Those of you who have played one of Sporcle’s virtual live trivia games recently have gotten the chance to test our new web-based answering system. We are excited to announce that this system will be implemented at our events going forward, including in-person pub trivia as bars and restaurants re-open!
Read on to learn more about this digital scoring system, why we’re excited about it, and why you should be too!
What is the digital scoring system?
Sporcle has developed a website that teams can use to submit their answers. When you next play trivia, whether it’s a virtual game or an in-person one, you’ll designate one Team Captain to submit answers on your team’s behalf. Instead of picking up a pen and paper answer sheet like you would at an in-person event, the Team Captain will go to a link on the most conveniently located device available to them.
Whether it’s a smartphone at the bar or a laptop for a virtual game, the Team Captain will see this screen:
The trivia host will provide a unique game code, the team gets to come up with their team name, and then the Team Captain will hit the “Join Game” button!
From there, the team will have a given amount of time to discuss answers and decide on wagers, just like normal. When it comes time to submit an answer, the Team Captain will type the answer into the field, select a wager value, and hit “Submit Answer.”
No need to write anything down by hand, no need to stand up, and no need to turn in a paper answer slip!
Why is Sporcle so excited about this, and why should you care?
Sporcle is excited about this digital scoring system for a number of reasons:
(1) This scoring website allows us to host trivia games for people in any location: a team can be composed of “geography guy” in Georgia, “world history woman” in Wyoming, and “NBA enbie” in Nebraska. Sporcle’s mission is to bring people together over mentally stimulating diversions, and this scoring system allows you to connect with friends and families located around the world.
(2) The scoring website also allows us to ditch paper answer slips. While we still think there is a certain amount of charm to using pencil and paper at pub trivia, there is also a significant financial and environmental cost to printing, distributing, and disposing of paper answer slips.
(3) There is endless opportunity with the scoring website when it comes to tracking team scores. This will allow quicker and easier updates regarding the Pub Champions Trivia League. It also has the potential to give your team statistics about your performance: information on your hardest categories, easiest categories, frequency of answering correctly on a Final Question after wagering 20, and so on. There’s even the potential for teams to earn badges the same way a user on sporcle.com can! While these features will still require many hours to develop, the scoring website makes them a more likely reality than ever before.
(4) Using a scoring website is contactless, which is exactly what the post-coronavirus world needs. Thanks to COVID-19, we have all learned how important it is to keep our hands clean, minimize physical contact with surfaces or individuals, and remain 6-15 feet away from other people. With a scoring website, teams will not have to worry about standing in crowds or walking through groups to turn in answer slips, hosts will not have to worry about touching the hands of 10-20 people as they collect answer slips, and bars and restaurants will not have to worry about their staff’s unnecessary exposure to others as trivia players move around.
If teams are using their phone to submit answers, how will Sporcle know they’re not cheating?
We’ve developed a Cheating Robot that is invisible. She sits in the corner while you play and watches to make sure you don’t cheat. Don’t cheat; you don’t want to see Cheating Robot angry.
You’re still reading? Guess we didn’t convince you. Okay, okay, there’s no Cheating Robot and there’s no easy solution to cheating. We here at Sporcle believe that the vast majority of trivia players do not cheat. Most people who play pub trivia do so because they have fun competing and they like to connect with friends over mentally stimulating diversions. Winning a gift card or cash prize is just the cherry on top of the sundae. However, we are also realistic: despite the fact that cheaters in pub trivia are only cheating themselves, some people are so determined to win that they’re willing to become losers who cheat.
Sporcle has developed a few ways of dealing with cheaters over the years, for both in-person and virtual live trivia events. You can learn more about those methods in this blog post: “How does Sporcle prevent cheating at live pub trivia games?”