Modern World Tournament

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naan/steak-holding toll
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Modern World Tournament

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

I’m pleased to announce the Modern World Tournament, a side I hope to have run as an open event at various quizbowl events in 2014. The tournament will consist of rounds of 20 pyramidal, power-marked tossups and 20 three-part bonuses, with questions focusing on worldwide politics, economics, social trends, and culture since the end of the Cold War. Questions will be roughly of roughly “regular-plus” difficulty, comparable to Penn Bowl 2013, and will be written and edited primarily by Will Alston, Kirk Jing, and Nick Jensen, with assistance from Jacob Reed. Expect a healthy amount of appropriate expression of the writers' political opinions to make it into this set.

All 13 planned packets have been written, edited, and packetized for this tournament. We are currently producing a fourteenth packet for the purpose of tiebreakers.

The following sections contain information on the philosophy behind this tournament, question content, etc.

“Politics, Economics, and Society” (PES) Questions

In this tournament, we are interested in turning quizbowl current events away from a focus on scandals and trivia about politicians’ personal lives and towards a focus on substantive policy issues that are highly relevant in modern society. While this doesn’t mean that our tournament won’t have quotes - it will have plenty of them - we are hoping to have more questions about political issues rather than specific events. For example, we are much more interested in welfare policy than what Rush Limbaugh said about poor people in September of 2007.

By “economics”, we are not referring to the social science, though there will be clues from academic economics thrown into questions. With economics questions, we are interested in asking about things that have major impacts on the global economy; logically, there will be a big overlap with politics and policy in this category.

By “society” we are referring to broad social trends and movements, as well as important institutions. Examples of such movements include the gay rights movement, evangelical Christianity, and environmentalism.

“Culture” Questions

Much of the “culture” questions will be “trash” in the quizbowl sense of the word, i.e. questions about non-academic culturally relevant material. While looking at modern literature, cinema, and music, we felt it was pointless and rather difficult to fairly differentiate between “trash” and “academic” or “high-brow” and “low-brow” and are circumventing this issue by making all things equal under one heading - “culture”. While most of the material will be “non-academic” in the quizbowl sense, there will definitely be clues from more “academic” sources, i.e. history, literature, music, film, social science, etc.

With this tournament, we are interested in taking quizbowl culture questions (trash) in a different direction than has been traditionally done. We feel that “traditional” quizbowl trash puts an inordinate amount of emphasis on sports, video games, TV shows, and bands/artists that individual quizbowlers happen to enjoy, (i.e. do you know what this Community character did in episode X) rather than looking at broad cultural impacts of particular works, groups, genres, or institutions. Hence, there will be a lot more “common link” culture question and a stronger focus on genres and recurring themes. We also plan on having a few questions from "non-traditional" culture topics like food, newspaper comics, and (gasp!) fashion. Given the huge possible range of trash subjects, we feel this will not damage our ability to produce a solid tournament.

Distribution

The question distribution will be as follows:

3/3 American PES
1/1 American culture
2.5/2.5 Other Western PES (appx.)
1.5/1.5 Other Western culture (appx.)
2/2 East Asian PES
1/1 East Asian culture
1.5/1.5 International politics (appx.)
1.5/1.5 International culture (appx.)
1/1 Former Soviet Union (any)
1/1 Latin American (any)
1/1 African (any)
1/1 Middle East (any)
1/1 South Asia (any)
1/1 Southeast Asia (any)
1 tiebreaker tossup on American politics

The definition here of "international" is that the question gets a substantial amount of clues from at least two different "regions" as we have defined them. For example, a question using clues from both America and Europe, or one drawing from Africa, India, and Australia.

This distribution corresponds [very] roughly to the relative size of these regions economically, with a few adjustments in order to ensure adequate coverage of all areas of the world. The world is a lot bigger than just America, so we see no reason to have half of all current events based on domestic topics; such a convention is widely accepted in non-current events, non-trash areas already.
Last edited by naan/steak-holding toll on Tue May 20, 2014 1:19 pm, edited 26 times in total.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by Auroni »

In this tournament, we are interested in turning quizbowl current events away from a focus on scandals and trivia about politicians’ personal lives and towards a focus on substantive policy issues that are highly relevant in modern society. While this doesn’t mean that our tournament won’t have quotes - it will have plenty of them - we are hoping to have more questions about political issues rather than specific events. For example, we are much more interested in welfare policy than what Rush Limbaugh said about poor people in September of 2007.
With this tournament, we are interested in taking quizbowl culture questions (trash) in a different direction than has been traditionally done. We feel that “traditional” quizbowl trash puts an inordinate amount of emphasis on sports, video games, TV shows, and bands/artists that individual quizbowlers happen to enjoy, (i.e. do you know what this Community character did in episode X) rather than looking at broad cultural impacts of particular works, groups, genres, or institutions.
Fuck you!
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

On a related note, I should give a lot of credit to my inspiration for this tournament to the "modern world" question concept pioneered at this past year's WIT. Kudos to Auroni and the Berkeley/Ohio State teams for that, I really liked that idea and think it worked out pretty well at that tournament.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by The Kirk Store Called »

Kenneth Widmerpool wrote:Fuck you!
Can we take that as an expression of interest? :razz:

Anyways, before anyone gets worried, the East Asian culture tossups has been mostly written and none of them are anime. There are some clues that are convertible based on anime, but that's true in normal quiz-bowl too. I do want to get across the point that there is more to modern East Asian culture than anime. Anime is cool and all, but it's not the only thing in the entire continent. It should be possible to power every single East Asian tossup written so far without ever having watched an anime.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

I want to play this tournament more than I want to play actual quizbowl.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by Oh No You Didn't »

kroeajueluo wrote:
Kenneth Widmerpool wrote:Fuck you!
It should be possible to power every single East Asian tossup written so far without ever having watched an anime.
DOES THIS MEAN IT REWARDS ME FOR HAVING READ THE ORIGINAL MANGA ADAPTATION
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by The Kirk Store Called »

Although "Modern Culture" will have some overlap with "trash", it doesn't necessarily mean just better-written trash. We hoped to cover a variety of important cultural trends in the modern world, which often means analyzing and mentioning of works people consider trash. However, that also includes many subjects that might be considered 'academic' in a normal quizbowl packet. As mentioned earlier, the concept of 'Modern Culture' largely comes from our skepticism of differentiating between 'high culture academics' and 'low culture trash'.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by Lefty734 »

This seems very interesting. I hope I get to play this at some tournament.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by cruzeiro »

This looks absolutely fascinating. One question on the distribution: are the 2/2 on International PES and International Culture about anywhere in the world (i.e., there can be an additional Latin America or Middle East question that comes out of the international distribution, and so on) or focused on some region in particular?
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by Deepika Goes From Ranbir To Ranveer »

cruzeiro wrote:This looks absolutely fascinating. One question on the distribution: are the 2/2 on International PES and International Culture about anywhere in the world (i.e., there can be an additional Latin America or Middle East question that comes out of the international distribution, and so on) or focused on some region in particular?
I knew you'd be all over this like flies on shit :wink:
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

cruzeiro wrote:This looks absolutely fascinating. One question on the distribution: are the 2/2 on International PES and International Culture about anywhere in the world (i.e., there can be an additional Latin America or Middle East question that comes out of the international distribution, and so on) or focused on some region in particular?
The definition here of "international" is that the question gets a substantial amount of clues from at least two different "regions" as we have defined them. For example, a question using clues from both America and Europe, or one drawing from Africa, India, and Australia.

I'll put that in the OP.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by Muriel Axon »

gamegeek2 wrote:1/1 Continental European culture
You know what you have to do. 1/1 Eurovision. (over the tournament, not per packet)
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

If this event were paired with another as part of a two-day affair, would people be interested in playing it? I definitely plan on running an online mirror, but I'm trying to find out what the optimal time/place for this tournament IRL is. Ideally I'd like to run it with something like the Cane Ridge Revival that I'll be writing and staffing for. In addition, I'd like to pair it with other tournaments with large audiences of college and strong high school players, such as PACE.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill »

This sounds interesting and I would play it if it actually gets completed.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by Kilroy Was Here »

This is exciting and I like the idea of a Cane Ridge site.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by The Dance of Sorrow »

I very much want to play this. Collin Parks, want to team up and confuse everybody?
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by Kilroy Was Here »

Golden-bellied Starfrontlet wrote:I very much want to play this. Collin Parks, want to team up and confuse everybody?
My name is legion; for we are many.
(sounds good)
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

There's been a slight distribution change. South and Southeast Asia are each 1/1 now, and International has been reduced.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by Great Bustard »

Will this be open to non hs/college players? I would definitely play this if it were feasible for me to attend wherever it will run, and if I'm allowed to.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

This will be a completely open tournament. Any permutation of players of any sort will be allowed to play, as long as basic quizbowl rules are followed (i.e. tossup-bonus format, teams of up to 4 players at once).
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

Due to exams, papers, and the like, Kirk and I have not managed to make much progress on this tournament in the past week or two. However, I expect significant progress to be made over our six-week winter break. Thus far, we have five packets' worth of tossups and three and half packets' worth of bonuses, and we expect to finish at least eight packets of both by the end of break.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

Nick is now one of the primary writers of this tournament, along with Kirk and I. Expect a somewhat increased amount of literature in the "culture" section.

The tournament is now nearly halfway done.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

The tournament is roughly 2/3 done. The distribution has also been slightly altered; check the OP.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by Charbroil »

Any additional news about an HSNCT mirror of this?
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

I'll look into finding volunteers willing to direct a mirror of this at HSNCT.

UPDATE: I miscounted. This tournament is actually about 75% done now and will almost certainly actually happen.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by 1992 in spaceflight »

I'm willing to organize a mirror of this at HSNCT if no one has stepped up to make it happen yet.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by 1992 in spaceflight »

gamegeek2 wrote:I'll look into finding volunteers willing to direct a mirror of this at HSNCT.

UPDATE: I miscounted. This tournament is actually about 75% done now and will almost certainly actually happen.
The HSNCT mirror will indeed be happening. Nicholas Karas and myself will be co-directing it. I'll make a full post announcing it tomorrow once I'm back from practice.

EDIT: It looks like Charlie Dees is going to be running the HSNCT mirror. I'd contact him for any more information.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by The Kirk Store Called »

Out of 277 tossups and bonuses, 274 and 276 are done. Packetization is complete except for those questions.

There will obviously be more playtesting/editing, but everyone can be assured that they will be playing SOME sort of tournament.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by grapesmoker »

Is there any possibility of this being mirrored at PACE for those of us who will be there but not at HSNCT?
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by Cody »

grapesmoker wrote:Is there any possibility of this being mirrored at PACE for those of us who will be there but not at HSNCT?
This is the Memorial Day tournament at NSC.
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by ryanrosenberg »

Cody wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:Is there any possibility of this being mirrored at PACE for those of us who will be there but not at HSNCT?
This is the Memorial Day tournament at NSC.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=15550
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Re: Modern World Tournament

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

This tournament is completely written and packetized, and will be roughly 60% playtested after tonight. People will be playing a full tournament and we can write even more packets if needed.
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