How Far Can You Get In The Password Game Before Tapping Out?

password guessing game is a lot of fun and reminds good security practices
Your password requires at least nine characters, one special character, two numbers, your horoscope, three emoji, and a depiction of the current weather outside. If that seems unhinged, wait until you try The Password Game, a fun but absurd password-creating game taking the internet by storm.

You may have heard of Neal Agarwal before with his website containing games like Draw A Perfect Circle or Absurd Trolley Problems. If not, their website is worth looking around if you want to kill time. And if you want to kill a lot of time, Agarwal’s latest addition, The Password Game, is the first place to start. This game is simply a series of increasingly difficult password requirements you must append to your fake password that you are workshopping the entire time.

chicken password guessing game is a lot of fun and reminds good security practices
We accidentally killed our pet chicken who lived in the password.

From doing math in Roman numerals to solving locations GeoGuessr style and much more, The Password Game ramps up in difficulty as you solve challenges. For example, in our play-through Rule 16 required incorporating the best chess move on a given board, but the move must be represented in algebraic chess notation. After that, it all starts going downhill and getting rather chaotic, but you’ll have to try it and see for yourself.

Regardless, we can take this opportunity to talk about good passwords and password management. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published Special Publication 800-63B, which lays out some password guidelines regarded as the gold standard. Per this specification, a good password comes from a combination of length and complexity, the latter being determined by the unpredictability of characters. Typically, this is enforced with a requirement of special characters, numbers, or otherwise when creating a password.

rules password guessing game is a lot of fun and reminds good security practices

This isn’t too far different from password standards you have seen in the past, though when most people see these, they have a predictable method for generating a password, like taking a year and exclamation onto the end of something they know such as their dog’s name.

This is not particularly secure as that information can be found or guessed relatively easily. Therefore, NIST recommends that people approach passwords with more length than complexity, perhaps with a passphrase like “!” or “correct horse battery staple” to give a couple of examples. With the latter recommendation, you might have seen something similar with an XKCD comic because, of course there is a relevant XKCD for this topic.

relevant xkcd correcthorsebatterystaple

At the end of the day, passwords are no laughing matter, even though it might be fun to poke at all the silly requirements. These requirements help keep your information, your own, and bad guys out of your accounts, so they are important to follow or improve upon yourself. After all, humans are always the weakest link in cybersecurity.