Arcades: Beta

Arcades is a crowdsourced metadata gaming platform. It is currently in beta.


In the summer of 2013, photographer James Dee donated his collection of 150,000+ images to Artstor. These images, taken over his 40-year long career, documented New York City’s contemporary art scene and were destined for the dumpster. No one was willing to accept and archive these images for one simple reason: there was no metadata.

James Dee’s problem is not unique. Many of the challenges faced by archivists, catalogers, and curators are caused by metadata (or lack thereof) and the limited availability of human and time resources to supply and correct this information. As a small non-profit, we also faced this challenge and decided to engage our most valuable resource: our community of users.

Our approach with Arcades is to simply expose the central act of entering metadata, and frame it within a system that would track progress. This differs from other approaches where the act of entering metadata is obscured or wrapped within a more traditional “game” experience or aesthetic.
Learn more…


“…ingeniously uses crowdsourcing as a tactic to gather metadata for a cohort of recently acquired photographs of New York’s contemporary art world…”
Chronicle of Higher Education (November 3, 2015)

“…D. James Dee Collection crowdsourcing initiative, which I am now totally hooked on…It is a beautiful interface…”
The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design

“100% addicted to Arcades, the D. James Dee #metadata game from @Artstor”
Twitter User