Saturday, 6 February 2010

To sporcle, or not to sporcle -

Probably the most addicitive quiz website – in the world.

If you’re a serious, regular quizzer, then you probably already know all about the website I’m going to tell you about, in which case you’ll already either be addicted or in recovery. It’s the rest of you I’m worried about. So please, be warned. If you’re at all quiz-inclined ( and I venture to suggest that you may well be reading the wrong blog if you’re not ) then the website I’m going to tell you about should be approached with extreme caution.

I refer, of course, to Like many good things, my acquaintance with this website began with a visit to the IQAGB forum : -
where I read a recommendation which led me to give it a try for the first time about 6 months ago. Basically, sporcle is a free quiz website, where you can choose from a mind-boggling rage of quizzes, based on lists. You will be asked for a list of, for example, all the presidents of the USA, and given a time limit, usually between 5 and 20 minutes, depending on the level of difficulty of the quiz.

Personally I found myself getting hooked on the Geography quizzes. My favourite is possibly Name All The Capital Cities of the World in 20 minutes. I built up to this one with mastering all Europe’s capitals, then Asia’s, then Africa’s – and so on. You get my drift. On the continental ones, they give you the country and you have to supply the capital. On the world one, you just have to supply all the capitals in any order.

All good clean fun. The problem is, that , for a certain type of sad individual such as myself, just completing a quiz isn’t enough. That sense of achievement I got the first time I managed to remember all of the cities didn’t last long. About two minutes, in fact, until it occured to me that I really should try to do the whole thing again, only more quickly. So I did, over and over, in search of just one more personal best.

Now, I can just about excuse wasting much of my free time playing games which will help me increase my knowledge, and which may, just may, one day bring me a couple of extra points in a quiz. But wasting time on stuff that I already know, so I can do it a little more quickly next time, that’s just pointless, isn’t it ? Well, anyway, that’s how I came to look on it, and so, riddled with guilt, I went cold turkey back in the end of November, and vowed not to return until such time as I felt I could trust myself not to engage in any more three-hour sporcle binges.

Well, about ten days ago I fell off the wagon. It started innocently enough. Within an hour I had mastered the national flags of Asia. So I moved on to Africa. Then Europe. By the end of the weekend I could do the flags of the world in 10 minutes . Actually, this is a great game. But is it really worth spending hours of a Saturday playing the same game ? I tried another subject. Science. Yes, one of my Achilles heels. Surely that would put me off. No chance. Elements of the Periodic Table has been this week’s game of choice. Now, I have no doubt that this will bring me points in a quiz sooner or later. But this is my problem. I find myself so hooked on it that even when I’m miles away from my laptop, during break times, or while I’m driving to and from work I find myself reciting them – Hydrogen to Ununoctium – all 118 of them . This is just not a healthy occupation for a growing lad. I’ve become so concerned about it that I even allowed three of my kids to drag me out ice skating last Sunday . If I tell you that the only real exercise I’ve done in my own time in the last decade has been giving out team sheets and half time handouts, then you’ll appreciate what a desperate measure this was. No, actually I didn’t do myself an injury as it happens. I wasn’t that bad, in my day, and Queensway Ice Rink in London was where I first met Mrs. Londinius for the first time in 1985. Of course, you’ll know what was going through my head as I drove home ? That this would surely have earned me the right to have an hour or two on sporcle.

So please, spare a thought for those of us who are sporcle addicted. Yes, before you ask, I will give you the link, but if you get hooked, then don’t blame me. You have been warned.


Another Anne said...

Sporcle is good for you. Do not resist the power of the Sporcle.

Ben Dutton said...

Damn you! I work from home a lot and the last thing I needed was more distraction, but sporcle is utterly addictive. Two days I've known about it now and I'm having to limit myself to two games a day...

Londinius said...


That's exactly the problem ! I can not resist the power of the Sporcle !


I'm so sorry, but at least I did warn you !