I reckon you should buy me a pint – I’ve just won a quiz!

I reckon you should buy me a pint – I’ve just won a quiz!

Did you happen to read the recent news report about banning mobile phones from pub quizzes? According to a reporter from the BBC “The integrity of pub quizzes used to be beyond question, but the advent of text messaging in the late 1990s has heralded an era of cheating. Otherwise honest people, corrupted by a combination of alcohol and the desire to win promotional t-shirts, are now reduced to seeking outside help from friends.”

Personally I’m not really bothered about the rights and wrongs of the rules around pub quizzes, but it is interesting to see how people react to it and what it tells us about business.

“No Googling!”

One pub landlord who has run popular quiz nights for many years has now resorted to placing large signs both inside and outside his pub saying ‘No mobile phones’ and ‘No Googling’. Interviewed by a BBC reporter the landlord, Stephen Duffy, commented: “Some of the crowd are a bit older and can remember a time before mobile phones, and their phones are not as advanced as the ones owned by younger people. Somebody was telling me they’re bringing out face-recognition software so you’ll even be able to cheat in the picture round. There’s even an iPhone app called Shazam which recognises what song is playing – it could be the death of the pub quiz as we know it.” Mr Duffy added that he tries to come up with questions which can’t be found quickly on the internet but it’s getting harder all the time.

Innovation changing the way we communicate

Basically – let’s face it – innovation is changing the way we communicate. Some people resist it, longing for the “good old days” whilst others embrace it – and the changes to our culture that it brings. I’m not at all surprised that a lot of wily pub goers are winning quizzes by using their mobiles and iPhones. The phone is the ideal resource to get information quickly and in many ways this is just another example of exploiting the phone’s capabilities to gain advantage. I don’t think this is necessarily the end of the pub quiz, but I think it will undoubtedly change the format and the way we think about quizzes in the future.

Hive Mind Challenge

For example, given the inevitability of punters bringing their mobile devices to the pub, the organisers of the “Hive Mind Challenge” in London may have hit upon the future of pub quizzing. Billed as “the quiz where you are meant to cheat”, it actually encourages participants to use mobile technology, search engines and Twitter to find answers to obscure questions, such as the height of the Eiffel Tower (324 metres according to my quick search!) So winning the quiz is about how quick and skilled you are at using the technology rather than personal knowledge.

The purpose of pub quizzes

I sometimes wonder whether the technophobes have forgotten the point in having pub quizzes? For the most part they don’t exist in order to find the smartest person in the village. Instead, they are there to get more people into the pub, spend more money on beer and create a social atmosphere.

Besides, I somehow think a little bit of cheating in pub quizzes went on long before the advent of mobile technology!

About Rory Gear

I’m Rory Gear, also known by my writing pseudonym – Joe St Clair. I’m a full time professional writer and blog writer, I write pretty much about anything and everything that interests me. Connect with me on Google+

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