Computer Says No

As you will know, our question setters at Quiz Master Shop like to try new quizzes, both to keep their hand in, and to pick up new ideas. We had been trying for a while to find a "smart phone" quiz, as our technology is ideally suited to this sort of quiz, but we wanted to see how they worked.

We had been to a couple of pubs that were meant to be using them, but both had stopped. We couldn't find out why, which didn't seem very promising.

Then on a holiday the quiz night ran on smart phones, and we were off.

The first impression was that it was ideal for a resort hotel to use. The quiz went along quickly, the answers were marked immediately, the scores came up after every question, with the top five displayed on the screen, and the quicker you answered the more points you got.

In effect, none of the staff had to run the quiz, or know anything about it.

There were a few drawbacks that we noticed.

The first is a minor thing - all the questions have to be multiple choice (or true or false), which isn't ideal. A team that has no idea of the answer can guess quickly (especially on true or false) and get lots of points.

Secondly, one of the answer to one of the questions, which was a true or false, was wrong. Worse, it was an easy question and virtually all the teams answered correctly (getting no points) and the two or three who got it wrong leapt up the leader board.

Of course, answers are sometimes incorrect in all sorts of quizzes. However, a "live" quizmaster would have spotted the error before the quiz and corrected it, or very quickly realised that the answer was clearly wrong and resolved it.

Lastly, a few teams, including us, had the connection drop when answering a connection. This meant that the team in question "got the answer wrong" through no fault of their own. On holiday, with another quiz tomorrow night and a first prize of a baseball cap, no one was too annoyed. In a pub's monthly quiz night with a large prize, perhaps they would not have been so sanguine!

All in all we can see the benefits and might well look at adopting it sometime.


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