Monday, May 7, 2007

What is and what isn't trivia

Being a brief manifesto of what I will and won't ask based in personal preference on the definition of what constitutes trivia.

It might be easiest, given the wide-ranging nature of what I consider to be fair game as a quiz question, to make a list of the things I've encountered in other quizzes which are right out for me. These are things that simply won't appear in one of my quizzes, and which you will not have to worry about:
  • Punchlines to jokes
  • Answers to riddles (excepting the Secret Theme theme if you consider that a riddle)
  • Math equations of any sort, including geometry or physics problems... although I will ask about math and science
  • Chemistry equations, but I will ask about things such as elements on the periodic table
  • Latest celebrity news or dating gossip, but I will ask about long-term famous couples of now and yesteryear
  • Current events or news; you should be able to answer any given question in my quiz if you just woke up from a 6-month coma
  • Things that happened in one and only one episode of a TV show, excepting major cultural events such as the reveal as to who shot J.R.
  • Particular scores to any sporting event, or exact numbers pertaining to sports records
  • Things that happened to me recently or anything obscure through being personal to me
  • Incredibly minute detail from movies
  • Questions about pop music recently on the charts, or first-run movies currently in theaters or yet to be released
  • Anything so incredibly obscure that you need to be a specialist in the subject to answer the question
  • "Trick" questions owing to misleading wording or technicalities of any sort I don't straighten out in my wording of the question
  • Anything that requires you to make subjective calls, such as "best" or "most popular"
  • Any question with an open number of correct answers
That's about it. Outside of that you can expect questions about movies, TV, music, sports, geography, science, history, art, literature, popular culture and anything reasonable in between. I think that in holding to these standards I cleave to a canon of trivia that quiz fans will appreciate the most. I say that as an eager pub quiz participant myself. Questions and comments are welcome in the Comments section below.

2 comments:

Just Give Me the Answer I Want said...

I wholeheartedly agree with this philosophy. At a pub quiz a while back, no one on our team could remember the name of that thing with the paddles that you use to restart someone's heart. I seriously believe this bit of info was squeezed out of my brain by some factoid like Lindsay Lohan's body mass index or how many times they say the F-word in The Big Lebowski.

QuizMasterChris said...

This is exactly the type of thing I wish to avoid, anything Lohan-related mattering in any way. I might add that I shy away from the multiple choice question; it strikes me as wrong that someone who guesses can earn as much as someone who knows. Of course the Before/After round is a bit of a points giveaway at the start and that violates this guideline.