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Old 07-06-2016, 11:08 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Cleveland suburbs
Posts: 1,344
Buzztime (bar trivia game), players who cheat

I really enjoy playing the various Buzztime games at several local clubs. It is a trivia game shown in Harry Buffalo, Buffalo Wild Wings, and many independent bars. There are numerous games, the 7 question Lunch Time Trivia, the 15 question Countdown in the afternoon, as well as once a week games with specific topics. They go on all day long, every half hour (15 minutes for lunch Time Trivia).

The questions appear on a TV screen along with 5 choices for the answer, and you enter your answers in a hand held game tablet. The fastest you answer, the higher the score. To get a perfect 1000 point score, you have about 2 seconds, then it counts down to zero in 10 seconds or so. There are three hints along the way, the last one actually clues the answer. It can be quite challenging depending on how the questions fall in your knowledge base. One game I can be nearly perfect, the next I am hopelessly down on the 200-500 point scores.

You play against other people in that bar for local wins, and against the entire national network for overall awards. The games are scored immediately after they finish for that time zone, then the results for all the time zones are compiled and the final results posted on the website the next day. There is nothing to win except points and satisfaction.

You are ranked against all the players registered in your home location by:

1) Medals (1st, 2nd or 3rd in the whole network), then
2) Top 100 network finishes, then
3) Local wins

There is also a local leader board for each game that lists the 10 highest scores for the past month, it resets on the 1st.

I am a fairly good player, with a top 100 finish every week or so, and one network 1st place, but not in the same league as the players who have a wide knowledge of everything. Our local leader is a nice, older guy who plays under the name, "Doc". We have a friendly rivalry when I am there playing against him.

I was kidding him last month about how I had several games in the local leader board until he and two other local hotshots played a bunch of games and took over the board. Call them Bad1 and Bad2.

When I mentioned my rapid fall from the board, Doc said, "You know Bad1 and Bad2 share answers." He explained they sit next to each other and feed answers back and forth so they score well.

The past 6 months of games are available for recall on the website, so I looked up the games they got top 100 finishes in, sure enough, it was when those two were playing together.

Then one day I played against Bad1. He was about the same level as I was, we split two games. I could see him across the room, he did not know me. The entire time he played, he had a smart phone in one hand, rapidly flipping pages up and down as he answered. I still haven't figure out what that was about. I had to leave after two games and went over and introduced myself, he recognized my name right away.

Then, with no prompting, he said that he and Bad2 were brothers and liked to share answers so "We all get good scores", and invited me to join in anytime. I was dumbfounded and didn't say much, just made an excuse and left.

Since then I have passed Bad2 in the standings, and was bearing down on Bad1, I only needed 2 top 100 finishes to tie him. They haven't been playing much for the past few months. One morning I logged in and was shocked to see him 10 top 100s ahead of me! Sure, enough, in two days the brothers played all afternoon and rang up a dozen top 100s between them.

This is really discouraging, since he is obviously aware that I am aware of how he plays. Anytime they want, they go out and surge ahead.

Just had to get that off my chest. I can still get ahead with another network 1st place since that is the main ranking factor. I guess between the two of them they are not quite capable of getting perfect scores, probably because of the short time involved, not much time to get their cheating answer in.

Dennis
Old 07-06-2016, 11:32 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: N of Denver & S of Sanity
Posts: 12,581
We gave up on a weekly trivia night because we were competing against teams openly using their phones to look up answers.
Old 07-06-2016, 12:37 PM
Corellian Nerfherder
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 11,722
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixdenny View Post
I guess between the two of them they are not quite capable of getting perfect scores, probably because of the short time involved, not much time to get their cheating answer in.
I used to play Buzztime a fair amount, and I think that's a not-insubstantial factor. A perfect (or nearly perfect score) requires not only the right answer, but getting the right answer right away, when the question is opened. The time that they spend in looking up answers, and communicating them to each other, means that they're likely getting right answers, but near the end of the time period for the question (and, thus, fewer points).

TBH, I don't see it as cheating per se; IMO, truly cheating would be if they somehow had a hack / exploit that let them know what the right answer would be without having to look things up.
Old 07-06-2016, 03:21 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Cleveland suburbs
Posts: 1,344
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
TBH, I don't see it as cheating per se; IMO, truly cheating would be if they somehow had a hack / exploit that let them know what the right answer would be without having to look things up.
And apparently, there are those that have such a method. They simply text answers to their buddies in later time zones, and *they* get perfect scores.

Buzztime does recognize this problem, and their "Premium" games are all played simultaneously, i.e, at 6:00PM Pacific, 7:00Pm Mountain, etc. No way to call the answers ahead.

It's all kind of silly, there isn't any prize money.


PS, the Bad brothers are pretty quick, they are playing in the upper 13,000 and above range when together. Bad1 gets much better scores, I suspect he is a good natural player and just needs occasional help.

Dennis

Last edited by mixdenny; 07-06-2016 at 03:25 PM.
Old 07-06-2016, 04:41 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The Swamp
Posts: 7,350
I don't classify this game in the same category as live trivia. As you said, no prizes or anything. Now, people who cheat at REAL trivia where there's something like a bar tab at stake? They can go straight to hell.
Old 07-06-2016, 05:11 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The land of the mouse
Posts: 46,749
Yeah, cheating when there's nothing at stake except feeling better than some anonymous strangers is merely sad.
Old 07-06-2016, 06:55 PM
Charter Member
Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 77,444
Wait, sharing answers is cheating? Whenever I've been to BWW, the folks I've been there with have always just taken it for granted that everyone at the same table shares answers.
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