March 8, 2018

Trivia Has a New “HQ”

Gideon Fox ‘19

Three o’clock and nine o’clock: two seemingly insignificant, lackluster times of the day. At three, everyone is getting ready for last period and at nine, most procrastination is over and homework has begun. However for the past few months, those times haven’t been so random. Those are the two times where an amount of money between $1,000 and $12,000 is up for grabs to anyone who can answer 12 trivia questions correctly.
HQ Trivia was started by two founders of the defunct video app, Vine. Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov. After Vine was discontinued, they wanted to start another venture; they had no idea how successful it would be.  
To fully understand this new movement, one must understand the rules of the game. At three and nine, a player opens the app and joins the game. After listening to the host, Scott Rogowsky, do his usual spiel, the game begins. A player’s objective is to click the correct answer for 12 trivia questions without getting any wrong. If an incorrect answer is selected, the player is out of the game and can’t win the prize money.
A player may, however, remain in the game after answering a question incorrectly by having an extra life, which can be given randomly or when someone uses a player’s referral code.
Now that there is an Android version of the app, games could have anywhere from 600,000 people to over one million.
Rogowsky, a Jew himself, likes to throw in Jewish references here and there. Sometimes he will end Friday night games by saying, “Shabbat Shalom.” He also has referred to himself as “the host with the challah french toast.”
Besides its competitive nature, some people see more than just fun in it.
“It’s like brain training,” junior Jamie Gutterman said.
It has gotten so popular that Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston had a school-wide game during a recent 3 p.m. game. After the actual game of HQ Trivia, which was projected on the screen in front of everyone, two rounds of a Kushner version of it, dubbed “KQ,” were played.
“It was fun,” Kushner junior Manny Ehrlich said. “I had never played HQ before, but I downloaded the app just for the event. I had fun but honestly I was a little surprised that we were missing class for it. I’m glad we did it though, it was pretty cool.”
Another Kushner junior, Matthew Plotsker, enjoyed the school-wide experience, but wishes not as many people cheated.
“I enjoyed it but so many kids cheated it took away some of its fun.”
As is common with many things in life, games of HQ Trivia aren’t perfect. There are frequent delays and stoppages and people are often eliminated even if they tap the right answer.
Despite some issues, HQ Trivia was one of the most popular apps of 2017, and continues to be even more popular this year.
I would give HQ Trivia a 10/10 rating. It brings people together in a fun, competitive way and could be a great new way for GOA to engage its school community with its own version of the game.

I would highly recommend everyone playing, as long as you use my referral code.

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