be also be given based on the fastest response and for voting for the winning option. Some implementations give the speed bonus to the player with the first answer that received at least one vote; this is to discourage players from quickly entering gibberish just to be the first. Bonus points for voting for the winner helps discourage players from intentionally voting for poor answers to avoid giving votes to answers that might beat their own.
Usually, nonsense backronyms will score low and the most humorous sounding backronym which effectively makes a sentence from the initials will win. Some rounds may have a specific topic that the answers should fit, although enforcement of the topic depends on solely on the other players' willingness to vote for off-topic answers.
- ↑ Just the FAQs: Acrophobia(TM) (2002-11-25). Retrieved on 2006-12-23
- ↑ Chat Games: Alphabet Soup. Talk City (2006). Retrieved on 2006-12-23