Everyone universally hates CAPTCHAs, the tests that typically involve identifying traffic lights and other objects in a grid of images. They’re boring and slow, and sometimes you’re not quite sure if you need to click on that one square that an object bleeds over into.
A developer in Spain, Miquel Camps Orteza, decided to rethink CAPTCHAs with gamification. His project, called DOOM Captcha, is a mini-game in which you have to shoot down four imps in order to pass the test and successfully submit a web form.
Orteza told PCMag that he made the project as he looks for a job and works to beef up his portfolio demonstrating his coding skills.
Bot security — CAPTCHA tests are meant to prevent bots from crawling or otherwise overloading websites with spam requests. An email service, for instance, might incorporate a CAPTCHA in its user registration form so that bots cannot create tons of throwaway accounts for sending spam. It would be too tedious for an individual to make these accounts themselves, so they use bots. That’s where CAPTCHA tests come in — whereas a human could look at the distorted letters in an image and process what they are, a computer program will have a harder time.
The tests have gotten more sophisticated over the years to keep up with advancing artificial intelligence. The consequence is that we’re all stuck doing completely boring tests whenever we want to sign up for a website or purchase something online. Google, though, does have an implementation of CAPTCHA called the invisible reCAPTCHA that only prompts a test for the most suspicious looking traffic.
Orteza’s CAPTCHA test isn’t ready for prime-time as it’s not connected to a server. Without that, someone could easily alter the code to validate the CAPTCHA without actually shooting the imps. You need a server-side program to check for behavior that looks artificial, like super fast submissions.
If you want to play DOOM Captcha yourself, you can find it here.