Update4 (3/22/2004) The chances of me ever becoming unlazy in this particular case are increasingly small. So if you've been holding your breath, stop it.
Update update update (4/12/2002): Ahhh, here we go. So as soon as I'm feeling really unlazy, the site will be back!
Update update (3/6/2002): hey cool -- looks like google has a solution in sight -- they're going to offer a way for programs (like this one!) to access their database cleanly. So we'll be back in business, eventually.
Update (10/26/2001): oops -- looks like we've run afoul of the Google Terms of Service, which prohibit using their search engine for this sort of thing. Looks like I'll have to switch back to Alta Vista. I don't think my use of Google was harming them in any way, but hey, it's their engine and more importantly, their terms of service agreement, so I'll respect that. Stay tuned.... we'll be back in a bit.
The concept (and code) is borrowed from the classic Operating System Sucks-Rules-O-Meter. A perl script does web searches to determine the popular opinions of a set of terms — in this case, a few names related to the computer game Black & White. (Slightly modified source is available here: srom.pl. This version uses Google instead of Altavista, and has been modified to produce a more fitting black-and-white output. And it also tries to filter out some cases in which the world "rules" is used literally, as well as pages about non-color photography. I've also had to block out the Daily Rush web site, as it was generating a lot of false/duplicate hits.)
We include variations like "Black and White", "B&W", and "EA" in the listings above. If you're thinking, by the way, of trying to spam the Google index in an attempt to influence this page, you'd do well to read the warnings about that kind of behavior on the original S-R-O-M page. (Short answer: it's lame and it won't work.)
It's interesting that Lionhead and Peter Molyneux neither suck nor rule. One would think someone out there would have an opinion.
Unfortuantely I had this idea a while after the game's original release, so I don't have historical data going back that far. I am logging results from here on out, though, and when I have enough information, I'll include graphs showing trends over time.
Another future plan: perhaps I'll also include data from a Google/Deja search, so Usenet opinions are also factored in. Or perhaps not. I'm pretty lazy.
Questions, comments, complaints? Other terms I should add to the search? E-mail me.
While you're here, I might as well plug my totally non-Black&White-related game: IceBreaker. Because hey, games are good.
If you care, there's more mattdm.org stuff around here somewhere. And if you're wondering "Why is this guy who's so big into Linux playing a game that only runs on MS Windows?", well, there's two answers. First, I'd love to see a Linux port (e-mail Lionhead), and second, until that happens, my wife has a Win98 box she lets me borrow to play games.