The Absolute, Definitive Way To Play Where’s Wally

The Absolute, Definitive Way To Play Where’s Wally

When Randy Olsen — a PhD candidate focusing on biologically-inspired artificial intelligence and evolutionary processes — had a weekend off he didn’t spend it playing video games. He decided to do something useful. He used his knowledge of artificial intelligence and computational strategies to create the absolute optimum strategy for finding Wally.

This man is a saint.

What did he find? Well, to begin with he discovered that Wally actually tends to be hidden in certain spots more than others. For example, he’s rarely in the top left hand of the double-page. He is, in fact, more likely to be in the bottom left hand corner of the left page, or the top left hand corner of the right page.

Using this information, Olsen went about trying to create the absolute optimum search path for Wally. He did this using some seriously technical search path optimisation tools.

But for the layman, here are Olsen’s general tips for finding Wally in the quickest time possible, in his words:

1. The bottom of the left page is a good place to start. If Waldo isn’t on the bottom half of the left page, then he’s probably not on the left page at all.

2. The upper quarter of the right page is the next best place to look. Waldo seems to prefer to hide on the upper quarter of the right page.

3. Next check the bottom right half of the right page. Waldo also has an aversion to the bottom left half of the right page. Don’t bother looking there until you’ve exhausted the other hot spots.

If you can’t find Wally in these spots, your best best is to check the middle of the page or the top left and right as you might have an outlier.

You can read more about Olsen’s research here. Warning: Olsen is American. In America they call Wally ‘Waldo’. WEIRDOS!


      • Sir Humphry Davy was the one who invented the name aluminium in the first place! He originally called it alumium, then changed his mind to aluminum then finally settled on aluminium (1812). Obviously because aluminium is the correct word 🙂 International Union of Applied and Pure Chemistry standardised it to aluminium in 1990, again because that it the correct word.

        • Weird, I googled the name before and clicked the wikipedia link, tried searching for aluminium on the page and nothing came up.

        • Not quite correct, other scientists preferred aluminium as it fit the more classical Latin spelling of other elements and Davy accepted this styling of the word. Should’ve just stuck with Alumium and been done with it! Then again, he was a HUGE fan of laughing gas so no surprise he got confused on occasion.

    • Aluminum and aluminium are two different spellings (and pronunciations) of the same word 😉

      • And I’d argue most of is here know that, Roh included. It’s just, “aluminum” is dumb and shouldn’t exist and we should all be trying our hardest to wipe it off the face of the earth! >.> lol

  • The definitive way to find waldo (wally) is to hire the book from the library or borrow off a friend, and look for him already circled in pen.

  • “The Absolute, Definitive Way To Play Where’s Wally…

    Look in one corner, if it’s not there, look in another 2 corners, if not, try the middle, then… I guess the other corner?”

    Thanks, guy.

  • I don’t understand – what’s this got to do with the Liberal Party leadership spill? Why isn’t Kotaku stirring up trouble like the rest of Australian media?

    • And what’s interesting is that he is named Oldaw in all versions of the books and the TV show, despite the books using the ‘Wally’ name first before the ‘Waldo’ name was used for the US printings. Although I guess Waldo definitely works much better backwards than Wally does.

  • Book 3 Fantastic Journey – Wally World, find the Wally with only 1 shoe. That was TOUGH!!! ***Spoiler*** would have taken this guy 2 goes 🙂

    • Man, Wally World was a bitch! I’ve only got a couple of the books left now, but I’ll definitely have to track the rest down for when I had kids. I loved looking for that candy-cane bastard when I was a kid.

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