Trash distribution discussion

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Mike Bentley
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Post by Mike Bentley »

grapesmoker wrote:
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."
Well yeah, but there are also games that are both important and legitimately fun to play from this era. I agree that in pretty much all cases non-great games from this era should not be asked about, but intentionally neglecting stuff like Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Defender, Galaga, Super Mario Bros, text adventures such as Zork (when these games reached their peak), etc. because they're from the '80s and relatively primitive by today's standards is not a great idea.

I'd wager most silent films suck compared to today's films, but you still have gems like Birth of a Nation (you know, except for that KKK stuff) that are worth asking about at least in the Fine Arts distro.
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Post by grapesmoker »

Steroid McBlooddoper wrote:Well yeah, but there are also games that are both important and legitimately fun to play from this era. I agree that in pretty much all cases non-great games from this era should not be asked about, but intentionally neglecting stuff like Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Defender, Galaga, Super Mario Bros, text adventures such as Zork (when these games reached their peak), etc. because they're from the '80s and relatively primitive by today's standards is not a great idea.
Yeah, all those things were cool. Obviously there are plenty of historically significant games that were also fun for their time. I'm just trying to caution people against going nuts on marginal games from their childhood.
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Post by theMoMA »

Mike, would you mind posting that question on barrel rolls from your videogame packet? I'd like to see more questions like this.

Also, I'm not too big a fan of movies in the fine arts distro. Other visual fine arts like architecture and statue are underrepresented as it is without film questions cluttering up the other arts distribution. I certainly will never write a packet with a film question under arts.

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Post by Mike Bentley »

Fred: I'll get back to you shortly

Here's the barrel roll question:
In Wave Race 64, it earns you at least 1400 points and can be performed in two directions by inverting the way the control stick is moved. In another game, both the Blue Marine and the Landmaster are able to do it. The character who instructs you as to how to perform this maneuver also says things like "You're becoming more like your father" and "it's quiet... too quiet", and it can most famously be done in an Arwing. FTP, Peppy tells you to press Z or R twice to do this maneuver from Starfox 64, now a popular Internet meme.
ANSWER: Barrel Roll

I think it could have stood to be a little less transparent, but I did like this question. I'm not really sure how to write more questions like this, though.

By the way, this whole packet will be posted somewhere soon. You can also hear Nintendo enthusiasts (but not quizbowl players) playing it at:
http://www.doc-ent.com/qbc/gonin1.mp3
http://www.doc-ent.com/qbc/gonin2.mp3
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Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

theMoMA wrote:Mike, would you mind posting that question on barrel rolls from your videogame packet? I'd like to see more questions like this.

Also, I'm not too big a fan of movies in the fine arts distro. Other visual fine arts like architecture and statue are underrepresented as it is without film questions cluttering up the other arts distribution. I certainly will never write a packet with a film question under arts.
I think if that movies question is the third FA question in a packet with music and art tossups already, and the movie is legitimately art, it would be fine. I would want to see the corresponding bonus be on architecture or what have you. I feel that 2/2 out of 20 is a little low on the arts, but more than 1/1 on music or art in the strictest of definitions (no arch, no sculpture, no jazz) is too much. Film, jazz, and architecture can help fill that gap.

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Post by grapesmoker »

theMoMA wrote:Also, I'm not too big a fan of movies in the fine arts distro. Other visual fine arts like architecture and statue are underrepresented as it is without film questions cluttering up the other arts distribution. I certainly will never write a packet with a film question under arts.
There are certainly movies out there that qualify as art; while it's great that you want to write more diverse art questions, there's plenty of room for great film in the arts distribution. Indeed, I can't think of a single tournament of which I could say that film "clutters up" the arts distribution.
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Post by theMoMA »

Yeah, some film is art. But the problem is that the answer space is limited compared to the number of questions that are asked. Far too many questions have been asked on Seventh Seal, Rashomon, Birth of a Nation, etc. relative to their artistic importance.

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Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Alright, I'm coming to this discussion late and it's silly of me to wade into trash discussion anyway. But, I really don't understand the rationale being put forth by lots of people who say we should limit older topics and write on stuff that younger people enjoy. Why do we not treat trash the same way we treat academic tourneys? In good academic tourneys, answers are usually chosen because they are defined as "important" in some absolute sense - as integral to whatever topic they are classified under. Sure, answers have to be accessible enough for the given tourney, but they aren't usually chosen merely because people enjoy hearing about them. Mythology and literature are very popular (and answerable) topics according to the vast majority of good academic players, but noone suggests we bump them up to 10/10 just because we're generally not as enthralled by other topics (and there are areas in academic play that very few people really like or look forward to hearing, but we still put them in, because we say "eh, this is important, people study this, it played a key role in blah blah, etc.").

Trash seems to be just the opposite. People seem reluctant to create a loose sphere of "important" things in the pop culture world. Now, if you're writing a trash tourney just for kicks and giggles (or writing just a small handful of trash questions for the hell of it), sure - I'd say write on whatever amuses you, within reasonable bounds. But, if we're talking about designated trash tourneys and "proper trash distro," why shouldn't iit be more analogous to academic? When you don't know anything about a certain academic topic, even one that may be difficult for you to learn about or that you have no real interest in learning about - you read packets, books, look stuff up online, etc...and pretty soon you do know some stuff about it. You don't make some contorted argument that it's not important or relevant enough to be asked about. I'm sure there's all kinds of stuff on the net about the inner details of Airwolf, the oft-used example.

For example, I love how noone here questions the inclusion of 4/4 sports or 2/2 video games, presumably because most/all of you are 18-30 year old males who love those things. And so do I, but I think it's a pretty spurious claim that the pop culture universe holds video games important enough to occupy 10 percent of a packet. I think 4/4 of sports, music, tv, and movies seems reasonable enough. But I fail to see any argument for priveleging one decade over another, except for maybe a slight over-representation of more modern stuff on the grounds that what is happening right now is intrinsically more important in a pop culture sense.

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Post by AKKOLADE »

Ryan Westbrook wrote:Alright, I'm coming to this discussion late and it's silly of me to wade into trash discussion anyway. But, I really don't understand the rationale being put forth by lots of people who say we should limit older topics and write on stuff that younger people enjoy. Why do we not treat trash the same way we treat academic tourneys? In good academic tourneys, answers are usually chosen because they are defined as "important" in some absolute sense - as integral to whatever topic they are classified under. Sure, answers have to be accessible enough for the given tourney, but they aren't usually chosen merely because people enjoy hearing about them. Mythology and literature are very popular (and answerable) topics according to the vast majority of good academic players, but noone suggests we bump them up to 10/10 just because we're generally not as enthralled by other topics (and there are areas in academic play that very few people really like or look forward to hearing, but we still put them in, because we say "eh, this is important, people study this, it played a key role in blah blah, etc.").

Trash seems to be just the opposite. People seem reluctant to create a loose sphere of "important" things in the pop culture world. Now, if you're writing a trash tourney just for kicks and giggles (or writing just a small handful of trash questions for the hell of it), sure - I'd say write on whatever amuses you, within reasonable bounds. But, if we're talking about designated trash tourneys and "proper trash distro," why shouldn't iit be more analogous to academic? When you don't know anything about a certain academic topic, even one that may be difficult for you to learn about or that you have no real interest in learning about - you read packets, books, look stuff up online, etc...and pretty soon you do know some stuff about it. You don't make some contorted argument that it's not important or relevant enough to be asked about. I'm sure there's all kinds of stuff on the net about the inner details of Airwolf, the oft-used example.

For example, I love how noone here questions the inclusion of 4/4 sports or 2/2 video games, presumably because most/all of you are 18-30 year old males who love those things. And so do I, but I think it's a pretty spurious claim that the pop culture universe holds video games important enough to occupy 10 percent of a packet. I think 4/4 of sports, music, tv, and movies seems reasonable enough. But I fail to see any argument for priveleging one decade over another, except for maybe a slight over-representation of more modern stuff on the grounds that what is happening right now is intrinsically more important in a pop culture sense.
I believe women follow sports and play video games as well. Having a vagina does not make the Nintendo Wii or Cincinnati Reds poisonous.

My video game distribution was reduced to 1/1. A round may have an additional video game question through the miscellaneous category, just like there may be additional television or movie questions. I'd also like to ask how video games have not become a heavily important part of American pop culture in the past 25 years.

People did question the inclusion of video games, though this tended to be in e-mails, notably from John Kilby and Matt Weiner.

I decreased old television & movie distributions for two reasons, both of which were stated in this thread: 1) I feel knowledge of the movie and television fields overlaps; 2) Accessibility of old television shows and movies are fairly limited, as not all great movies/shows have been released on DVD or shown on free television regularly. There are no classes for "Run For Your Life" or "Here Comes the Bride", let alone "All in the Family". As such, accessibility becomes very literal - how easily one can access watching a show or movie determines, in large part, its importance.
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Having a vagina does not make the Nintendo Wii or Cincinnati Reds poisonous.
Quote of the month.
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Post by naturalistic phallacy »

charlieDfromNKC wrote:
Having a vagina does not make the Nintendo Wii or Cincinnati Reds poisonous.
Quote of the month.
The Wii, amazing. The Reds, not so much.

But to assume that we don't care/know about such things is like assuming males know nothing about Fine Arts.
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Men never know anything about fine arts. It's fact.
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Post by No Rules Westbrook »

But to assume that we don't care/know about such things is like assuming males know nothing about Fine Arts.
It's only like that in the sense that any stereotype is like any stereotype. Women knowing less about video games and sports is a stereotype I'll take to the bank with me.

People who refuse to employ stereotypes are not enlightened souls; they're just people who fail to understand the basic laws of probability. Quote that for truth.

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Post by fizzball »

Ryan Westbrook wrote:For example, I love how noone here questions the inclusion of 4/4 sports.
yeah, I'm not saying TV doesn't have problems, but I've also been wondering why 4/4 sports gets a free pass. So many sports questions regurgitate stat lists, or are biography or transaction bowl questions. Y'know, the stuff good quizbowl isn't supposed to be. Even outstanding writers fall into this rut.

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Post by pray for elves »

I hereby announce the Jerry Vinokurov Memorial Trash Tournament.

Packet breakdown will be:

13/13 Video Games
13/13 Soccer

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Post by dschafer »

DeisEvan wrote:I hereby announce the Jerry Vinokurov Memorial Trash Tournament.

Packet breakdown will be:

13/13 Video Games
13/13 Soccer
How do I register?

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Post by Mike Bentley »

dschafer wrote:
DeisEvan wrote:I hereby announce the Jerry Vinokurov Memorial Trash Tournament.

Packet breakdown will be:

13/13 Video Games
13/13 Soccer
How do I register?
I'm looking for a soccer partner for this tournament.
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Post by Mike Bentley »

Ryan Westbrook wrote:Alright, I'm coming to this discussion late and it's silly of me to wade into trash discussion anyway. But, I really don't understand the rationale being put forth by lots of people who say we should limit older topics and write on stuff that younger people enjoy. Why do we not treat trash the same way we treat academic tourneys? In good academic tourneys, answers are usually chosen because they are defined as "important" in some absolute sense - as integral to whatever topic they are classified under. Sure, answers have to be accessible enough for the given tourney, but they aren't usually chosen merely because people enjoy hearing about them. Mythology and literature are very popular (and answerable) topics according to the vast majority of good academic players, but noone suggests we bump them up to 10/10 just because we're generally not as enthralled by other topics (and there are areas in academic play that very few people really like or look forward to hearing, but we still put them in, because we say "eh, this is important, people study this, it played a key role in blah blah, etc.").

Trash seems to be just the opposite. People seem reluctant to create a loose sphere of "important" things in the pop culture world. Now, if you're writing a trash tourney just for kicks and giggles (or writing just a small handful of trash questions for the hell of it), sure - I'd say write on whatever amuses you, within reasonable bounds. But, if we're talking about designated trash tourneys and "proper trash distro," why shouldn't iit be more analogous to academic? When you don't know anything about a certain academic topic, even one that may be difficult for you to learn about or that you have no real interest in learning about - you read packets, books, look stuff up online, etc...and pretty soon you do know some stuff about it. You don't make some contorted argument that it's not important or relevant enough to be asked about. I'm sure there's all kinds of stuff on the net about the inner details of Airwolf, the oft-used example.

For example, I love how noone here questions the inclusion of 4/4 sports or 2/2 video games, presumably because most/all of you are 18-30 year old males who love those things. And so do I, but I think it's a pretty spurious claim that the pop culture universe holds video games important enough to occupy 10 percent of a packet. I think 4/4 of sports, music, tv, and movies seems reasonable enough. But I fail to see any argument for priveleging one decade over another, except for maybe a slight over-representation of more modern stuff on the grounds that what is happening right now is intrinsically more important in a pop culture sense.
Without getting into an argument on the distribution of sports and videogames, I feel I need to respond to the first two paragraphs in this post.

I think you're fundamentally misunderstanding the purpose of a "trash" tournament. Every trash tournament I've ever been to has been essentially molding "popular culture" into a quizbowl format. Because "popular culture" is a constantly changing entity that has different meanings to different people, there will always be discussions of what exactly popular culture is, and how it should be reflected in a tournament's distribution.

From what I've made of your post, you seem to be arguing for some sort of "recent fine arts" tournament, wherein there is some pretend canon of arbitrarily defined "important" works that we ask about regardless of whether they're in the popular culture realm anymore. I don't think I would enjoy playing in such a tournament at all, and I'd wager most quizbowl and trash players would not either. I guess if there was some formal trash canon it would be easier to do the bullshit quizbowl studying of the canon to markedly improve oneself in the game. Yes, you can still do things like study Oscar winners, the Billboard chart the day before the tournament, sports statistics and what have you, but generally people "prepare" for trash tournaments by taking in popular culture. If we define some rigid canon that places highly artificial "importance" on topics and as time goes on becomes accessible by just studying the canon, simply absorbing popular culture isn't going to help too much in preparing for trash tournaments.

And are you really serious that because it's feasible that someone can study something like Airwolf that it would be valid in a trash tournament not held in 1986 or whenever the hell the show aired? And then are you saying that people don't come on this forum and bitch that things in academic tournaments are acanonical or ridiculously obscure? Look at that whole discussion of this year's Sun 'n Fun for a war of lists over "this dude shouldn't come up" rather than "man that was hard... I better go look him up!"

Regardless, I think we have arrived at what is "important" in popular culture, and it is things that are either current enough that they can be reasonably expected to be exposed to the audience attending the tournament or an ever-more-recent-moving list of things produced in the past that have had such an endearing legacy that they're still known today (Oscar Winners, very famous sports figures, etc.).
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Post by grapesmoker »

Steroid McBlooddoper wrote:
dschafer wrote:
DeisEvan wrote:I hereby announce the Jerry Vinokurov Memorial Trash Tournament.

Packet breakdown will be:

13/13 Video Games
13/13 Soccer
How do I register?
I'm looking for a soccer partner for this tournament.
1) The rumors of my grisly demise have been grossly exaggerated.
2) I would gladly either play in such a tournament or help write it. Seriously though, if anyone needs video game and soccer questions, I'd be happy to supply them.
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Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Huh? I don't really understand the point that Mike is making here. I'm not advocating a "recent fine arts" tourney - clearly tv shows and movies from the 70s and 80s, for example, are widely considered pop culture.

I am merely arguing that maybe our definition of what's important enough to be asked about shouldn't be so heavily dependent on the age/gender/personal taste of the audience - just as it isn't in academic qb. I didn't enumerate the "objective" criteria for what might make something important in a pop culture sense and I'm way too lazy to do so now. But, you can imagine what some factors might be for, let's say a tv show - length of its run, how many people saw it, whether it influenced anything subsequently or established cultural trends, its perceived quality even if it was short-lived (which is inherently subjective of course, but there is often agreement), etc. The much-pilloried Airwolf certainly doesn't strike me as wildly obscure under such standards, alhtough of course it's always arguable.

The analogy to Sun n'Fun doesn't work. If we agreed that Helene Cixous was important enough to be asked about (and perhaps she is), then we say "she should get introduced to the canon" - sure, by way of a bonus part first, for accessibility reasons. But we don't say "the people playing the tournament didn't know her or didn't like her - see, that's proof of how unimportant she is." That's a silly self-fulfilling prophecy. It's not that it's feasible to study about her that makes her important - it's that she meets certain "objective" standards of "importantness," ones that aren't arbitrarily tied to some particular audience or some particular time period.

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Post by Mike Bentley »

Steroid McBlooddoper wrote:Fred: I'll get back to you shortly

Here's the barrel roll question:
In Wave Race 64, it earns you at least 1400 points and can be performed in two directions by inverting the way the control stick is moved. In another game, both the Blue Marine and the Landmaster are able to do it. The character who instructs you as to how to perform this maneuver also says things like "You're becoming more like your father" and "it's quiet... too quiet", and it can most famously be done in an Arwing. FTP, Peppy tells you to press Z or R twice to do this maneuver from Starfox 64, now a popular Internet meme.
ANSWER: Barrel Roll

I think it could have stood to be a little less transparent, but I did like this question. I'm not really sure how to write more questions like this, though.

By the way, this whole packet will be posted somewhere soon. You can also hear Nintendo enthusiasts (but not quizbowl players) playing it at:
http://www.doc-ent.com/qbc/gonin1.mp3
http://www.doc-ent.com/qbc/gonin2.mp3
Ok, this packet is now on the Stanford Archive.
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Post by No Sollositing On Premise »

Well, while games are the subject, two years ago I wrote a 22/0 gaming packet for an AIM chatroom that some people here played, and I'm currently writing 70 modified-Jeopardy questions for the UVA Gamers' Club trivia day at the end of the semester. One question from that gaming packet that was shamelessly recycled to a UVA high school tournament involved the I-shaped Tetris piece.

But to be honest, when writing a video game distribution, it needs to be skewed to relatively modern games - I feel this should be true for all media questions within all trash distributions, but that's just me. Even if there is a nearly unlimited wealth of material to draw from when discussing older games, the more people are playing new games than old games, and it would be misleading to write a gaming set that was 25% 1980s without calling it a retro gaming or classic gaming packet. Here's my own ideal 24/24 gaming distribution:

14/14 21st century, 10/10 20th century

6/6 Nintendo consoles, 5/5 computer games, 7/7 non-Nintendo consoles, 6/6 multiple platforms or not pertaining to a particular platform

All the following genres must be represented by at least 1/1 and no more than 3/3 - action/adventure, action/platformer, shooter, RPG, racing/driving, strategy/simulation, fighting, puzzle

At least 1/1 and no more than 3/3 questions should pertain to hardware, companies, or real-life people

This sounds about right to me, but I have a weird, specific opinion about this. Plus, it's probable that I play, research, write about, and talk about video games more than anyone else on this board.
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Post by Stained Diviner »

There are fundamental differences between trash and academic tournaments. If you had a tossup on Kid Nation or the Appalachian State football team, nobody could complain that those things have not been mentioned in bonus questions in past years or that they will not have any major impact on our culture. They are valid trash questions solely because people in our culture are talking about them.
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Post by Mike Bentley »

laszlow wrote:Plus, it's probable that I play, research, write about, and talk about video games more than anyone else on this board.
O RLY!?

Seriously though, can I get that videogame packet?
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Post by Bigfoot isn't the pr »

laszlow wrote:Plus, it's probable that I play, research, write about, and talk about video games more than anyone else on this board.
That is quite an impressive statement to make. I am sure many on this forum would challenge that. As would I
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Post by creed_of_hubris »

grapesmoker wrote: (Milo's Secret Castle anyone?)
-5

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Post by rylltraka »

I'd say, even, and be supported by some of the previous posters, that VG questions are among the easiest to write, or at least to get other players to write. Provided, of course, that you find the right people.

I'd have no problem producing 30/30 VG by myself. For format, I'd welcome the multiple-genre idea (separating by both era, type of game, system, and relevance). But then again, I was raised on video games rather than warm and nurturing love. Those who've played or attended Ghetto Warz know the depth of my mania.

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