Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Book Review: Be a Quiz Winner! - By David Clark

David Clark has won Mastermind and appeared on a wide variety of gameshows in his years of quizzing. He also runs one of the best and most popular quizzing blogs on the web "Life After Mastermind". This ebook is designed to aid quiz players of whatever level to improve there quizzing ability and as the title suggest, be a quiz winner.

If you have ever read the Life After Mastermind blog you will know David is passionate about quizzes. The blog contains wonderful insights into the world of quizzing from quizzes in his locals, to analysis of the major tv, radio quiz contest and also including comment on the issues all quizzers face up to. Its really worth a look!

So after enjoying the blog for the best part of a year I had no hesitation in paying the small £3.39 price for this ebook reading half of it on my iphone and half on my laptop. Its well wroth the money as David has went into some detail on his subject matter.

As the synopsis on Amazon tells you this book is about how to improve yourself at quizzing. It doesnt give the facts and information, but rather a more useful guide as to what you need to learn. David uses his experience and covers all the main subject boards that come up in quizzes and the basic knowledge you will need. For anyone keen to brush up on general knowledge it provides a perfect study guide about what you should be looking out for.

David also devotes a chapter to other aspects of quizzing such as what to do in an actual pub quiz, what to expect, how to work well as a team as well as giving advice and reflection on playing in leagues and how to get on television.

Its a great short read and for anyone like myself you is young and hungry to improve knowledge, personal advice like this from someone who has been there and done it is invaluable. I enjoyed it and will use it thoroughly after the first read to steer my learning and quiz buffing.

Available via Amazon (For Kindle) HERE

Note: You can download a free app for Pc's and iphones etc that let you use Kindle software.

Back Quizzing!........Back to Lazy Question Setting!

Well after much delay I was finally able to return to a favourite quiz last night and get my long awaited quizzing fix. It had been a while so I was looking forward to it very much!

There was a good turn out, ten teams and for once we got talking to the teams around us. Its a simple quiz of 50 general knowledge questions with the last few worth 2-5 points. Its a no frills no gimmicks quiz...but also has the laziest quiz master I have ever seen in terms of setting questions. Before my few months out of the quiz he was poor but now he has gotten even worse.

He clearly is a wikipedia question setter.....Last night he clearly looked at only 4 wikipedia pages. There were 5 questions on Porridge, 5 questions on Slade and 5 on Wolverhampton Wanderers. For a 50 question quiz this is ridiculous. Consider he added another 5 on serial killers and a round of 10  multiple questions with only two possible answers it left us with only around 20 or so points to be had on more diverse topics.

I did enjoy the quiz as usual and continue to learn more each time. We got a decent, honest score and Im happy with that with a few good questions coming out that I was happy to answers.

Roll on the next quiz, its good to be back!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Magazine Suggestion

If you have never come across the How it Works magazine I would strongly recommend, not just because it will help build quizzing knowledge, but because its  a very very interesting magazine that as it says on the front "feeds the mind".

This is a monthly magazine covers science, technology, history, environment and world issues. Its packed full of facts, interviews, stories and diagrams. Its crafted with so much effort and crams so much into each age it learns a lot!

Well worth picking up

Monday, 28 November 2011

The next generation........

It never fails to worry me, that every time I got to a pub quiz, despite being 26 years old this week, that I am by far the youngest there! And not just narrowly, its sometimes are to see anyone under 40 at a pub quiz. This obviously draws my concern about the pub quizzes of my future. Will they wither away? Where will the audience come from? How can the quiz scene attract the younger folk? Is the pub quiz something that generally people tend to migrate towards in latter life? All questions I have been thinking about.

With all the other distractions and ways to entertain, the pub quiz is never ever going to appeal to some. But I do feel there is a generation of younger quizzers my age who do not attend pub quizzes for a series of reasons that are avoidable. Namely people who would attend quizzes but feel put off in some way. From talking to people in my area here are some reasons I have encountered. Id be interested to know your thoughts.

1) Pub Quizzes are Unwelcoming

I have found this first hand sadly. Similar to social clubs and working mens clubs, there is a very much exclusive feel to proceedings. Sit in the wrong seat and you feel the wrath of eyes, win the quiz and you are the enemy (and as I have mentioned some others say, even face being barred!) or even worse take a jackpot regulars have been paying into for weeks. I have been to several quizzes where the quizmaster simply doesnt even offer me a sheet and I have to ask, he should be asking me if I am joining. Also new teams are given very little friendly chat, whilst the regulars tour each others tables saying hellos you get ignored. In my area and every quiz I have been too it takes some time to become a regular and this is time people wont put up with.

Hence quizzes get the impression that they are, sorry for any offensive caused, only for the elderly folk, that they dont welcome outsiders and that they are unfriendly places.

2) Poorly advertised quizzes!

Quizzes need to be better advertised to attract the young into new venues. Half the quiz nights I know are word of mouth and very rarely advertised unless you dig deep and look. Quizzes need to be advertised on social network sites, pubs need bigger banners, make the prizes appealing, even have offers on the drinks.....youngster on a budget will drink in the worst places imaginable so why not make drink offers to get more people in.

If a quiz isnt advertised you will never get new players and especially younger ones who are more likely to miss out on the "word of mouth".....

To be continued....

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Long time no see....

Its been something of a rough period for me the last few months. I was surprised to see that my last post on here was three months ago and I am disappointed I let this blog slide as I enjoyed doing it. But with a redundancy, break down of a relationship, start of a new relationship and getting a new job I have simply not had the time or motivation to get this updated.

Nevertheless, times will be even more busy as I am moving closer to my current job to Sunderland City Centre shortly and with Xmas around the corner I definitely will be pushed for time.

But I intend to get this back on the road and running smoothly as soon as possible and for anyone reading the blog, sorry for the lack of posts!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Pub Quiz Machine Guide - Part 4

In my continuing series looking at the various games available on the money hungry pub quiz machine that is sitting down at your local pub, Im going to be focusing on my favourite game at the moment....The Colour of Money.

I never did see the original game show of this but the pub quiz machine version works as such. You are given an amount of credit you need to earn...typically in the region of 40,000 credits. You are presented with twenty boxes. Each box has a value of between 1,000 and 20,000. If you get the questions right when selecting the box you get the chance to earn it. The counter starts ticking up.....1,000, 2,000 etc and you have to decide when to stop it. Whatever value you stop it at you win, but if you let it go too high and it goes over the actual value of the box you loose that box. sounds complicated but really isnt and it gets very competitive and is so much fun to play with mates! You will be shouting "you should have stopped it there" at the poor pub quiz machine all night long!

The questions are typical pub quiz machine fare. They start out too easy, spend very little time in the medium range and then rocket to hard questions and "stoppers". (These being pub quiz machine questions that are designed to make you loose by making you guess impossible things).  You either get 1-4 questions and you get a few lives to allow for error.

If you do get the required credit the whole game changes to the money game and the credits become money going from 10-£20 although the maximum win is £20 so even getting every box spot on would only be a twenty pound win.

Now although this is the best value for money game in terms of length and provides the most fun its still incredibly fixed.

Nearing the target credit? Expect every box to be four tough questions inside

Get a low target for credit? Expect a rough ride

On the money game? The 10p-90p boxes will be the first ones out.

Its all fixed but I tend to have won more on this than others, although by "won" I mean recouped more of my losses.