When typeracer.com, the world’s first real-time multiplayer typing game, went online all the way back in March, 2008 (remember this blog post?), we didn’t yet have a way to save your score. This capability was introduced on August 8, 2008, and today marks exactly 4 years since the very first user accounts were created and the first races were recorded in our database.
I want to wish a happy 4-year anniversary to valikor, bryans, and bob_bongloaded, and everyone else who signed up on the first day! Almost a million users have joined since then and over 38 million races have been recorded in typeracer history.
Your Badge of Merit
To commemorate your dedication to typeracing and to say thanks for 4 years of patronage, I spent a good portion of the summer creating these merit badges for everyone.
The badge is an image URL that you can publish anywhere on the web, put on your resume/CV, or even email to your parents! It will display your latest stats and will be updated automatically each time you finish a race. This badge is your official score card and typing certificate, signed by typeracer.com.
Here is the badge for bryans, for example:
For best results, you can publish your badge using an HTML code snippet that links to your profile. You can see your badge and get your code right now by visiting your profile page.
New Avatars For Everyone
We’re also celebrating with 10 new racing avatars and giving everyone, not just premium members, an opportunity to use them for a month. Just go to your profile page and choose any one of the 25 ”cool avatars” to add a personalized touch to your typeracing. New avatars for everyone!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 15 so far )
Merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah!
This year Santa Claus brings presents for everyone who supported TypeRacer by upgrading to a premium membership. All of you nice people get to choose from a brand new set of 15 “cool” avatars for your racing pleasure!
This collection will be gradually expanded throughout 2012, so this holiday season, please consider giving TypeRacer a gift of your premium patronage and we’ll make you look cool while you’re racing and improving your typing.
Santa also has something in store for the naughty ones who haven’t upgraded yet. If you don’t have a cool avatar, TypeRacer selects a randomly-colored VW Beetle icon to represent you in each race, but starting today, you can choose the color you like best.
Just update your profile to select one of the cool or standard avatars. Happy holidays!
Holiday balloon art courtesy of Zoran Markovic.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 13 so far )
You just got a new opponent on typeracer.com. It’s one of the toughest you’ll ever face – relentless and untiring, this opponent is…
Ghost Racing is the new practice option on typeracer that lets you race against yourself! When you click on the ghost icon (labeled “Do over?”) at the end of a race, you will be placed in a practice racetrack where you’ll be racing against your own shadow on the same text you’ve just finished typing. Your shadow opponent is a computer controlled bot called a “ghost racer,” who will be simulating you. This bot will type exactly what you typed the last time around at exactly the same speed, down to every mistake, speed-up and slow-down! If you defeat your ghost you can start over against a new ghost representing the new, faster, version of yourself (using the “Do over?” button again). Or, if you’ve been defeated by your ghost, the option labeled “Try Again” lets you race the same ghost again. You can repeat this process over and over again, hopefully improving a little every time.
All ghost races take place in the new Practice Racetrack, which brings us to the second major announcement: the results of practice races will no longer be counted against your average or entered in your score history. It just made sense to make the single-player practice option unofficial. And for ghost racing, not counting scores removes the incentive for typing the same text over and over again as a way of unfairly boosting one’s average and leaderboard position. However, if you really want to save your practice scores, you can upgrade to a premium account, and have the option to save up to 2 scores for each text per day (this limit is in place for the same reason).
I hope you will enjoy ghost racing and not hate the practice-related changes.
Looking forward to everyone’s feedback in the comments!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 40 so far )
|Today we’re launching a huge addition to TypeRacer! The Pit Stop is the new social and informational area of typeracer.com. It’s a place where you can take a break from typeracing to get to know your competitors and let them get to know you.|
Here is an overview of the specific new features:
Each racer now has a public profile page, which you can view and edit here. Your profile displays all your racing stats, and you can additionally fill out your personal information section to tell others where you live and what kind of keyboard you use.
Most importantly, if you have a premium account, you can now upload a profile picture, which will appear on your popup scorecard during races. And you can also fill out an extended “About Me” section where you can write anything you want to share with the rest of the typeracer community (such as links to your website, blog, Twitter account, Facebook profile, etc.)
Seeing how our typing measures up with our friends was one of the cool things about the old TypeRacer Facebook app. Now you can have friends right on TypeRacer!
When you come across the profile of a racer you’d like to be friends with, you can send them a friend request right from their profile.
Of course the best friends are those you already have. You can invite your real friends by entering their email addresses into the friend finder box on the Friends page. Or you can just grab a link to your TypeRacer profile and publish it to your Facebook stream or Twitter feed so that your friends who use TypeRacer can easily find you.
One of the most-requested features for TypeRacer has been to have a way to communicate with other racers. Now you can send a private message to anyone who has a TypeRacer account. Premium account holders can send messages to anyone else. Basic account holders can only send messages to their friends, but everyone can reply to all messages. These restrictions are in place to cut down on spam.
The scorecard popups on TypeRacer have been updated to let you quickly check out people’s profiles and send them messages. Just right-click on someone’s name while you’re racing to bring up this menu.
We invite you to head over to the Pit Stop and meet your competitors!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 17 so far )
athletics (noun): competitive activities such as sports and games requiring stamina, fitness, and skill. — wiktionary.org
Over the past three years, TypeRacer has been a fun, even addictive, virtual world for personal development and sportive competition, visited by thousands of people every day. Although I like to think that my selection of funny and interesting texts for typing had something to do with TypeRacer’s success, the athletics of typing is really the main ingredient that keeps people coming back to the site. It’s fun to to compete against people from all over the world in typing, a vital, everyday skill, and it’s rewarding to see the improvement in your focus, stamina, and dexterity.
There is also a lot of potential in TypeRacer as a medium for learning new information and I believe that a community effort to create new sections (“universes”) within typeracer.com is the way to unlock that potential.
The technology for creating specialized new collections of texts on any topic is already in place. Last year we launched a number of new TypeRacer Universes (one for accuracy and fifty for different languages). If you are not yet among the twenty six thousand people who have already tried racing in another universe, let me explain:
A Typeracer Universe is a distinct version of the typeracer.com website which is accessed through its own unique URL such as (http://play.typeracer.com/universe/code). It has all of the same functionality, but with a distinct set of texts and stats (the high scores will represent only the races completed in that universe).
A small group of us, including David Pritts (famous for appearing in the TypeRacer walkthrough video as well as being able to comfortably type 140 wpm), and a number of school teachers, have been experimenting with this new medium since last summer. David designed two new universes: one for learning SAT vocabulary and another consisting of only the easy texts from the standard rotation (which might be a hit with our “race selectors”). Meanwhile, the teachers have been successfully using their private universes to teach their students.
With this technology ready to be put to wider use, I need your help to unlock its full potential. Let’s build some new universes this year! We could have universes that teach history, science, languages, and just about anything else. At the same time, we could create universes with different themes just for fun. Please submit your ideas!
- texts with only lowercase letters and no punctuation (for devices like the iPad)
- real texts in a different language (it’s not hard to do better than our machine translations!)
- quotes from your favorite book
- jokes / humor
- typing code in your favorite programming language
- subjects like history, law, biology, physics, classic literature, etc.
Please tell us about any category of texts that you would enjoy typing or learning. Some universes could become powerful learning tools for various subjects while others could exist just for fun.
How to participate:
Please submit your ideas as comments on this blog post and vote for ideas submitted by others (using the thumbs up/down buttons). If your idea is chosen, you will get a free TypeRacer Admin account, which will let you create and maintain a new TypeRacer Universe. Or, if you see an idea that you like, you could volunteer to help create that universe.
Creating your own universe with an admin account is simple: just enter your new texts or choose from a list of existing texts (take a look at the screenshots).
If you’re submitting an idea or an offer to help, please don’t forget to mention your typeracer.com username so we can contact you later.
I look forward to hearing from all of you!
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The only limits are the limits of your imagination. Dream up the kind of world you want to live in. Dream out loud. — Bono
If Chrome is your browser of choice (quite a few megaracers would argue that it lets you achieve the best WPMs), I’m happy to announce the release of the TypeRacer Chrome App!
Like most Chrome apps, it’s basically just a fancy bookmark, but in the future it might be able to take advantage of Chrome’s more powerful features like notifications and geolocation.
A chart of your entire race history is now available on typeracer in the My Scores section! If you’ve completed less than 100 races it plots your scores directly, otherwise it plots your averages at evenly spaced intervals between your first and last race. The new chart replaces the old “last 50″ chart.
As you may recall, earlier this year we published a graph of the average WPM improvement vs. number of races finished (link). Now you can see how your graph compares to those averages!
Are you impressed / surprised / disappointed by your progress? You can leave a comment with your chart URL here to share it with everyone and get feedback. To get the URL, right click on your chart and select “Copy Image Location” (the text of this option might be different depending on your browser).
Exporting your data to CSV
Now you can also download all of your scores in one large CSV file! Many of you have been asking for this option for a long time, and I’m happy to say it’s finally available. This is an experimental feature and requires a premium subscription for now.
The contents of the CSV file will look like this:
Race #,WPM,Rank,# Racers,Text ID,Date/Time (UTC) 1,49,1,4,5,2008-07-27 21:49:17 2,60,1,4,130,2008-07-27 21:50:57 3,37,3,3,108,2008-07-27 21:54:52 ...
Click here to download your data.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 23 so far )
Starting today, everyone’s scorecard will have a new statistic: Experience Level. Experience levels range from Typist 0 to Typist 9 are based on the number of races of you’ve finished. A corresponding icon will appear next to your name to award your achievement and to let your opponents know at a glance how experienced you are.
Also starting today, you can upgrade to a premium account! As a premium member, you will help us pay for future improvements and your scorecard will display the cooler Racer icons for your experience level so everyone knows you’re serious about typeracing. More premium-only features will be introduced in the future. Please show your support for TypeRacer and upgrade your account today!
Then “Like” TypeRacer on Facebook and spread the word! We’ve added a new “Like” button under the main menu. When you use it, your Facebook friends will get a news feed saying that you like typeracer.com and hopefully you will have more friends to race against as a result!
In other news, we’ve added lots of new texts from songs, movies, and books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan and Urban Tribes: A Generation Redefines Friendship, Family, and Commitment by Ethan Watters. The latter describes living in one of the most unique cities in the word. Here’s a little excerpt:
“To drive out of the Central Valley of California on a hot day and into San Francisco is to feel like you’re landing on another planet. Over our two-hour drive, the temperature went from nearly a hundred to the middle sixties. The visual disparity was as dramatic. On one side of the bay was a day so bright you’d have to squint with the visor down and your sunglasses on. Halfway across the Bay Bridge the fog enveloped us, whipping in strands through the rusted girders. As we crossed into the fig, it didn’t seem possible that two such environments could exist side by side.”
Lastly, the Fastest Typists section now remembers each record-holder’s country of origin. So if you’re fast (or persistent) enough to have your name up there, get your country’s flag displayed by doing another race. Let’s see which country is home to the fastest typists in the world!
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