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Google Chrome has a lot going for it. It’s a fast browser with lots of cool plugins, it has many security features, and it updates automatically in the background. But now we can add one more advantage to using Google Chrome over the other browsers – you can visit J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth and interact with Hobbits, dwarves & dragons. Beat that, Firefox.

Yes, just in time for the second instalment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, Google Chrome has put together a really amazing interactive experiment. By going here, you can be taken to a map of Middle Earth with some of the locations in the movies.

Three of the locations are available straight away with the rest locked until later.


Each location contains an audio account of what the place is about, and who lives there. You are then invited to play a game. If you win at all three games in all three locations, that automatically unlocks the next location. For example, in Trollshaw Forrest, you have to use your arrow keys on your keyboard to move Bilbo Baggins and escape the clutches of the Trolls.

The graphics in this Chrome Experiment are simply brilliant, and it is an ingenious piece of marketing for the movie (not that a movie like The Hobbit needs to be marketed of course – a movie like that markets itself). But with something like this, everybody wins – Google gets more people using Chrome, the movie studio gets more people excited about the movie, and we get excited looking at how far and how fast browser graphics have come in a relatively short amount of time.

Give the Hobbit experiment a spin and let us know in the comments what you think. Is something like this an effective viral technique that has made you more excited about the movie? Would you like to see this done for other movies? And did you manage to get past those pesky trolls? If so, let me in on your secret before I go nuts.

Source: Google Chrome Blog

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  1. Furqana F
    November 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    hmm.. weird, I'm using a firefox-based browser (Palemoon) and can view it just fine. What's about this chrome experiment, actually?