Trash distribution discussion

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Trash distribution discussion

Post by AKKOLADE »

I've been considering writing a trash tournament for sometime in the winter/spring of '08, and was hoping for feedback on the distribution I'd use if I do end up going through with the event.

4/4 sports
3/3 between the NBA, NFL, MLB & college football & men's basketball
1/1 amongst 'minor' sports, with NHL, NASCAR, soccer, golf, tennis & UFC being emphasized.

4/4 music
2/2 from 1990 to today
2/2 prior to 1990

4/4 television
2/2 from 1990 to today
2/2 prior to 1990

4/4 movies
2/2 1980s to today
2/2 pre-1980

2/2 video games

2/2 other
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Post by Mike Bentley »

I tend to find the "other" distribution of trash tournaments (which usually includes videogames) to be a lot more interesting than the big four of sports, movies, tv, and music. So personally I'd like to see higher than 4/4 other per packet. The final packets at Chris McCray were around 7/7 "other", although that did lead to a few of the major categories getting squeezed. I think sports probably should still get 4/4, but I'd probably be inclined to make music, tv, and movies 3/3 and then give an additional 1/1 for an extra question for any of thsoe three cateogires. That'd get you up to 6/6 other, which I'd find a lot more enjoyable. But maybe I'm just in the minority, and other people like the big four a lot more than I do.

I do like the lack of "1980-1990" subdistribution in the categories. I think as the '80s get farther and farther away, trash packets really need to stop containing so many questions from this decade.

Also, 2/2 videogame distribution gets a big thumbs up from me. Although, again, making it 50% of the other category doesn't leave too much room for misc. trash.
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Post by DumbJaques »

I agree with mike, "other" trash rules. I have a few pet peeves about the distribution you posted (and the one used at most tournaments):
2/2 prior to 1990 (from tv showe)
Do we really need 2/2 on old tv shows? I feel like it's overrepresented, and I would wager that this distribution has a significantly lower conversion percentage than most. It's quite distant to a lot of people. I welcome tossups on things that are clearly important culturally (or trashically), but I can't help but feel giving quite so much weight to old TV leads to tossups on shows that were canceled after 10 episodes in 1973.

Also, as for the sports distribution: Even though most people outline a balanced distribution, I feel as if packets frequently end up not conforming to it. For example, there is ALWAYS at least 1/1 baseball, and usually there's more. Having more screws up that distribution, usually at the expense of the other sports. Also, I fucking hate baseball.

I for one would not be averse to dropping 1/1 from TV (guess from which subdistribution) to make some room for the "other" category. "Other," however, should probably have more of an iterated distribution (comics, consumables/advertising history, the ever-popular miscellaneous, etc.).
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Post by AKKOLADE »

I see your point about 2/2 old TV shows being too much, although I think if people were smart about their answer selection and didn't go for some 1970s equivalent of a cult following show that isn't that important or relevant now, we'd be helped out.

For more "other", how about I cut movies & TV to 3/3 each and bump "other" up to 4/4? To me, small & big screen stuff overlaps to a certain extent.

Video games, to me, is deserving of its own concrete place in the distribution. It is one of the largest entertainment industries in the United States (and elsewhere, of course), and while not yet to the size of the traditional movie, television & music industries, it is getting there and is a large part of the American culture.

And I promise to follow my sports distribution, as well as the other finalized ones, assuming this actually happens (we're a bit off right now for me to go guaranteeing things, as the plan is currently to sell off the completed set to places looking to host tournaments, but I need an editor first, etc.).

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Post by Bigfoot isn't the pr »

Uhh I forgot what I was gonna say.

Well, I agree with the 2/2 video games.

For the most part, I liked the distribution in the Chris McCray. Sure, MY ideal packet would be about 10/10 video games, 5/5 British bands, and 5/5 "Things-Robert-Poirier-Knows", but I think the distribution was adequate.
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Post by Rothlover »

DumbJaques wrote:I agree with mike, "other" trash rules. I have a few pet peeves about the distribution you posted (and the one used at most tournaments):
2/2 prior to 1990 (from tv showe)
Do we really need 2/2 on old tv shows? I feel like it's overrepresented, and I would wager that this distribution has a significantly lower conversion percentage than most. It's quite distant to a lot of people. I welcome tossups on things that are clearly important culturally (or trashically), but I can't help but feel giving quite so much weight to old TV leads to tossups on shows that were canceled after 10 episodes in 1973.

Also, as for the sports distribution: Even though most people outline a balanced distribution, I feel as if packets frequently end up not conforming to it. For example, there is ALWAYS at least 1/1 baseball, and usually there's more. Having more screws up that distribution, usually at the expense of the other sports. Also, I fucking hate baseball.

I for one would not be averse to dropping 1/1 from TV (guess from which subdistribution) to make some room for the "other" category. "Other," however, should probably have more of an iterated distribution (comics, consumables/advertising history, the ever-popular miscellaneous, etc.).
a. baseball IS the ONLY sport that matters. The other sports shit is just a being generous.

b. There is plenty of important tv prior to 1990, the same as with film. A tu on Dr. Kildare or the Defenders is 100X better than one on some horse shit like Design on a Dime.

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Post by Howard »

DumbJaques wrote:Do we really need 2/2 on old tv shows? I feel like it's overrepresented, and I would wager that this distribution has a significantly lower conversion percentage than most. It's quite distant to a lot of people. I welcome tossups on things that are clearly important culturally (or trashically), but I can't help but feel giving quite so much weight to old TV leads to tossups on shows that were canceled after 10 episodes in 1973.
I dunno. Step back and examine the intended audience. For something aimed at high-schoolers, you're probably right. For the college audience, the more popular 80s shows should have at least been seen in reruns. I do agree that some show that was canceled after 10 episodes more than 10 years ago is a very poor answer choice (although possibly a good lead-in). I'd even support breaking it up into decades like I believe was done at McCray (too lazy to look back at that right now). Perhaps 1/1 00s, 1/1 90s, 1/1 80s, and 1/1 70s or something similar. And it should be clear that you're looking only for popular shows of the 70s and 80s. Maybe relax the popularity requirement for the 90s, and toss it out for the 00s.
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Post by DumbJaques »

b. There is plenty of important tv prior to 1990, the same as with film. A tu on Dr. Kildare or the Defenders is 100X better than one on some horse shit like Design on a Dime.
I also call for 0/0 HGTV, but that's just me. Of course there's important tv prior to 1990 (though obviously film was much more a significant part of culture from 1910-1960 than tv programming was). In any event, your example is ridiculous, neither of those things is a good tossup choice. Perhaps a better distribution would look like this:

1985-present: 2/2 (or 3/3 if that's the distribution your tournament uses)
Pre-1985: 1/1

I agree that most of the current college crowd has seen some 1980s reruns - but only of shows that get rerun. This doesn't account for the abundance of questions on 1970s/80s sitcoms that ran for 1-2 seasons and were never heard from again. Also, take stock of the date, guys. It's 2007. 1990 was seventeen years ago. In a year or two, most college freshmen won't even have been alive in the 1980s. This is one of those things that just has to move forward a bit.
a. baseball IS the ONLY sport that matters. The other sports shit is just a being generous.
Baseball is a joke of a sport, commendable only for the fact that a still-frame slideshow of a minor league psychopath swinging a bat at a pitcher's head is significantly more worthwhile to watch and significant to MLB history than the home run record being broken.

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Post by grapesmoker »

Rothlover wrote:There is plenty of important tv
I'm pretty sure we can stop taking you seriously right there.
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Post by Mike Bentley »

I think that TV doesn't age nearly as well as the other three big categories.

Yes, you can still sometimes find reruns of shows from before 1990 on a few stations, but the numbers are dwindling, even as the number of channels the typical person has access to is ever increasing. You're not going to find shows that weren't popular in the '90s on any channels but niche stations like TV Land, Nick at Nite or GSN to an extent too much anymore. Yes, if you made an effort to you could probably still catch up on old episodes of Dallas, but I'd wager that almost no current undergrad or high school trash player is really doing so.

Obviously there are a few exceptions to this. Shows like M.A.S.H., Gilligan's Island and The Cosby Show have pretty much cemented their place in popular culture and I imagine attract at least a decent number of younger viewers. But these shows aren't abundant enough to warrant more than 1/1 per packet.

Also, the amount of content in a TV show compared to other forms of media also makes it much more daunting for younger players to really sink their teeth into a show. Joe TRASH Player may have spent the '80s watching nearly every episode of

Meanwhile, I'd wager that the music of the '80s and older is much more familiar to the younger generation of trash players. I'm probably as big of a Beatles fan as someone who was actually alive when they were still together, but I'd have to think really hard about a TV show from that era that I actually cared about. I do feel that '80s music is over-represented to absurdity in TRASH and most regular trash tournaments that I don't run, but I can at least see something of a justification for it compared to TV of the '80s.

The same argument can be made for movies and sports. Movies require significantly less time than TV shows to appreciate and become invested in, and sports always attract a significant portion of people who are interested in their history (plus I don't think people write about old sports nearly as much as they do in the other genres).

In case I didn't get the point across in the rest of this post, obscurata of the '80s (and even of a lot of the '90s now) still sucks for younger trash players and should never ever be in another trash packet intended for a general audience, regardless of the category.
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Post by Rothlover »

I was basically being facetious, but I do believe that trash should be about important things, and with tv, if you are going to have a ton of recent stuff you are going to be branching out into shows that matter neither critically nor neilsenally. That leads to stuff like lots of tossups on Reunion and other shows that should never come up. Alternately, you can get people delving really deep into tv shows of recent popular vintage, and find three firefly questions or, as was the case with a recent MLK, like 5-6 BSG questions.

I think 2/2 old tv is absurdly high, but 1/1 on stuff before 1985 and then 1/1 from 85 to like 99, then 1/1 on stuff from this century, with room for an "other" q or so a round. I forget if this was about how the CO trash dist was supposed to be.

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Post by pray for elves »

One thing that I've noticed is that 60s and 70s music tends to be underrepresented when compared with 80s, 90s, and 00s. The simple truth is that a lot of music from the 60s and 70s is much more accessible and important than most of the crap that gets asked from the more recent years.

Of course, the problem is that most of the people who edit tournaments either mostly ignore the 60s and 70s for music (more commonly) or overrepresent them entirely (less commonly).

Actually, the worst offenders in my mind have been TRASH with a horrible skew towards recent obscure indie rock and less important 1980s bands.

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Post by AKKOLADE »

Did some tinkering with the suggested distribution and came up with the following:
4/4 sports - same sub-distribution as above, only with a decreased focus on UFC in the minor sport category
4/4 music - same sub-distrib, as I think pre-1990 music is far easier to access and more culturally significant than movies & TV
3/3 TV - 2/2 for the 90s on, 1/1 pre-90s
3/3 movies - 2/2 for the 90s on, 1/1 pre-90s
1/1 video games - dropped 1/1 into the other category, as I'm worried that I wouldn't be able to go 30/30 video games without getting too obscure
5/5 others - with focuses on comic books, products, comic strips, additional video game and books/magazines, although it's entirely possible I'm overlooking something(s)
I've also contacted someone about possibly editing for me, with possible sub-editors being considered.

One more thing: would 15 packets be enough for a full tournament, or should more be prepared?
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Post by Bigfoot isn't the pr »

Perhaps you already did, but please explain your reasoning behind dropping one from movies as well as TV.

If you want to go for a distribution similar to that, shave one off sports and music and divide you "others" into catagories.

Perhaps
3/3 Sports
3/3 Music
3/3 TV
3/3 Movies
2/2 Videogames
2/2 Consumerama
4/4 Other
(or something similar)

EDIT: Or you could just do theme packets.
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Post by cvdwightw »

One thing I'm noticing is that all these distributions are 20/20. Writing packets of 20/20 is bad. You need at least an extra tossup in case of moderator error or overtime and an extra two bonuses if you're allowing lames. That said, I would probably modify the distribution to this:

3/3 Sports: 2 on baseball, 3 on major sports (college and professional football and men's basketball), 1 on minor sports
3/3 Music: 2/2 post-1990, 1/1 pre-1990
3/3 TV: 2/2 post-1990, 1/1 pre-1990
3/3 Movies: 2/2 post-1990, 1/1 pre-1990
2/3 More Big Four: slight emphasis on things that got taken out from the original distribution (major/minor sports excluding baseball, pre-1990 music and movies)
2/2 Games: 3 questions on video games, 1 question on board or card games or 4 questions on video games.
5/5 Other

15 packets should almost certainly be more than enough for any small-to-medium field tournament. You can always make the schedule to fit the number of packets.

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Post by DumbJaques »

2 on baseball, 3 on major sports (college and professional football and men's basketball)
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Post by Mike Bentley »

cvdwightw wrote:15 packets should almost certainly be more than enough for any small-to-medium field tournament. You can always make the schedule to fit the number of packets.
15 is a lot of packets. I honestly think that tournaments would be of higher quality, less stress, and much more timely if only like 12 packets were produced.
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Post by STPickrell »

IMO, distribution ought to be reflective of the expected age range of the attendees. If your tournament is going to mostly be 25+ folks, then 70s, 80s and geezer (pre-1970) trash ought to be more present; if you're aiming for mostly an undergrad/recent grad crowd, video games/Internet culture ought to be 1/1 or even 2/2 and more recent Top 40 music, etc., ought to be present.

For a mixed age tournament, try and balance out old people subjects with undergrad subjects. So for every Q on I Love Lucy, put in a Q about Resident Evil or whatever videogame you young whippersnappers are playing.

Perhaps the geezer TV distribution can be augmented by old-time radio (you can probably write 2/2 or 3/3 over the course of a tournament) and possibly musicals (if you're inclined to include musicals as trash and not audio fine arts).

Sports: While NASCAR is probably more important than hockey and soccer, it seems most quizbowl players do not care about NASCAR in the same way as they do soccer and hockey.

BTW, I am willing to write a few geezer trash questions for any tournament if requested. That's about all I'm good for these days.

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Post by AKKOLADE »

Sasquatch wrote:Perhaps you already did, but please explain your reasoning behind dropping one from movies as well as TV.

If you want to go for a distribution similar to that, shave one off sports and music and divide you "others" into catagories.

EDIT: Or you could just do theme packets.
1) The reasoning is that old TV/movies questions are not very accessible and my target audience would be better served by good questions about more accessible topics.

2) I'd rather not divide "others" into categories, as I feel like it'd cause me to write questions on topics when I find a subject that would be better represented. I will point out categories that will be focused on though.

3) I don't like theme packets. They're fine if you're on a topic you love and know, but if it's moved on to something you don't know, it's a half hour or so of your life wasted.
cvdwightw wrote:One thing I'm noticing is that all these distributions are 20/20. Writing packets of 20/20 is bad. You need at least an extra tossup in case of moderator error or overtime and an extra two bonuses if you're allowing lames.
My plan is to actually have an extra packet of questions for the specific purpose of replacement q's. Maybe two in case a round should be entirely screwed up.
StPickrell wrote:IMO, distribution ought to be reflective of the expected age range of the attendees. If your tournament is going to mostly be 25+ folks, then 70s, 80s and geezer (pre-1970) trash ought to be more present; if you're aiming for mostly an undergrad/recent grad crowd, video games/Internet culture ought to be 1/1 or even 2/2 and more recent Top 40 music, etc., ought to be present.
I'm really going for cultural significance with a range of times. My main criticism of TRASH events that I've read sets from focused on geezer stuff that ranged towards obscura too much. I want to do an event that is good for college age kids, but is also accessible for masters players.
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In defense of geezer trash

Post by STPickrell »

leftsaidfred wrote:1) The reasoning is that old TV/movies questions are not very accessible and my target audience would be better served by good questions about more accessible topics.
Geezer TV (pre-1990):
1. I Love Lucy, 2. Amos 'n' Andy, 3. The Honeymooners, 4. Perry Mason,
5. Gunsmoke, 6. Bonanza, 7. The A-Team, 8. The Twilight Zone, 9. The Beverly Hillbillies, 10. MacGyver, 11. The Cosby Show, 12. Cheers, 13. MASH, 14. Three's Company, 15. Green Acres, 16. Leave It To Beaver, 17. The Jeffersons, 18. All in the Family, 19. Bewitched, 20. I Dream of Jeannie, 21. Rocky and Bullwinkle, 22. Yogi Bear, 23. the Smurfs, 24. Family Ties

Geezer film (pre-1970):
1. Birth of a Nation, 2. The Great Train Robbery, 3. It Happened One Night, 4. Gone with the Wind, 5. Goodbye, Mr Chips, 6. The Wizard of Oz, 7. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 8. Citizen Kane, 9. The Maltese Falcon, 10. Casablanca, 11. Double Indemnity, 12. It's a Wonderful Life, 13. Maureen O'Hara, 14. John Wayne, 15. John Ford, 16. Katharine Hepburn, 17. Peter Sellers, 18. Clark Gable, 19. Laurence Olivier, 20. Greta Garbo, 21. Marlene Dietrich, 22. Ginger Rogers, 23. Sophia Loren, 24. Raquel Welch

Historical stuff in the fields of popular culture *should* be fodder for a trash tournament; otherwise they should then be classified as fine arts for academic tournaments.

As for 'age appropriateness,' I will grant that 80s trash (especially stuff you can't even see on TV Land, ACM, Boomerang, etc.) would favor the 30somethings, but how is pre-1970 trash favoring anyone? While old fogeys like me would have syndication, you young farts have the Intertubes and TV Land. (FWIW, I thought Airwolf was a bit obscure as far as 1980s TV goes.)
My plan is to actually have an extra packet of questions for the specific purpose of replacement q's. Maybe two in case a round should be entirely screwed up.
It's probably better to have extra embedded within the packets; that way you don't have to keep track of who's used which spare question, and a moderator doesn't have to approach you where there is a sudden-death situation.
StPickrell wrote:I'm really going for cultural significance with a range of times. My main criticism of TRASH events that I've read sets from focused on geezer stuff that ranged towards obscura too much. I want to do an event that is good for college age kids, but is also accessible for masters players.
From what I've heard I will agree with you. I honestly think the stuff I listed above is gettable by any age range -- sure, the oldsters will have an advantage on them but you young whippersnappers will have an advantage on video games and more contemporary music.

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Re: In defense of geezer trash

Post by Bigfoot isn't the pr »

StPickrell wrote:I'm really going for cultural significance with a range of times. My main criticism of TRASH events that I've read sets from focused on geezer stuff that ranged towards obscura too much. I want to do an event that is good for college age kids, but is also accessible for masters players.
From what I've heard I will agree with you. I honestly think the stuff I listed above is gettable by any age range -- sure, the oldsters will have an advantage on them but you young whippersnappers will have an advantage on video games and more contemporary music.[/quote]

From my limited experience I would agree with you, to a degree. I remember TRASH regionals of the 2005-2006 season. It seemed to me that alot of it was accessible to my age (I was just a Junior then :O). TRASH regionals this year seemed to skew back towards the older audience, but perhaps thats because I was looking for it this time around.

But it is a two-way street. An old "geezer" (for the most part) has a very very small chance to give an answer like "S.T.A.L.K.E.R" while a youngster will have a tough time answering a question on some 70s crime show that six people watched.

I would like to compliment the College Park tournaments for their balance. When compared to TRASH I have almost no complaints to their distribution/age accessibility/answers. If your a trash player on the East coast and you aren't going to their tourneys, you're stupid (or have some other factors playing in that I don't care about).

So yeah, its a two-way street. I've never played or read a packet that I felt was extremely inaccessible to someone my age.

Regarding fred's proposed distribution: I think you can keep TV and Movies to a 4/4 if you keep the movies and tv "from back in the day" culturally relevant. Citizen Kane or Humphrey Bogart are questions that are culturally relevant are probably considered "geezer" subjects. In that vain, the list of TV shows that StPickrell posted is a good list of potential answers and as a younger player I wouldn't feel cheated if "Leave It To Beaver" was an answer.
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Re: In defense of geezer trash

Post by AKKOLADE »

StPickrell wrote:As for 'age appropriateness,' I will grant that 80s trash (especially stuff you can't even see on TV Land, ACM, Boomerang, etc.) would favor the 30somethings, but how is pre-1970 trash favoring anyone? While old fogeys like me would have syndication, you young farts have the Intertubes and TV Land.
Those are all good for question subjects, but my hesitations comes with the bonuses. Including those, we'd go up to about 90-100 topics worthy of questions, and even if you include multiple characters from one show, I hesitate that I could accomplish that. Additional old TV may be accomplished through the miscellaneous category.

Also, All in the Family is totally fine arts.
(FWIW, I thought Airwolf was a bit obscure as far as 1980s TV goes.)
Quoted for truth.
It's probably better to have extra embedded within the packets; that way you don't have to keep track of who's used which spare question, and a moderator doesn't have to approach you where there is a sudden-death situation.
I see your point and will rethink my stance.
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Post by AKKOLADE »

Sasquatch, I think I address your post in my response to Shawn.

Also, Mike, please respond to my e-mail. Thanks.

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Re: In defense of geezer trash

Post by grapesmoker »

Sasquatch wrote:An old "geezer" (for the most part) has a very very small chance to give an answer like "S.T.A.L.K.E.R" while a youngster will have a tough time answering a question on some 70s crime show that six people watched.
Not to mention that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has better production values than anything 70s TV show.
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Post by Captain Sinico »

DeisEvan wrote:One thing that I've noticed is that 60s and 70s music tends to be underrepresented when compared with 80s, 90s, and 00s. The simple truth is that a lot of music from the 60s and 70s is much more accessible and important than most of the crap that gets asked from the more recent years.
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Post by AKKOLADE »

One more finalized attempt at a distribution for my event.
4/4 sports - same sub-distribution as above, only with a decreased focus on UFC in the minor sport category
4/4 music - same sub-distrib, as I think pre-1990 music is far easier to access and more culturally significant than movies & TV
3/3 TV - 2/2 for the 90s on, 1/1 pre-90s
3/3 movies - 2/2 for the 90s on, 1/1 pre-90s
1/1 video games - dropped 1/1 into the other category, as I'm worried that I wouldn't be able to go 30/30 video games without getting too obscure
5/5 others - with focuses on comic books, products, comic strips, additional video game questions, additional questions from "the big four" and books/magazines, although it's entirely possible I'm overlooking something(s)
Also, I'm working on finalizing an editor and dates. I'm hoping to have more solid info over the weekend, to do some kind of formal announcement.

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Post by pappy97 »

4/4 sports - same sub-distribution as above, only with a decreased focus on UFC in the minor sport category
4/4 music - same sub-distrib, as I think pre-1990 music is far easier to access and more culturally significant than movies & TV
3/3 TV - 2/2 for the 90s on, 1/1 pre-90s
3/3 movies - 2/2 for the 90s on, 1/1 pre-90s
1/1 video games - dropped 1/1 into the other category, as I'm worried that I wouldn't be able to go 30/30 video games without getting too obscure
5/5 others - with focuses on comic books, products, comic strips, additional video game questions, additional questions from "the big four" and books/magazines, although it's entirely possible I'm overlooking something(s)
This looks good.

Regarding video games, I know 30/30 is tough, but I am trying to encourage people to write more questions about console gaming. I've noticed videogame questions tend to mainly stay in the PC realm, although console gaming is much more popular in mainstream society (even though likely not as popular in the Quizbowl community).

For example, your 30/30 could break down like this

6/6 PC Gaming Questions (3/3 post 2000, 3/3 90's)
6/6 Sony Console Gaming (PSX, PS2, PS3)
6/6 Nintendo Console Gaming (NES, SNES, N64, GC, Wii)
3/3 Microsoft Console Gaming (XBOX, XBOX 360)
9/9 Misc. (2/2 Handhelds not named Game Boy, 2/2 Game Boy, 2/2 Sega Games/Consoles, 2/2 Atari games/consoles, 1/1 other [Phillips CDI, Turbo-Graphix 16, Gizmondo, n-Gage, etc, etc])

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Post by Bigfoot isn't the pr »

But pappy, doesn't your distribution just skew everything to console? 5/2 comparing console to pc is pretty tough. Video game questions are tough to write and distribute because of multi-platform games. If they stick with plot, gaming mechanics, secrets, strategy, etc. a question on say, Doom 3, could fall under both X-Box and PC.

Personally I feel that if you are setting a distribution for gaming, do it by genres. But then again, I think sticking to some kind of distribution for gaming is generally a bad idea.
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Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

6/6 Sony is out of line in that proposed distribution. Nintendo's been involved for 32 years and PC gaming has been going on even longer. Sony stepped in no sooner than 1994. I don't care how big they've been since then - 6/6 Sony doesn't have enough history behind them to warrant an equal distribution to Nintendo or PC games. Also, no one company should be equal to the entirety of PC gaming - there's simply so much more out there for PCs historically.

I'd go with, of 30 total, 8 PC, 6 Nintendo (including handhelds), 4 Sony, 3 Microsoft, and 9 Misc, which also includes answer space for notable people, events, magazines, etc., because not everything in video games happens after the "Press Start" screen.

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Post by Sima Guang Hater »

Sasquatch wrote:Personally I feel that if you are setting a distribution for gaming, do it by genres. But then again, I think sticking to some kind of distribution for gaming is generally a bad idea.
30% RPGS, 30% fighters, 30% action/adventure/platform, 10% other, distributed historically and by platform.

Unless you wanted to make it 100% chrono trigger, which is fine by me.
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Post by pray for elves »

ToStrikeInfinitely wrote:
Sasquatch wrote:Personally I feel that if you are setting a distribution for gaming, do it by genres. But then again, I think sticking to some kind of distribution for gaming is generally a bad idea.
30% RPGS, 30% fighters, 30% action/adventure/platform, 10% other, distributed historically and by platform.

Unless you wanted to make it 100% chrono trigger, which is fine by me.
What about a game like Zelda, typically called an "adventure RPG"? Which category does it go in?

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Post by AKKOLADE »

Basing distribution on the platform is as good of an idea as basing a movie distribution on which production company is responsible for it.

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Post by Sima Guang Hater »

DeisEvan wrote:What about a game like Zelda, typically called an "adventure RPG"? Which category does it go in?
It could fulfill either, I guess. Though personally I think its more adventure than RPG (no stat-building, for example. And you actually need reflexes).
DeisEvan wrote:100% GUITAR HERO QUESTIONS
Ugh
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Post by grapesmoker »

DeisEvan wrote:What about a game like Zelda, typically called an "adventure RPG"? Which category does it go in?
Category "Awesome." Nota bene: "Twilight Princess" will eat your life.
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Post by pappy97 »

leftsaidfred wrote:Basing distribution on the platform is as good of an idea as basing a movie distribution on which production company is responsible for it.
It was just an idea based on the observation that video game questions skew too heavily towards PC.

I like the ideas of splitting by genres too, and a space for notable people/events/magazines/etc.

But I don't see why sticking to a distro, whatever that distro is, is a bad idea. I just see too many packets with PC gaming questions, usually of the RPG variety. I get the feeling that questions tend to represent what packet writers play, instead of what is popular in the mainstream.

When packet writers for the Boston College Jam Tournament this year wrote 1/1 or 2/2 in each packet of NHL questions, people here flipped a lid. The point raised here was the questions were more reflective of the packet writers and not mainstream America. Well, I'm raising the same point about PC games (especially PC RPG) and its overrepresentation in quizbowl packets.

I know it is difficult to write questions for all genres, but questions can be "disguised" as another area. For example, a question might at first sound like a sports question, when in fact it is a sports game question.

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Post by AKKOLADE »

I agree that getting a good representation of the console popularity is very important, and I will do that in my event. I will also not write to what I enjoy, but to what is important and answerable.

I know that the distribution comment was aimed elsewhere, but I'll say that I think a bad distribution can be just as bad, if not worse, than writing bad questions. If I wrote 5/5 professional wrestling, baseball cards or Earthbound, it'd be a recipe for disaster, no matter how great my Silver King or Billy Ripken "fuck face" question would be.

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Post by pray for elves »

grapesmoker wrote:
DeisEvan wrote:What about a game like Zelda, typically called an "adventure RPG"? Which category does it go in?
Category "Awesome." Nota bene: "Twilight Princess" will eat your life.
I was disappointed by how Twilight Princess only ate two days of my life after I got my Wii. It was a fuckin' awesome game, though.

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Post by grapesmoker »

DeisEvan wrote:I was disappointed by how Twilight Princess only ate two days of my life after I got my Wii. It was a fuckin' awesome game, though.
Is that two days of nonstop playing? Because I've logged over 40 hours at this point, though it wasn't all in a single sitting.
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Post by Kilby »

leftsaidfred wrote:Basing distribution on the platform is as good of an idea as basing a movie distribution on which production company is responsible for it.
Ignoring the ongoing Blu-Ray versus HD DVD debate...

When a movie is released to the home market, you usually don't have to worry about which DVD player you have. Not so with all video game releases.

I think using platform as a starting point for a distribution can work. Doing so makes sure no fanboys of any particular system or company get completely left out in the cold, but a bigger benefit is the ability to properly balance what time periods the questions cover. Distributing the questions by company (as Pappy did) doesn't really achieve this, but it can be done by sorting the consoles by time periods or generations.

Note that the reason I say starting point is because you can have a separate question on a topic from each platform in existence, but such a distribution is worthless if 50% of the questions are on RPG's and the other 50% are on rhythm games. I agree there should be some sort of distribution based on game style, but I personally think it is easier to start with platform then look at genres rather than vice versa.

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Post by Red-necked Phalarope »

leftsaidfred wrote:5/5 Earthbound
Sign me up. Now.

On a serious note, that looks like a pretty reasonable distribution. You could definitely write at least 45/45 for video games amongst the packets. As people mentioned, tossups on subjects like Shigeru Miyamoto, Capcom, maybe even Jack Thompson, etc. are definitely writeable. You probably also don't want to overlook questions on 'Americana'/tourist traps, which are fun when they're not too regional--I'm thinking of a fun tossup on Wall Drug from TRASH Regs a while back. But those are few and far between and I'm just being nitpicky anyway.

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Post by theMoMA »

Fuck face came up at Chris McCray. Yet another reason that tournament was awesome.

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Post by AKKOLADE »

theMoMA wrote:Fuck face came up at Chris McCray. Yet another reason that tournament was awesome.
I assume this was a bonus part, as I can't imagine there's enough depth on the card to get a tossup, but that is pretty great. Good show by the author of that.
Kilby wrote:Note that the reason I say starting point is because you can have a separate question on a topic from each platform in existence, but such a distribution is worthless if 50% of the questions are on RPG's and the other 50% are on rhythm games. I agree there should be some sort of distribution based on game style, but I personally think it is easier to start with platform then look at genres rather than vice versa.
I agree that taking platforms into account is important as well, but I really don't think it should be the primary focus, especially with the number of games that are supported on multiple platforms. RPG fans know RPGs, fighting fans know fighters, and so forth.
Casanova Frankenstein wrote:
leftsaidfred wrote:5/5 Earthbound
Sign me up. Now.

On a serious note, that looks like a pretty reasonable distribution. You could definitely write at least 45/45 for video games amongst the packets. As people mentioned, tossups on subjects like Shigeru Miyamoto, Capcom, maybe even Jack Thompson, etc. are definitely writeable. You probably also don't want to overlook questions on 'Americana'/tourist traps, which are fun when they're not too regional--I'm thinking of a fun tossup on Wall Drug from TRASH Regs a while back. But those are few and far between and I'm just being nitpicky anyway.
'Sup Earthbound buddy :cool:

I may end up returning the video game distribution to 2/2, though I don't know if I want to go 3/3. I just want to make sure I can pull it off with good questions first. 3/3 does seem a bit much at this point though.

I will include some Americana questions under the others category, but I don't think too many. If they're well-written they can be pretty kicking rad, but I think accessibility is a major concern. I never heard of Wall Drug before that question, and while learning about it was interesting, learning about new things with a low probability of conversion in the midst of a tournament should not be, in my opinion, a priority of a tournament writer.

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Post by pray for elves »

grapesmoker wrote:
DeisEvan wrote:I was disappointed by how Twilight Princess only ate two days of my life after I got my Wii. It was a fuckin' awesome game, though.
Is that two days of nonstop playing? Because I've logged over 40 hours at this point, though it wasn't all in a single sitting.
I finished the game over two days, and the last sidequest after a fourth, with lax playing on the third and fourth days comparatively. I did it during winter break last year, when nothing was on my schedule, and with 29 hours logged everything in the game was done, including the stupid bugs quest.

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Post by BuzzerZen »

DeisEvan wrote:I finished the game over two days, and the last sidequest after a fourth, with lax playing on the third and fourth days comparatively. I did it during winter break last year, when nothing was on my schedule, and with 29 hours logged everything in the game was done, including the stupid bugs quest.
That's pretty hardcore. Did you ever play the "fly up the river popping fruit balloons" minigame? That one was pretty sweet.
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Post by Red-necked Phalarope »

leftsaidfred wrote: I may end up returning the video game distribution to 2/2, though I don't know if I want to go 3/3. I just want to make sure I can pull it off with good questions first. 3/3 does seem a bit much at this point though.
For some reason, I was reading your 30/30 distribution earlier as equivalent to 1/1 per packet... despite the fact that you were clearly writing no more than 15 packets. 3/3 probably *is* too much; I was trying to say that having 1/2 or 2/1 per packet would be achievable. Oops.

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Post by theattachment »

Okay, so I got to the discussion late. It's a good one, especially with my professed love and obsession for trash.

Anyhow, I'm working on the EP high school trash with Andrew and a slew of others, and I'd second the general consensus that there has to be a differentiation and lowering of each decade. I'd almost go so far as to say that (at least for HS, but to some extent college as well) anything pre-1960 either has to be as important or as culturally big as Elvis. Otherwise, you really do get to the point where you're putting it in as fine arts. A Birth Of A Nation tossup doesn't count as trash to me simply because the cultural importance isn't in pop culture, but is instead in filmography. As for decade breakdowns, the 1960s and 70s warrant a subdistribution together, with the 80s, 90s, and now separate. Here's my general decade distro:

.75/1 60s and 70s
.25/.25 80s
1/1.5 90s
2/1.25 00s

I lump the 60s and 70s together because usually if something is notable from back then it has the same type of relevance, i.e. the Beatles or a genre-defining band.

The 80s are, as many said before me, freakishly overdone. I'll credit the people that overdid it because most of the pop culture from back then was the sort of stuff that lends itself to a trash tournament in the sense that trash is more about the disposable than the important (hence the name). 80's pop culture, save for The Cosby Show, was designed to be extremely commoditized and disposable. Nowadays, you feel dirty for ever having listened to a band like Cinderella; that same feeling comes from answering most trash stuff in normal tournaments. Still though, don't take the easy way out and cut down your 80s very heavily.

The 90s are bordering on turning into the new 80s in the sense that it's old enough to be nostalgic and new enough to be accessibly difficult. Because I have a good time writing harder giveaways that IMHO should be what bonuses are, I boost the bonus distro for the 90s. It seems like the 90s (especially in TV) gets to be either a giveaway or way too easy, so you can usually write better bonuses than tossups.

Simply for current relevance you need to have now stuff boosted. If you're doing a subsubdistro it would have to be half and half last two years and 2000-05 to emphasize that.

*catches breath*

All that in mind, I'll say this: If you're worried about relevance, have it be 3/3 current and 1/1 classic, which is what we're generally doing for EP. In the music, we're doing 1/1 of rock, rap, pop, and classic stuff, and while we don't have it totally spelled out yet, I'm thinking the classic is going to skew more to the 60s and 70s, with important 80s stuff like The Joshua Tree and Grandmaster Flash in the smallish 80s section and less important stuff like the glam scene bleeding into pop and rock if need be.


The rest of the distro looks really good. Sports seems well distributed so long as you hold to it, and the other distro may need to be fleshed out, even if it means feeling like it's constraining you. For EPIC, we're counting food in the other distro, so you can really add whatever you want.

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Post by cvdwightw »

Regarding video games: should there be an era distribution on that too? Something like 1 question every other couple of packets on stuff from, say, the early 90s and before? Expanding the video game answer space to include stuff like Zork and some of the old LucasArts games would probably allow 30/30 rather easily.

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Post by magin »

leftsaidfred wrote:
theMoMA wrote:Fuck face came up at Chris McCray. Yet another reason that tournament was awesome.
I assume this was a bonus part, as I can't imagine there's enough depth on the card to get a tossup, but that is pretty great. Good show by the author of that.
16) One character with this surname is the creation of J.J. Henderson, and solves crimes in books like Mexican Booty. A coach with this surname was fired six games into the 1988 season, and an infielder with this surname is pictured on a notorious error card featuring the words “fuck face.â€

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Post by Mike Bentley »

I wrote a 26/26 videogame packet for ASS before we decided to vary the themes up a little bit more, and we had more than that in the end when some were written for the other packets (i.e. a Ninja Gaiden tossup for the Pirates v. Ninjas v. Zombies v. Robots round).

The Nintendo packet I read at the "Chicago Open Trash Tournament" this year had 45 tossups, 7 bonuses and 4 lightning rounds (which, if divided into 3 part bonuses, would end up being like 13 more bonuses). I had ideas down for several more tossups, but I decided to stop myself so I'd actually get it done. Some of the answers were too obscure or difficult for a general trash tournament (Stafy, Ninja Five-O, to name a few). But since Nintendo only makes up a portion of the videogame distribution, I think it's not unreasonable to do 30/30 in a tournament.

From my experience, pre-1990s games come up about as often as they should in trash packets (maybe even a little too often). Using the example of Zork, I've heard an entire bonus on Zork and at least one bonus on adventure games that had the game as one answer part. Stuff like Galaga, Pac Man, NES-only games like Kid Icarus and all sorts of other old games have come up before in trash packets. Again, I don't think there's really a problem with old games not coming up.

If I were handling the videogame distribution, I'd probably divide it first by time period, then try to make sure that I vary both genres and the system that a game is most associated with.
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Post by grapesmoker »

cvdwightw wrote:Regarding video games: should there be an era distribution on that too? Something like 1 question every other couple of packets on stuff from, say, the early 90s and before? Expanding the video game answer space to include stuff like Zork and some of the old LucasArts games would probably allow 30/30 rather easily.
I realize I'm probably going to ruffle some feathers with this, but the only reason many games from the early 90s even come up anymore is because we were all young and impressionable then and there was nothing better. The truth is that for every Mario 3 or Contra, there was a mountain of derivative garbage that is best forgotten (Milo's Secret Castle anyone?). Likewise, many old PC games were objectively terrible even compared to some of their contemporaries. Not that I guess there's a huge issue with over-representation of these topics, but still, I'd like to get this point in before anyone starts writing tossups on "Quest for Glory 2."
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