Hi's Eye

Addictive trivia app works its way into students’ schedules

Nathalie Tucker, R3 Features Editor

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It’s 9 p.m. and WHS senior Emily Boll gets a notification on her phone. No, it’s not a text from her mom or an Instagram notification. It’s a message from HQ Trivia, telling her that it is time to play.
HQ Trivia is the latest app to take over the digital world. Since launching in October, the app has catapulted in popularity over the past month. HQ is a live trivia app that can be played twice a day, at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. There are usually around 500,000 players at once, but the record for HQ players is more than a million.
Why are so many people flocking to play this game? The simple answer is money. If you get all 12 questions right, you win a portion of the prize money, which is usually around $2,000.
HQ’s popularity may be due in part to its accessibility to anyone. “HQ presents the opportunity to get money without having to actually do anything,” junior Daniel Han says. “This is really helpful, especially for high schoolers.”
Senior Emma Rogers likes the challenge of this game. “I like HQ because I always forget about it, but once I get the notification I get really excited to play,” Rogers says. “When you get one right it’s such a big confidence boost.”
While the first HQ question is easy, the difficulty level increases steadily with questions that range from history to pop culture (examples: “Which car logo features exactly two letters?” “The guinea pig is native to which continent?”). Winners receive an email and are paid via PayPal.
 While HQ is a one-of-a-kind app with many benefits, there are also some questionable aspects to it. One in particular is a technical issue during the trivia game. The app will often buffer for many people at once, putting the HQ world into a frenzy.
“Sometimes there is poor connection and a log in the live stream so it’s easy to miss the question,” Boll says. “To begin with there are only 10 seconds to answer each question, but the lag makes it even more difficult to answer the questions.”
The game’s live chat is filled with messages praising one of the live trivia hosts, or messages of support of political leaders. Boll thinks the chat takes away from the fun of the app. “The live chat is often distracting so I usually just hide the comments,” she says. “A lot of people turn the chat into something political.”
While HQ presents the opportunity to win money, it is extremely rare to win more than around $20. As a result, there’s a chance it will be like any other fad. “I think it is definitely just a trend like all iPhone games,” Rogers says. “Do you know anyone that still religiously plays Angry Birds or Temple Run?”

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