Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Web Secret 513: HQ

Remember Pokemon Go?

That's so 2016.

In the here and now, it's 2018 and the fad du jour is HQ, an app that can be downloaded and used for free.

At first glance, HQ sounds like something very enjoyable - at least to this trivia addict. Twice a day, at 3pm and 9pm EST you log into the app and are fed a series of 12 trivia questions, in ascending order of difficulty, in multiple choice format. To prevent cheating, you have 3 seconds to answer each question. Answer all the questions correctly and you get the pot - which ranges from $2,500 to $25,000. It's over in 15 minutes, (or less when you are eliminated for answering incorrectly and throw your iPhone against the nearest wall.)

Over a million people play each game. Entire offices get together to play. Friends get together to play. It's monstrously popular.

Here is the reality:
  • The host is the reprehensible Scott Rogowsky, who is channeling the sleazy ringmaster from a 19th century carnival freak show.
  • There is a live chat scrolling across the screen for the duration of the game. The chat mostly features inanity, but sprinkled in are curses, and racist comments. As one critic wrote, "Who can even think while one’s fellow citizens cry out something like JEWS JEWS JEWS JEWS in the scrolling billow at screen’s bottom?"
  • The game glitches all the time - it freezes and/or it shuts itself down.
  • The prize money is usually split between scores of people, transforming a $25,000 prize into $14.95.
  • The questions range from the idiotic, to the idiosyncratically obscure. If you weren't paying attention to now defunct computer games from the Eighties, your shit out of luck.
  • You can get free lives by promoting HQ to your friends and on social media. AKA, cheating.
And yet I tune in - not every day but once or twice a week, because, what the heck, it's somewhat amusing and tolerable once I turn the sound off during Scott's ramblings.

Do you play?

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