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Terms and Conditions Game (termsandconditions.game)
534 points by Clewza313 36 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 110 comments

If you like this kind of thing, I suggest taking the “Cluss Test”: https://absentprof.missouristate.edu/Assets/WritingCenter/Cl...

People who take a lot of multiple-choice tests have learned all the tricks, and can probably get 100%.

BTW, Evil Corp did not fool me:

We attempted to access your data 29 times

Unfortunately, we were unable to access any of it.

That's better than 99% of players

You took 424.41 seconds to complete the game

That's faster than 10% of players

You did particularly well with speedy questions

I’m not sure to be proud of this, or to be ashamed of the state of the world which has trained me to do this well.

And if you enjoyed the Cluss Test, you might like http://www.ifwiki.org/index.php/The_Gostak.

To game author(s):

> That's faster than 10% of players

This metric is useless without quantifying it. Is he faster than 10% of players who also kept their data unaccessible (only this metric is useful), or is that compared to all players (this isn't useful)? Also, hope "players" is really players and not games played.

Where are the correct answers for the Cluss test?

Searching for "cluss test" I've found those slides with many of the answers and the reasons behind them: https://www.uthsc.edu/sassi/documents/test-taking-active.pdf

The correct answers for this test are:


(answers in rot-13)

1. N 2. O 3. P 4. Q 5. N 6. O 7. P 8. Q

Is the answer to question 8 simply due to the pattern of the other answers?


"Featured in The Guardian" [1]

The funny thing is, when you click it (top left corner), you get to The Guardian web page that asks whether you want to accept cookies.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/may/17/can-you-solv...

I never interact with those. If they get in the way of reading something I fix it with the DOM inspector (by hiding, not deleting them. In case javascript is looking for the presence of the element.)

This has more than tripled the amount of time it takes to read an answer from stack overflow but I refuse to do something just because of a bad GUI.

uBlock Origin has a handy filter under "annoyances" that seems to clear out several of these. Not perfect, but it helps.

I'm still baffled at the way this was rolled out. Why are we putting the requirement on website authors, and not browser vendors? There's a lot fewer of those to regulate.

> Why are we putting the requirement on website authors, and not browser vendors?

Because the website authors are the ones misbehaving. Why would the browser vendors pay the price?

I'm in complete support for punishing any abuse of market position from the browser vendors too, but that's not the answer you seek. Anyway, the correct course of action is to punish the website authors further for using those anti-patterns.

I find the reader-mode (I think it is called?) in firefox to be great at doing this for me :)

> To opt out of opting in to receive marketing alerts avoid not clicking Yes

This one got me pretty good.

I processed it backwards:

1. not clicking Yes -> clicking No

2. avoid clicking No -> click Yes

3. To opt out of opting in -> To opt out of

=> To opt out of receiving alerts click Yes.

Steps 1 and 2 are both dubious for the same reason

Often “yes” and “no” are a false dichotomy.

I just turned my brain off and apparently my subconscious was good enough to pick correct.

That, or I was just lucky.

I think this was one of the two that I missed. The timer was running out so I panicked and just made my best guess!

huh I found this one to be pretty straightforward

"to opt out of opting in" -> ok so just "to opt out"

avoid not clicking yes -> double negative so "click yes"

the dependent logic statements like "none of the above are true" on the other hand..

Was the hardest for me.

This game definitely messed me up. I checked out the "Home gardening" [0] submission right after playing the game and was thinking about which links I may click there for longer than I should have.

[0] http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/

The "choose a country to agree to the terms and conditions" should have an alternative answer - let the timer run out! I was really smug about answering that one until it marked it as incorrect.

Well they all require active consent so then letting the timer run out would have to be a right answer on all of them.

One of them constructed themselves as an opt out, that required you to click yes in order to opt out.

The way I read it, a timer expiration on that one would have opted you in

Doesn't matter what the text says, if you're from EU, opting you in without your explicit consent would be illegal.

Sure, but:

A) It's a satire game, so the rules of the game may not perfectly align with the laws of the EU.

B) I'm not from the EU, so who knows, that shit might be just fine in my jurisdiction. We'd have to put it in front of a judge to find out. I'm guessing it wouldn't fly, but I've seen the United States Courts come to stupider conclusions.

The only winning move is not to play - oddly apt for some of the EvilCorp sites!

Haha I now wish there were stats for “25 people immediately closed the window so we got 0 information”

What a stressful game. Thank God there are no timers in real life terms and conditions.

> no timers in real life terms and conditions

I’m not sure whether you’re being serious about this or not. But I’ve come across distressingly many cases where they’ll expire your session (and probably without telling you) long before you’d have time to actually read the full T&Cs they require you to theoretically accept.

"Theoretically" being the keyword.

"By using this website, you agree..." How can I read their silly terms of conditions if I must use their website in order to even obtain a copy?

The truth is these people are going to do whatever they want regardless of how anyone feels about it and they won't care until they get fined out of existence.

It’s more things like purchasing something that requires ToS acceptance, but they expire your entire session after ten minutes (think airlines as an example where this is almost reasonable), but they have far more than ten minutes’ worth of ToS for you to read.

I say “theoretically” because most jurisdictions have steadily headed in the direction of ignoring consumer-grade terms of service and EULAs, to the point of only considering terms that a reasonable person would expect to find there to be enforceable, since culturally it’s reached the point where it’s understood that no one reads them.

If I take too long with stuff like this I get yelled at by either my GF or a coworker.

Its like trying to not sign up for Amazon Prime

And also like trying to find the subscription and cancel it after you've been billed.

I cancelled the other and day there were 3 pages asking "Are you sure, maybe you want us to just leave it alone and check back closer to your renewal date" in different ways

> Why do they show it every time?

I assume if the user chooses “strictly necessary cookies”, SO saves as little data as possible, and they decide to not save that choice.

Obviously the UX is terrible for the user concerned about privacy.

One option that for now still works is to hide the popup with an external tool like uBlock Origin.

> I assume if the user chooses “strictly necessary cookies”, SO saves as little data as possible, and they decide to not save that choice.

This feels like malicious compliance. Storing an "Opt out: Yes" cookie is clearly not personal data requiring consent, but not storing it makes the opt out experience more frustrating than opt in which I suspect is the real point.

Yea, I’ve just decided to use Stack Overflow as minimally as possible since they clearly made an explicit choice to be user hostile here.

Until they'll start drawing web sites on canvas with webassembly.

Is this really something that's likely to happen?

Google Docs just announced their intention to do exactly that.

To bad the cookie for only strictly necessary cookies is not strictly necessary.

Tick for permission to fill up localstorage with crap

They actually show it only once per StackExchange site, it's just that there are quite a few of those now. And the settings can be changed from a link in the footer. All in all, probably the best they could do without eschewing tracking altogether, in my opinion.

> probably the best they could do without eschewing tracking altogether

Why can't they just do that?

I use the "I don't care about cookies" chrome ext and it has made my life better. But I guess using that extension you are kinda accepting all cookies.

Hey - co-creator here.

Bit of background:

Every website now greats you with a plethora of pop-ups; Cookie permission, GDPR consent, newsletters, notifications. We’re all becoming unwilling experts at quickly clicking the right clicks (and crossing our fingers we didn’t give away anything too important).

I thought it would be fun to try and make a game out of it.

Puzzles are inspired by (or outright stolen) from real dark patterns that companies are using right now.

I worked with puzzle writer Alex Bellos to help create the pop-up-puzzles. Three of the challenges are featured today in his Guardian column. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/may/17/can-you-solv...

Thanks darkpatterns.org, reddit.com/r/darkpatterns, webtransparency.cs.princeton.edu/dark-patterns/ and of course HN for all the inspiration!

Also a shout out to plausible.io which I used for web analytics since we couldn’t really have a cookie consent banner on our own site.

Idea for another dialog:

A number of buttons and a somewhat complicated description that says that any of the shown buttons would decline the terms but the innocuous close button in the corner of the dialog would accept them. This might catch people who think to have found a shortcut in this close button over having to actually decide which button might be the correct one.

I'm impressed at how fast other people are. On my first playthrough I was ~40 percentile for speed. Even on my second I was only ~52 percentile and that was when I knew the answers! I finally just went through a third time and clicked the buttons barely bothering to read and got 94 percentile.

Either others are fast or I am slow or people who quit early contribute to the duration stats. (Or some combination).

Fun game!

This is fantastic satire. Pretty warped little world we've created for ourselves.

IDK why exactly, but the sphinx question literally made me lol. There's a very weird confluence to this.

Maybe this has all happened before.

Loved the mini puzzle games. Unfortunately question 27 is basically impossible on mobile devices, I spent way too long on that.

All of the questions were possible for me on mobile. There was just one question where you had to press and hold if you were on mobile and you can't know to do that unless you've played it at least once already.

Do you remember which one that was?

Just checked for you and it's 27

It's a game with a lot of trick questions. These are the ones I got wrong the first time around.

11: To opt out of opting in to receive marketing alerts avoid not clicking Yes

14: Select the next square in the sequence

20: We would like to send you notifications. Do you disagree to receiving them?

25: (I still can't get this one!)

Select the one truthful statement to opt out of cookies.

All the statements below are true.

None of the statements below are true.

None of the statements above are true.

Thanks for visiting Evil Corp We attempted to access your data 29 times and you were kind enough to give it to us 4 times. That's better than 73% of players You took 351.52 seconds to complete the game That's faster than 23% of players You did particularly well with speedy questions Thanks for playing Terms And Conditions Apply Please share with friends so we can extract their data* *Disclaimer: Game does not extract real data


It's the third option for question 25! You know there can only be one answer right and the only answer that leaves just one possibility is the third one.

It also seems you have a hard time responding to inverted questions. Just like in logic I try to invert the meaning. If you invert the meaning of the sentence, you also want to invert the answer. Let's say we inverted disagree into agree in question 20. The question would then become: Do you agree to receiving them?

The answer would be no. If you then invert the question back the answer would be yes.

#25: Answer 1 and 2 are mutually exclusive, so both are false. That makes answer 3 the correct one.

Why not F/T/F? I mean, both F/T/F and F/F/T are consistent states.

Good point. I think it depends if the word "below" refers to all statements below the headline or only the statements below the corresponding statement.

I also insist that the second answer choice is valid. Glad to see I'm not the only one.

"Would you like to not receive our newsletter?" - Super interesting.

Not sure if any real site actually writes so.

This is awesome. We made a game in a related vein:


That seems like the opposite game to me, I couldn't proceed without agreeing to provide personal information.

I think I'm missing something on this question:

> Answer very, very carefully. Do you agree to the terms & conditions?

I think you want to click "No", but it's telling me that the correct answer is to click "Yes".

You do want to click No. Are you sure that is what you clicked... or was it just what you hovered over before clicking?

That must be it. I was doing this on a mobile device where there is no "hover" action.

That question is broken on mobile then

This is brilliantly real.

I LOLed at several points, including the “pick the next square in the sequence” and the checkbox mini-game.

This was fun! I gave my data 2 times, questions 6 and 10 bit me. 6 because I only asked the wrong assistant and moved on, 10 because it got me really confused. The question didn't mention if true or false would opt-out, so I wonder if an accurate decision can be made with the information provided.

For #10, both buttons say the black button is opt out. Since the question says at most one is true, they're both false and white is opt out.

You can actually solve that problem by asking just one assistant "What will the other assistant say?"

If you're asking the truthful assistant, then it'll correctly tell you that the other assistant will point at the wrong answer.

If you're asking the untruthful assistant, it'll lie and say that the other assistant will point at the wrong answer.

I found this question poorly worded, because you can only ask "What would the other assistant tell me to do". I assumed both would try to tell me to agree to the terms. Not what would they tell me to do if I asked them how to opt out.

In the one with the two assistants - “What would the other one tell me to click” - they said it was the white button (meaning they’d really want you to press the blue one). But the white button was ‘incorrect’. Surely the assistant would want you to accept the terms no?

Really fun, enjoyed it. Hopefully it won't become an inspiration for real evil corps out there.

I think the point of the game is that it took its cues from real evil corps out there. Of course it's a little bit overblown, but really only a little bit.

Fun little game. I was actually wondering today, is there a good website out there that parodies modern webpages really well, with “please subscribe for updates”, little prompts from bots to chat, and other things like that?

Is Firefox/Brave/etc working on a Browser API for these prompts? So users can opt-in or opt-out en masse? I'm guessing Chrome isn't for obvious reasons. The internet is broken right now

What's the trick to 28?

Do it, and if it doesn't pass, flip on 3 and do it again? 29 is harder; the trick there is to wait for it to finish spinning before trying the next possible combo; it usually finishes spinning in the same position that it started in

Hey - co-creator here. There's a great explanation for this in the Guardian column that features some of the questions. This is my favourite question because it's really hard, but once you get the explanation it's very satisfying!


I totally don't get Question 28. If I keep retrying it I can get it right sometimes by clicking the I Feel Lucky button really quickly, but I can't discern any pattern. "Almost done! Set this toggle to the ‘on’ position and hit 'I'm feeling lucky' to opt out of Cookies. If you are incorrect, the toggle will spin." What's the explanation to this one?

Do you know why it tells me it "tried to access my data 28 times" but won't let me retry the extra question I failed or tell me which one it was? There are 29 in total, no?


Good question! Will investigate!

The group of 5 checkboxes doesn't appear to show up on firefox 88.01/linux.

Works fine for me.

It didn’t for me. Mobile Safari. Also the question where yes and no switch, I have to select yes because of input lag.

Easiest thing was to look at the class name applied to the element.

How do you solve question 8 aka "Untick all checkboxes to reject Terms and Conditions. When you tap on a checkbox, all the checkboxes change status apart from the one you tapped"?

Memorize all starting ticked positions (there's only 4). Then simply tap those (and only those) positions one by one, you'll have everything unticked after you tap the last one.


Works if the number of starting ticks is even.


Tapping does not change the state of the tapped checkbox, but flips all others.

There are only two states (ticked / unticked) => If a checkbox is flipped an even number of times, its final state is the same as its initial state. And if a checkbox is flipped an odd number of times, it's final state is the opposite of its initial state.

There are an even number of starting ticks (n = 4). So by tapping all starting ticked positions, we are flipping the rest an even number of times (n), and the starting ticked positions an odd number of times (n - 1).

Random flailing is pretty effective. You're looking for 1 state out of ~128 (I forgot how many check boxes there are), so a random walk will get you there before too long.

Tap a space that's in the minority. It will reverse relative to the rest. So if there are more checks them empties, tap an empty. If there are more empties, tap a check.

Eventually you have all but one boxes checked. Tap the empty box and the checks will clear.

Funny and disgusting, well-executed satire!

I wish there was a browser extension or other automation that could decline/minimally configure these things correctly. Fight scale with scale, you know?

Love games that mimic real life. Best thing after Doom Game.

Has anybody made it through that site's terms and conditions?

Fun game, I wonder if all the stages are technically legal.

not in europe, i can tell you that much

The recent interactive submissions are stellar!

OK, I give up, what's the trick to #22?

Click the word "No" in the text above the button. Works better on mobile browsers.

I tried that and it seemed broken for me, for some reason clicking agree in the text above marked it as passed :confused:

Interesting. I definitely tried that on desktop without success, thanks for confirming.

It seems to be something wrong on desktop. When I inspect the DOM you can see that the location of where you can click is not at the actual text.

> Please click yes to agree to the Terms and Conditions. Or No to decline

Click No. Not all buttons are styled as buttons!

It feels like the movie Brazil for today.

Brilliant. And actually fun.

Not sure about 27 and 29...

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