"I have a car at school."
"Well, I have a Mercedes at school."
"But I got an A on that last midterm."
"Really? I got an A+."
Obnoxiously trying to one-up a friend typically results in a never-ending conversation. But for one actor, it served as inspiration for a Web site: OneUpMe.com.
While working on a film in Bosnia, Jesse Eisenberg - a student at the New School in New York and a cast member in movies such as The Squid and the Whale - created the Web site "out of pure boredom" in late November with the help of his cousin, Penn Engineering junior Eric Fisher.
Fisher, whom Eisenberg deemed a "computer genius," designed the entire Web site, fleshing out his cousin's idea so that the concept could work as an online interactive game. He has created other Web sites in the past, including his personal Web site, eFishDesign.com.
"It was a pretty cool idea," Fisher said. "I told some of my close friends about it, but it would be interesting to see if other students are using it."
According to the Web site, "OneUpMe.com features wordplay competition which fosters abstract and creative thought."
OneUpMe.com, which as of yesterday has 350 users, begins each day with a starter phrase and a first response by Eisenberg. Users can then try to "one-up" the original response.
For example, "She was like a treadmill: on a perpetual course to nowhere" was one-uped by "She was like a treadmill: inclined to make things difficult."
The phrases are updated every weekday and always have the same structure.
The following morning, Eisenberg chooses a winner whom he feels was the most creative and then writes a new starter.
He added, "I have to monitor it every few minutes . and update it daily."
Eisenberg said the Web site was intended for college students, but he has received e-mails from fathers using OneUpMe.com with their children as well as office workers who use the site during the day.
College freshman Alex Berger, who just recently discovered the Web site, said, "It took me a long time to understand how it works. For example, today's was: 'He was like a tollbooth: taxing.' Once I got the hang of it, though, I thought it was kind of funny."
While Eisenberg said the task of maintaining the Web site can be overwhelming, he hopes more students will start to entertain themselves with the game and current users will continue to access the site.
"I can see how students would really get into this. It's like a wordplay power trip where you get to one-up people," Berger said.Comments powered by Disqus
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