Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Scratchcard players can't compare negative numbers

Good grief.

The scary thing is that this story is completely plausible:

"A LOTTERY scratchcard has been withdrawn from sale by Camelot - because players couldn't understand it.
The Cool Cash game - launched on Monday - was taken out of shops yesterday after some players failed to grasp whether or not they had won.

To qualify for a prize, users had to scratch away a window to reveal a temperature lower than the figure displayed on each card. As the game had a winter theme, the temperature was usually below freezing.

But the concept of comparing negative numbers proved too difficult for some Camelot received dozens of complaints on the first day from players who could not understand how, for example, -5 is higher than -6."

If some people are so numerically challenged that even a scratchcard proves beyond them, then that has to be an opportunity here... I just don't know what it is.

via Chicken Yoghurt


Darren said...

Are you sure about that?

-6 is colder than -5, so if it was a measure of coldness you would be right in saying -6 is higher than -5. If something was styled with a winter theme I could see how people might be tricked into thinking a lower temperature was higher. I've confused myself now.

Richard Brown said...

Don't confuse me with your negative number withcraft!!!

I find it hard enough describing the situation as it is... :-p