The problem is that once you’ve completed 100 challenges, then your quizzy has become as evolved as it is ever going to be. Maybe they’ll expand it at some future time – who knows. However, for now, once you’ve completed 100 challenges, then that’s it. You can still play of course, but there’s no great goal to it other than keeping winning. So of course it’s lost it’s allure. In the last few days I’ve been back to Superbuzzer, and let’s be fair, these few days have reminded me about one of the things that made Quiz Panic more alluring for the last half year or so. On Quiz Panic, there’s no chat.
Put simply, I’d forgotten just how ignorant, rude, and let’s call a spade a spade, vitriolic some of the players on Superbuzzer actually are when you beat them, or in extreme cases, even when you don’t. I’m sorry to say it, but judging by past experience, and by the experience of the last few days, we Brits are among the worst. I mean, it’s inherent in the DNA of pretty much any game that there is at least a chance that you are going to lose. Yes, I hate to lose, especially to lose a quiz, but it’s going to happen from time to time, and if you can’t cope with that, then you’re better off not playing in the first place.
You might say - ah, yes, well this is just one aspect of the phenomenon by which people will use the supposed anonymity of the internet to say things to other people which they would never dream of saying face to face, and there’s certainly something in that line of argument. I don’t say for one moment that this is limited to quizzing. Yet in my experience there’s something about quizzing which brings out the petty-mindedness, ignorance and rudeness of a certain type of individual. In the last 18 months or so I’ve stopped going out to pub quizzes, with the exception of the Thursday night quiz in the rugby club. That’s a special case, being that I’m a regular setter, and my team don’t win most weeks. There’s several factors which have resulted in this outcome, but one of them has definitely been the fact that John and I would find a new quiz, and start attending. We’d be welcomed for the first few weeks, but if we won the majority of quizzes for more than a couple of months, then the nastiness would inevitably creep in from at least one of the regular teams and/or the question master(s). A few years ago this only had the effect of spurring me on – the more another team were nasty and made it clear they didn’t want us to keep coming, the more determined I’d be to be back and try to win the next week. Now, though, I don’t need it. Whether it’s fair or not, I don’t want to be the cause of the nastiness and bad feeling any more.
Then there was the business with the league last year. I didn’t write about it at the time, because I didn’t want to risk potentially spreading any more bad feeling. Basically, a resolution was made at last year’s AGM to change the constitution of the League to make a new rule that anyone who a) lived outside the town, and b) had won a national quiz competition would be ineligible to play in the league. As far as I know, I was the only person playing at that time to whom both of these criteria applied. The resolution was defeated, partly because it had not been put forward in the correct fashion, and partly because fewer people were in favour of it than against it. I tried very hard not to treat it personally, and while my ego can even accept that there may well be people out there who just find my personal qualities so objectionable that they have no wish to be in the same room as me for a couple of hours twice a year, I think that the fact that my team completed the league and cup double every year since I joined may have had something to do with it as well. Which is not to say that this success is all down to me at all, for we’re a team, not one individual player. I’d guess that I’m probably a more identifiable target due to the Mastermind thing.
Had this happened three or four years earlier I’d probably have been a bit more bullish about it – along the lines of, look, if you don’t like getting beaten in the league, then why don’t you get better at your quizzing? Do some work for it etc. etc. etc. But the fact is that I used to play in the Neath Quiz League back in the mid and late 90s. That was a league which folded, and it was only years later that I found out that some of the teams quit playing partly because the league was being dominated by one strong team – the one I was a member of. The last thing I want to see is this happening again. So what I said was that I would not play this year. However, that didn’t mean I wanted our team, the Explorers, packing in as well. So I also said that I would drive team members to the matches, ask questions if required, basically do whatever was required to keep the team playing in the league.
This was all well and good for the first few weeks of the season. Terry from the Thursday night quiz in the rugby club agreed to play, and everything seemed ok. However, sadly our friend and long time teammate Brian was taken into hospital, and passed away from a long term illness. We tried to find another player, but to no avail. Frankly, I thought that the idea of us playing with only three players while I looked on would have been ridiculous. So I filled in, and have been doing so since November. We’re now at the stage that with 6 games left to play we only need to win one more to be mathematically certain of winning the league. And don’t get me wrong, that’s not down to me. The team won all of their 5 or 6 league matches without me at the start of the season, and there’s no reason to think that they wouldn’t have won any of the subsequent matches if I hadn’t. But it does worry me that I have not been able to keep my word, and that the underlying perception of what’s happening in the league won’t have been changed by what has happened this season, albeit that we were knocked out of the cup. So I’m wondering if I need to just say – thanks for the fun and the memories – and walk away from the team completely next year. If they can keep it going themselves, as I hope that they can, well and good, but if they can’t, then l maybe just have to accept that. Because if I involve myself in any way, I won’t be able to stop myself from filling in and playing if I’m needed. Let me be clear about this. I don’t want to stop playing, I still enjoy the Monday nights very much. But in all honesty I don’t know if it’s doing the league any good if I continue. I haven’t spoken to the team about this yet, but it’s a conversation I’ll need to have sooner rather than later.