By Angela Saini BBC News Google have bought a licence for the ESP Game
Every year, video game enthusiasts fritter away billions of hours in fruitless fun, earning little more than sore thumbs and a sense of satisfaction.
The computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh developed a game in 2003 that uses gamers to actively improve the web.
His Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) Game reveals the same image to two players and asks each to guess what the other person has written to describe it. If they agree, that word or phrase is then used to annotate the picture.
100m pictures have already been labelled in this way, prompting the popular search engine, Google, to buy a licence from Professor von Ahn's team to create its own version of the game.