In the hectic world of business-to-business journalism there is precious little time afforded for leisure.

Which is why when you find yourself with a few moments to spare, between breaking online news and laying out a magazine for a print deadline, it’s wise to make the most of them.

At Motor Finance HQ, the team (well, us two and Pete) have devised an online game which is not only fun but educational and easy to play in snatches between the stuff you get paid for.

The name of the game is Six Degrees of Wikipedia and here is how it works.

You and number of colleagues (there is no real limit to the number of players, but productivity tends to drop off if more than 20 people in one office play at once, we have found out) choose two entries on Wikipedia which are as far removed from each other in concept and content as possible. The aim then is to get from one to the other in no more than six Wikipedia links.

These links, as any self-respecting internet idler will know, appear in their hundreds in every Wikipedia entry whenever a word or concept which has an entry of its own appears in the text.

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So let’s take, oh, say, the Wikipedia entry Car Finance as our start page and then… hmm… Feminist Literary Criticism as our target, and go through the moves by way of example.

The two entries – one a financial product designed to support retail expenditure, and the other a branch of modern literary theory exploring the representation of women and the sexual politics of language in literature – are as far removed from one another as can be; we are sure the reader will agree.

Nonetheless, this one we managed in six moves. Here is one way to do it (for there may be many) to get you into the swing of things.
From Car Finance head straight to Hire Purchase. Our thinking here was possession and feminism, and therefore feminist literary criticism, grew from a long history of oppression of the female sex and part of that was the denial of possession. This is not necessarily the mindset you need for this game, but we wholly recommend taking it way too seriously.

From Hire Purchase we go a bit more Alan Whicker and try the various markets in which HP is available, looking for the first one to mention women’s rights. First score is India, and a link from there to Women In India, then to Feminism In India. With far too much excitement, we click the link to Feminism.

From here there are a few wrong turns taken. We tried the entry for The Handmaid’s Tale in the tantalisingly close Literature sub-section, part of the Feminist Culture section, but with no luck.

Going with basic, secondary school French we then tried the link Écriture Feminine. But, with one move left we could find no way reach Feminist Literary Criticism. We then tried the considerably less intellectual-sounding Women’s writing in English page, but again got nowhere.

Desperately, we scrolled back to the top of the page when we came across a big shiny link to Literary Criticism under the sub-heading of Feminist Theory which, although not spelling it out, actually directed us to Feminist Literary Criticism.

And we were there, from Car Finance to Feminist Literary Criticism in six clicks of the mouse (count the semicolons): Car Finance; Hire Purchase; India; Women in India; Feminism in India; Feminism; Feminist Literary Theory.

And that, dear reader, is how you play Six Degrees of Wikipedia. You are encouraged, between reading fascinating articles on of course, to give it a go.

Here are some others which can be done in six moves or fewer to get you started:

Six degrees of Motor Finance interactive play-along office game

Car Finance to Marx Brothers

Car Finance to St James’s Park

Car Finance to Richard Nixon

Car Finance to Second Punic War

Car Finance to Obsolete Russian Units of Measurement

Scroll down the page for answers
















Car Finance; Ally Financial; Mobile, Alabama; American Civil War; The General (1926 film); Buster Keaton; Marx Brothers

Car Finance; Federal Trade Commission; Sweepstakes; Scratchcards; Fifa World Cup; Lothar Matthäus; St James’s Park

Car Finance; Ford Motor Credit Company; Commercial Paper; Bankruptcy of Lehmann Brothers; Wall Street Journal; Scooter Libby; Richard Nixon

Car Finance; Loan; Bank; Florence; Cornelius Lucius Sulla; Second Punic War

Car Finance; Personal Contract Purchase; Balloon Payment; Face Value; Troy Ounce; Avoirdupois Pound; Obsolete Russian Units Of Measurement