TRASHionals Discussion

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Post by Rothlover » Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:06 pm

creed_of_hubris wrote:
Rothlover wrote: There was the whole "Adenoid Hynkel" tu, that was wonderfully worded in such a way that you would get fucked in the ass if you said "Der Fooey from the Great Dictator" eight words in, thereby getting a neg and a loss despite showing actual knowledge
I wrote the question right after watching the movie and didn't remember seeing or hearing "Der Fooey" anywhere in the film.

"Der Fooey" has 5 hits in google; "Der Phooey" has 6. I think it's a little much to expect us to catch a reference that obscure.
Nearly 300 hits for "Great Dictator" and "Fooey," its not like its unknown. It was his title, what with it being a play on Fuhrer and all. What it was was clear knowledge equivalence getting screwed and in retrospect it should seem obvious that, at the least, a tu whose answer was simply "The Great Dictator" would be less likely to lead to such results.

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Re: re:

Post by pgroce » Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:43 pm

BigFlax wrote:
pgroce wrote:FWIW, video games were capped at 1/1 for the tournament.
This is interesting because, as Coelacanth's post confirms, I'm sure I'm not the only person who thought there seemed to be way more than that. As I noted above, however, this may simply have been because I don't know anything about them, although it does seem odd because 1/1 seems like little or no change from previous tournaments.
1/1 has been the distribution for the last few tournaments. You may have noticed it more because of the character of the questions -- we specifically favored newer video games over older ones, and thanks largely to John Kilby, we were able to include clues that better rewarded gameplay.
Perhaps there were more questions than before that contained video game allusions, even while they may not have fallen into that category because of their exact answers? I'm just speculating, of course.
There were a few trad game questions where we mentioned some of the computer games that played it -- Backgammon and Connect Four, notably. Looking at the question set right now, I don't see any such references. (I remember reading one movie or TV question referencing a performer's work in a video game, but I can't find it right now.)

I really think it was perceptual. You can always buy a copy of the questions and check for yourself. :)

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Re: re:

Post by BigFlax » Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:51 pm

pgroce wrote:
BigFlax wrote:
pgroce wrote:FWIW, video games were capped at 1/1 for the tournament.
This is interesting because, as Coelacanth's post confirms, I'm sure I'm not the only person who thought there seemed to be way more than that. As I noted above, however, this may simply have been because I don't know anything about them, although it does seem odd because 1/1 seems like little or no change from previous tournaments.
1/1 has been the distribution for the last few tournaments. You may have noticed it more because of the character of the questions -- we specifically favored newer video games over older ones, and thanks largely to John Kilby, we were able to include clues that better rewarded gameplay.
This is entirely possible (and since you've actually got the set in front of you, quite likely if not simply factual). Although I was never a big gamer, newer games are even more likely to sound like ducks to me, especially if they describe the actual gameplay over more peripheral clues - though of course for gamers those are much better questions, as they should be.
There were a few trad game questions where we mentioned some of the computer games that played it -- Backgammon and Connect Four, notably. Looking at the question set right now, I don't see any such references. (I remember reading one movie or TV question referencing a performer's work in a video game, but I can't find it right now.)

I really think it was perceptual. You can always buy a copy of the questions and check for yourself. :)
It probably was. I thought there were fewer country music questions than in the past, probably because I know a bit more about it now than I used to, and so it no longer exclusively is a write-off category for me. This is confirmed (or all but) by the fact that people who don't know anything about the genre still felt there were too many. Kind of funny how that works.

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Post by pgroce » Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:02 pm

Rothlover wrote: Nearly 300 hits for "Great Dictator" and "Fooey," its not like its unknown. It was his title, what with it being a play on Fuhrer and all. What it was was clear knowledge equivalence getting screwed and in retrospect it should seem obvious that, at the least, a tu whose answer was simply "The Great Dictator" would be less likely to lead to such results.
From the answer prompt:
ANS: _Adenoid_ _Hynkel_ (Accept either name; accept the _Great Dictator_ before it is mentioned.)
The answer to this question was The Great Dictator, up to the last three words of the tossup. Are you saying we shouldn't have written about the character? Or are you simply pointing out that we missed an alternate name for the character that demonstrated knowledge?

I concede the last point to you. If this had come to me in a protest, it would have been upheld. (It took about five minutes of Googling to verify that it demonstrates knowledge, although I can see Fred not thinking to Google "der fooey dictator" without knowing that was a possible alternative.) Did you decide not to protest, or did it not make a difference?

Other than the unmentioned additional answer, I think it's a pretty good question. I can post it if you like.

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Post by creed_of_hubris » Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:13 pm

Rothlover wrote:
creed_of_hubris wrote:
Rothlover wrote: There was the whole "Adenoid Hynkel" tu, that was wonderfully worded in such a way that you would get fucked in the ass if you said "Der Fooey from the Great Dictator" eight words in, thereby getting a neg and a loss despite showing actual knowledge
I wrote the question right after watching the movie and didn't remember seeing or hearing "Der Fooey" anywhere in the film.

"Der Fooey" has 5 hits in google; "Der Phooey" has 6. I think it's a little much to expect us to catch a reference that obscure.
Nearly 300 hits for "Great Dictator" and "Fooey," its not like its unknown. It was his title, what with it being a play on Fuhrer and all. What it was was clear knowledge equivalence getting screwed and in retrospect it should seem obvious that, at the least, a tu whose answer was simply "The Great Dictator" would be less likely to lead to such results.
I don't want to get bogged down in a long conversation on this issue. As I said, I had just watched the film and that did not occur to me as an alternate answer. Just like it wouldn't have occurred to me to list "Der Fuehrer" as a prompt for a question on Hitler.

If I were moderating, I'd prompt, just like I'd prompt on "the Charlie Chaplin role in that Hitler parody": unusual answers that nonetheless display clear knowledge.

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Post by creed_of_hubris » Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:17 pm

creed_of_hubris wrote:
Rothlover wrote:
creed_of_hubris wrote:
Rothlover wrote: There was the whole "Adenoid Hynkel" tu, that was wonderfully worded in such a way that you would get fucked in the ass if you said "Der Fooey from the Great Dictator" eight words in, thereby getting a neg and a loss despite showing actual knowledge
I wrote the question right after watching the movie and didn't remember seeing or hearing "Der Fooey" anywhere in the film.

"Der Fooey" has 5 hits in google; "Der Phooey" has 6. I think it's a little much to expect us to catch a reference that obscure.
Nearly 300 hits for "Great Dictator" and "Fooey," its not like its unknown. It was his title, what with it being a play on Fuhrer and all. What it was was clear knowledge equivalence getting screwed and in retrospect it should seem obvious that, at the least, a tu whose answer was simply "The Great Dictator" would be less likely to lead to such results.
I don't want to get bogged down in a long conversation on this issue. As I said, I had just watched the film and that did not occur to me as an alternate answer. Just like it wouldn't have occurred to me to list "Der Fuehrer" as a prompt for a question on Hitler.

If I were moderating, I'd prompt, just like I'd prompt on "the Charlie Chaplin role in that Hitler parody": unusual answers that nonetheless display clear knowledge.
Ha, actually, now that I think about it, "the Charlie Chaplin role in that Hitler parody" isn't uniquely identifying. But you get the idea.

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Post by Mike Bentley » Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:19 pm

Oh yeah, podcasts of the High School and Songs with Interesting Openings theme rounds will be posted next week at some point.
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Post by pgroce » Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:37 pm

Rothlover wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote:outside of pet areas,
3 Veronica Mars, 2 Friday Night Lights, 2 Studio 60 q's say hi.
Glib, but not factually correct:

Veronica Mars: Only two mentions. There's a Rob Thomas TU and a bonus part on Jason Dohring (in the context of being a second-gen Scientologist)

Friday Night Lights: The word "friday" shows up in two places in the question set. One is in the Jason Street tossup in round round 6. The other is in a question on Camp Crystal Lake in round 16. (You can guess why, and it has nothing to do with FNL.)

Studio 60: There are, in fact, two mentions of Studio 60 in the set. One is a bonus on lesbian actresses with a part on Sarah Paulson. The show is also a part in an audio bonus.

I think what happened here is one of two things. First, in the case of Friday Night Lights, someone wrote a question about Friday Night Lights. In the other two cases, it sounds like multiple editors got questions that had some topical (but not information) overlap and didn't notice.

Do you have more examples of the "pet topics" problem? I'll be happy to investigate further for you, or you can buy a question set and search for yourself. (Contact jdinan at juno dot com if you're interested.)
mmb5 wrote:And 24, Prison Break, the CSI triplets and Family Guy wonder why they weren't invited.
Mea culpa -- none of these show up in the packets at all. I can't say much in our defense. There's nothing that should show up in every tournament, but I think it's reasonable to hit at least one or two of these in any trash tournament held in this decade, and that didn't happen.

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Post by Rothlover » Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:26 am

pgroce wrote:
Rothlover wrote: Nearly 300 hits for "Great Dictator" and "Fooey," its not like its unknown. It was his title, what with it being a play on Fuhrer and all. What it was was clear knowledge equivalence getting screwed and in retrospect it should seem obvious that, at the least, a tu whose answer was simply "The Great Dictator" would be less likely to lead to such results.
From the answer prompt:
ANS: _Adenoid_ _Hynkel_ (Accept either name; accept the _Great Dictator_ before it is mentioned.)
The answer to this question was The Great Dictator, up to the last three words of the tossup. Are you saying we shouldn't have written about the character? Or are you simply pointing out that we missed an alternate name for the character that demonstrated knowledge?

I concede the last point to you. If this had come to me in a protest, it would have been upheld. (It took about five minutes of Googling to verify that it demonstrates knowledge, although I can see Fred not thinking to Google "der fooey dictator" without knowing that was a possible alternative.) Did you decide not to protest, or did it not make a difference?

Other than the unmentioned additional answer, I think it's a pretty good question. I can post it if you like.
I actually said The great dictator as part of my answer i.e. "Der Fooey, you know, the great dictator," were basically my exact words, it being, like I said, like a sentence into the tossup. The moderator negged and brought it down to the protest room, since we lost by five, so I don't know if she said I'd also said the great dictator. Anyway, the result of a TRASH match that would've meant being a 3 seed instead of a 4 seed means less than nothing to me, especially seeing you would've accepted "The Great Dictator," when I said it, and that we somehow just got fucked. Still, just making the tu about "The Great Dictator" would've been preferable from an accessibility standpoint, but this was not the worst offender in that regard.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:10 am

That reminds me that, in general, there could have been some significant answer shifting to make the tossups more gettable; a lot of tossups on albums could have been tossups on bands with pretty similar clues.

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Post by creed_of_hubris » Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:13 am

Matt Weiner wrote:That reminds me that, in general, there could have been some significant answer shifting to make the tossups more gettable; a lot of tossups on albums could have been tossups on bands with pretty similar clues.
Since this was nationals and not regionals, the difficulty does get ratcheted up. We're not writing every tossup so that it gets nailed in 75%+ of rooms.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:32 am

creed_of_hubris wrote:Since this was nationals and not regionals, the difficulty does get ratcheted up. We're not writing every tossup so that it gets nailed in 75%+ of rooms.
There's a difference between trying to distinguish one team from another at nationals by asking about Arcade Fire instead of Aerosmith, and needlessly screwing over the majority of the field by asking about the Arcade Fire's album when many of the clues in that actual tossup were equally or better suited to a tossup on the band itself. The same people in a hypothetical game between the top two teams in the field would have gotten the tossup, at the same point, if it had just had "a recent album by this band..." appended to the beginning. This approach is not suitable for every question, but when you are already using clues like "the latest release from the band behind X, Y, and Z fronted by Whatshisnose" and it's a pretty hard album title to pull, you might as well just ask on the band.

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Post by Coelacanth » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:19 am

Phil, thanks for weighing in with the specifics of the set. As Flax has noted, it certainly seemed like a lot more than 1/1, but that's just because I don't know anything about the category.

This certainly seems to be a polarizing category. We lamed literally every video game bonus that we could, and only one was stolen all weekend. In addition, most of our opponents lamed or bageled their bonuses as well. It seemed like N% of the teams (where N is a number between 50 and 80) really loathed the video game questions, and the rest were all over them. There's no middle ground.

Just an observation. I can't think of any other categories that elicited this kind of response.
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Post by BigFlax » Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:55 pm

Coelacanth wrote:This certainly seems to be a polarizing category. We lamed literally every video game bonus that we could, and only one was stolen all weekend. In addition, most of our opponents lamed or bageled their bonuses as well. It seemed like N% of the teams (where N is a number between 50 and 80) really loathed the video game questions, and the rest were all over them. There's no middle ground.
Makes sense to me, especially with newer game systems as expensive as they are - few people buy a system to play a game or two. I'd say most people are either hardcore gamers or don't play at all, and so any questions on games of the last 5-10 years are liable to fall into this range.

Similar things can be said about subgenres like NASCAR and country music; there are not many people (though I would probably class as one in the latter category at this point) who listen to "some" country music but hardly have depth of knowledge; people either love the genre or ignore it entirely, and the same can certainly be said of NASCAR's popularity as a sport.

In many ways this is probably just the nature of the beast. Country music and NASCAR, while inarguably not too popular among 18-35 year old males from the northeast and midwest, have sizable fanbases in this country, and given TRASH's strong southeastern contingent I don't see how you can argue for cutting them out (not that anyone was, specifically). 1/1 seems a fair distribution for something that only 25% of the field is heavily into; video games would fall into a similar camp. In an average round, even if a team that hates all three is playing a team that loves all three, this isn't going to make that big a difference if the first team is markedly better on common-interest subjects. Questions on curling and NFL Europe are far more annoying than NASCAR, since, as I mentioned before, it's much more difficult to follow those even if you were inclined to do so. (Really, just about anyone could become the NASCAR god in 90% of their matches just by memorizing a few car numbers, I would wager.)

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Post by grapesmoker » Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:57 pm

BigFlax wrote:Makes sense to me, especially with newer game systems as expensive as they are - few people buy a system to play a game or two. I'd say most people are either hardcore gamers or don't play at all, and so any questions on games of the last 5-10 years are liable to fall into this range.
That's just not true, and doesn't take into account the fact that people also play games on their computers, which they already have for other reasons. There have been many, many popular games released within the last 5 years, and most casual gamers will certainly be familiar with the blockbuster titles, even as people who don't go to see the latest Hollywood release are still familiar with the existence of these movies and can identify them.
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Post by toonces » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:22 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
BigFlax wrote:Makes sense to me, especially with newer game systems as expensive as they are - few people buy a system to play a game or two. I'd say most people are either hardcore gamers or don't play at all, and so any questions on games of the last 5-10 years are liable to fall into this range.
That's just not true, and doesn't take into account the fact that people also play games on their computers, which they already have for other reasons. There have been many, many popular games released within the last 5 years, and most casual gamers will certainly be familiar with the blockbuster titles, even as people who don't go to see the latest Hollywood release are still familiar with the existence of these movies and can identify them.
I disagree with this. Most of the video game questions focused on the storyline of the game and the opponents faced, which are things that only someone who has played the game (and probably past level 1 of the game) would know. Notable exceptions that I can think of were the "Which athletes were on the cover of these games" which you can learn from ESPN, the Time Crisis question which had a good giveaway clue at the end that you have a chance of entering from being in an arcade, and the Space Invaders question which is pretty accessible in general.

Beyond that, I think most of the questions seemed to require that you owned and/or played the game being asked about to get the toss-up or more than 10 on the bonus.

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Post by fizzball » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:36 pm

Coelacanth wrote: This certainly seems to be a polarizing category. We lamed literally every video game bonus that we could, and only one was stolen all weekend. In addition, most of our opponents lamed or bageled their bonuses as well. It seemed like N% of the teams (where N is a number between 50 and 80) really loathed the video game questions, and the rest were all over them. There's no middle ground.

Just an observation. I can't think of any other categories that elicited this kind of response.
I do hope TRASH still collects and analyzes lame/save information. I know Anthony did it at least one year. I strongly recommend that any group running a trash event with lames in play does the same. The lame has been around for a decade now (thanks, Fred), and can be more than a gimmick, if recorded well and consistently. It can be a more useful metric of how trash should evolve than assertions about what college students may or may not be playing/watching/hearing.

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Post by Mike Bentley » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:37 pm

BigFlax wrote:
Coelacanth wrote:This certainly seems to be a polarizing category. We lamed literally every video game bonus that we could, and only one was stolen all weekend. In addition, most of our opponents lamed or bageled their bonuses as well. It seemed like N% of the teams (where N is a number between 50 and 80) really loathed the video game questions, and the rest were all over them. There's no middle ground.
Makes sense to me, especially with newer game systems as expensive as they are - few people buy a system to play a game or two. I'd say most people are either hardcore gamers or don't play at all, and so any questions on games of the last 5-10 years are liable to fall into this range.

Similar things can be said about subgenres like NASCAR and country music; there are not many people (though I would probably class as one in the latter category at this point) who listen to "some" country music but hardly have depth of knowledge; people either love the genre or ignore it entirely, and the same can certainly be said of NASCAR's popularity as a sport.

In many ways this is probably just the nature of the beast. Country music and NASCAR, while inarguably not too popular among 18-35 year old males from the northeast and midwest, have sizable fanbases in this country, and given TRASH's strong southeastern contingent I don't see how you can argue for cutting them out (not that anyone was, specifically). 1/1 seems a fair distribution for something that only 25% of the field is heavily into; video games would fall into a similar camp. In an average round, even if a team that hates all three is playing a team that loves all three, this isn't going to make that big a difference if the first team is markedly better on common-interest subjects. Questions on curling and NFL Europe are far more annoying than NASCAR, since, as I mentioned before, it's much more difficult to follow those even if you were inclined to do so. (Really, just about anyone could become the NASCAR god in 90% of their matches just by memorizing a few car numbers, I would wager.)
While for the over-25 crowd I think there's a pretty big gap between "hardcore gamers" and "the rest", there are more distinctions amongst under-25 teams. The so-called "Madden and Halo" gamer is the stereotypical young person who owns a videogame system but may only play a few games during the year, notably big name franchises like Madden, Halo, or GTA. These people obviously have interest in videogames, but not nearly as much as a "hardcore gamer" who probably owns several systems and buys games at least once a month. These Madden and Halo gamers actually consist of something of a majority of gamers out there. They were the ones primarily responsible for the success of the Playstation and the Playstation 2. Thus, I think there exists a big distinction in the under-25 crowd between people who would 30, say, the PSP bonus, people who would know that maybe Wipeout is a racing game for the Playstation and get 10, and people who don't care about games at all (just like there are people who don't care about sports or TV at all).

And I don't really see how videogames are any less accessible than cable TV shows due to price. Especially with the advent of online services like Xbox Live Arcade and the Wii's Virtual Console, obtaining games from pretty much 2000 on back is easy and inexpensive (usually around $5-$10 a pop which is comparable to renting or seeing movies). Yeah, you have to invest in a somewhat expensive system to play these games, but it's not like you're not spending that much money per year to get cable.

Again, this all gets at the big problem of the generation gap in TRASH. It is very hard to please everyone and not piss off others. This is why I'm advocating for a Division II at TRASH so that the distributions can be changed to reflect the problem of the differences in popular culture amongst the older and younger crowds.
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Post by Captain Sinico » Wed Apr 25, 2007 3:21 pm

toonces wrote:...Most of the video game questions focused on the storyline of the game and the opponents faced, which are things that only someone who has played the game (and probably past level 1 of the game) would know....
That's really not true in general. If you've read a little bit about a game or something, you can easily know things about its storyline and opponents without owning or playing it and it's easy to find places to read about those things if you look (same as for a movie or TV show or anything else.)
toonces wrote:I think most of the questions seemed to require that you owned and/or played the game being asked about to get the toss-up or more than 10 on the bonus.
Okay, so what I said above understood, see, like, harder clues that reward people who know more and are fairly useless to people who know little or nothing should be present in most every tossup and you probably shouldn't get more than 10 on a bonus if you don't know much of anything about the topic of said bonus. That's just good quizbowl. If the tossups contain only hard clues such that you can't get them even if you've heard of the answer and know some sub-expert-level things about it, then that's a problem; if the tossups are on things that a large fraction of the players have never heard of because they're unimportant, that's another problem. I don't know if either of those things were problems with the TRASHionals video games questions (hearing them described, I'm inclined to think not.) However, even were they, those problems are hardly unique to video games questions (or TRASHionals or trash.)
If you don't like video games, I'm sorry. However, I will restate the facts that they're a bigger industry than movies and that I don't know a single person under 25 who doesn't play them. In short, if you want to have some semblance of popular culture knowledge, you'd do well to get used to them.

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Post by Bigfoot isn't the pr » Wed Apr 25, 2007 3:36 pm

ImmaculateDeception wrote:
toonces wrote:...Most of the video game questions focused on the storyline of the game and the opponents faced, which are things that only someone who has played the game (and probably past level 1 of the game) would know....
That's really not true in general. If you've read a little bit about a game or something, you can easily know things about its storyline and opponents without owning or playing it and it's easy to find places to read about those things if you look (same as for a movie or TV show or anything else.)
I have to agree with you on that note. I was able to get the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. tossup without buying, playing, or seeing screenshots from the game
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Post by mmb5 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:06 pm

fizzball wrote: I do hope TRASH still collects and analyzes lame/save information. I know Anthony did it at least one year. I strongly recommend that any group running a trash event with lames in play does the same. The lame has been around for a decade now (thanks, Fred), and can be more than a gimmick, if recorded well and consistently. It can be a more useful metric of how trash should evolve than assertions about what college students may or may not be playing/watching/hearing.
Unfortunately, this requires that the scorekeeper recorded this, and in my experience in having this on ABD scoresheets, at best half will record this information.

Completely unrelated -- since I've seen it bandied it around a couple of places in this thread, here are some #s:

2004 US Box Office: $9.3 billion
2004 Video Game Sales: $7.3 billion (includes consoles and games)

I realize there are more factors here that could be made on either side to inflate one figure over another, but I don't think we can safely say that the video game industry is bigger. Only 12 games in 2004 sold 1 million copies. Over 100 movies released in 2004 sold 1 million tickets.


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Post by Captain Sinico » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:40 pm

Yeah, video games overtook last year, dog. Even if you want to quibble with the exact numbers (which, of course, anyone may do,) an unquestionable fact is that they're of very comparable size.

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Post by BigFlax » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:43 pm

mmb5 wrote:Completely unrelated -- since I've seen it bandied it around a couple of places in this thread, here are some #s:

2004 US Box Office: $9.3 billion
2004 Video Game Sales: $7.3 billion (includes consoles and games)

I realize there are more factors here that could be made on either side to inflate one figure over another, but I don't think we can safely say that the video game industry is bigger. Only 12 games in 2004 sold 1 million copies. Over 100 movies released in 2004 sold 1 million tickets.
For example, add in home video/DVD sales to the movies' total and it's pretty lopsided. In fact, the Wikipedia entry for "video game industry" has this to say:
Once a niche market and considered by some as a curiosity in the mid-1970s, the computer and video game industry took in about USD$7.1 billion in the US in 2005 (ESA annual report). However, contrary to popular belief, the video game industry is not "bigger than Hollywood"; while video game sales have exceeded the film industry's annual box office, Hollywood generated $31 billion in total 1999 revenue.
That said, video game questions are undoubtedly a more important part of the canon than they were, even as recently as when I started playing TRASH in 2001, I would say.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:50 pm

BigFlax wrote:In fact, the Wikipedia entry for "video game industry" has this to say:
If there's one thing that will change people's minds about video game questions, it's the unsourced opinion of some anonymous person on a Family Guy episode guide website about the pedantic and tangential point of whether video games are a slightly larger or slightly smaller industry than movies.

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re:

Post by BigFlax » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:59 pm

ikillkenny wrote:Again, this all gets at the big problem of the generation gap in TRASH. It is very hard to please everyone and not piss off others. This is why I'm advocating for a Division II at TRASH so that the distributions can be changed to reflect the problem of the differences in popular culture amongst the older and younger crowds.
Even among younger people, what would be a fair distribution of video games? Maybe this is me not knowing enough, but I don't know that there's the kind of depth/breadth of reasonably accessible information that would justify a 5/5 distribution a la movies, TV, music and sports. You'd have to cut more out of the potpourri category, but even among younger people I'd say only trash lit is an obvious cut. So now you're at 2/2 with no questions on books at all. Is that enough to please the gaming crowd? I'd say the number of questions on current movies and the number of questions on current video games could be roughly equivalent, but to give video games as an entire topic equal footing - which it seems to me (perhaps erroneously) is the implicit argument behind citing "stats" like "the video game industry is now bigger than the film industry" - suggests a deep background to the field that I'm not sure is there, since they don't extend past the late 1970s, among other reasons.

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Post by BigFlax » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:03 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
BigFlax wrote:In fact, the Wikipedia entry for "video game industry" has this to say:
If there's one thing that will change people's minds about video game questions, it's the unsourced opinion of some anonymous person on a Family Guy episode guide website about the pedantic and tangential point of whether video games are a slightly larger or slightly smaller industry than movies.
I assumed "Forbes.com" had some connection to that magazine Forbes, but I'll take your word that they just have Family Guy episode info.

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Post by Captain Sinico » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:19 pm

ImmaculateDeception wrote:Even if you want to quibble with the exact numbers (which, of course, anyone may do,) an unquestionable fact is that they're of very comparable size.
Quoted for re-emphasis?

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Re: re:

Post by Captain Sinico » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:26 pm

BigFlax wrote:Even among younger people, what would be a fair distribution of video games? Maybe this is me not knowing enough, but I don't know that there's the kind of depth/breadth of reasonably accessible information that would justify a 5/5 distribution a la movies, TV, music and sports.
I'd say 2/2 would be a good number; you can say current 1/1 and 1/1 historical games. There's enough stuff in your average trash distribution that could be excised or made less prominent in favor of these.
And you're right, the fact that video games have been around not nearly as long as movies, tv, music, or sports means that, even though they're currently a major entertainment industry on the same scale as those (and a growing one), they don't warrant 4/4 or 5/5 in my view. I don't see anyone calling for that, though.

MaS

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Post by Andy Saunders » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:55 pm

Brian and the others that have been bashing the curling question: What do you think is canonical with regards to curling?

And here's my bash: Why was the name that the tournament had from c.1980 through to 2006 only prompt-worthy? Had I not remembered shortly after buzzing in that the tournament had undergone a recent name change - I would have been negged - and I would have been livid. To me, that was akin to requiring the corporate sponsor on a bowl game question.

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Post by fizzball » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:59 pm

mmb5 wrote:Unfortunately, this requires that the scorekeeper recorded this, and in my experience in having this on ABD scoresheets, at best half will record this information.
If a laming stat is to be taken seriously, then a scoresheet shouldn't be accepted without it. We're talking about recording four extra numbers to write down during the course of a game (at most, assuming both teams lame *and* save). Surely that's not an undue burden for scorekeepers in untimed matches, even for a moderator working solo.

I'm not calling you out here, Mike; you know I'm a big fan of ABD and how you & Craig run it. And the ABD sample size wouldn't capture the vibe as well as a national or multiple-regional field would. But if TDs think a stat could be valuable, then crack the whip to get it.

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Post by pray for elves » Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:12 pm

Andy Saunders wrote:Brian and the others that have been bashing the curling question: What do you think is canonical with regards to curling?

And here's my bash: Why was the name that the tournament had from c.1980 through to 2006 only prompt-worthy? Had I not remembered shortly after buzzing in that the tournament had undergone a recent name change - I would have been negged - and I would have been livid. To me, that was akin to requiring the corporate sponsor on a bowl game question.
For an American tournament, the only curling topic on which a tossup should be written is curling itself. Anything else will go dead for most people. For a bonus, such topics as the Brier, Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the world championships, or terms such as hammer, skip, etc. would be acceptable answers, as long as the first part is something ridiculously easy. Who knows, maybe at a really hard US trash tournament you could hear something about Randy Ferbey, but even then only as the "fuck you/impossible" part of a bonus.

If someone at the OHT or VETO wants to ask a tossup on David Nedohin, go right ahead, but if it's aimed at a generally American audience you can't expect anyone to answer it correctly, or to have even heard of the answer, outside of a very small contingent.

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Post by Mr. Kwalter » Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:22 pm

Tossups on minor topics from curling clearly should also be acceptable at the CANADA+ SCT.

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Post by mmb5 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:43 pm

Andy Saunders wrote:Brian and the others that have been bashing the curling question: What do you think is canonical with regards to curling?
I'll state it again, and this is coming from a person who use to curl quite regularly and still curls occasionally. Unless the answer is 'curling', it is too hard for an American audience. Curling only airs during the Olympics and a one-hour recap of the World Championship aired against the Masters. The number of people who curl in the United States numbers is less than 10,000. And although I don't have the figures in front of me, the U.S. curling industry is also probably is worth less than the U.S. video game industry.


--Mike

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Post by BigFlax » Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:19 pm

ImmaculateDeception wrote:
ImmaculateDeception wrote:Even if you want to quibble with the exact numbers (which, of course, anyone may do,) an unquestionable fact is that they're of very comparable size.
Quoted for re-emphasis?

MaS
3.5 times as large - if we accept the Forbes number for Hollywood's overall revenue (and for that matter it's likely to be larger now) - is not necessarily "comparable size" in my book - the US and Indian populations are not of "comparable size," for example. But this is really me disagreeing with the method of argument and not the end result, which is that video games deserve at least their current place in the canon, if not even a little more, despite the feelings of people who don't play them like myself. (I would, nevertheless, be curious to see how the video game bonuses scored across TRASHionals, and/or how many were lamed outright.)

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Post by mrmaguda » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:34 pm

Just to add a little bit to the video game discussion. My team lamed or 0'd almost every video game bonus and only got 1 video game tossup but that was only because our video game guy missed the plane to BWI. If he was there, we would have got most of them.

I think a 1/1 ratio is just fine but like many others, it seemed while playing that there were more video game questions than there actually were. Overall, it was a good set but it just needs some fine-tuning so an average newcomer doesn't get turned off to it.

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Post by Coelacanth » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:45 pm

Andy Saunders wrote:Brian and the others that have been bashing the curling question: What do you think is canonical with regards to curling?
I follow the American Olympic curling every 4 years, because of all those women from Bemidji. As part of that, I made a point of learning some curling terminology. Heck, I've actually curled.

All of this puts me into probably the top 10% of all TRASHionals competitors in terms of curling knowledge. Even so, the only curling competition I can identify by name is "Winter Olympic Games". Yes, most of the Canadians and some of the Michiganders at TRASHionals know a lot about curling. That's a pretty small target to shoot at.

I agree with Mike. For a tossup, that was just too obscure. As a bonus part, it might be legit.
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Post by QuizbowlPostmodernist » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:57 am

Random hits on various stuff which may or may not have been answered by others, but I'm not addressing every single little comment:

-Audio questions. There was 1/1 per round. Of these, half were music and half were non-music. There were some attempts to create multi-clue audio tossups as an experiment (Twin Peaks, Graceland), but I wasn't satisfied that the lead-ins were sufficiently difficult, and that seems to be the consensus here. It's very likely that we will take another crack at using that construction next year. Most players seem to like audio questions even if they are buzzer races, and I sometimes think that the only way to not make them buzzer races is to make them sufficiently difficult that you run the risk of them not being answered in half the rooms. I'll cop to the flaws in the cricket tossup; I meant to have the text read "name the activity" rather than "name the sport" in the same way that I think the Iverson tossup was "name the person" rather than "name the athlete", but I got distracted and forgot to change it. The mention of a wicket, by the way, was the last substantive clue and was meant to be the giveaway.

-Premium cable. The questions on this skewed heavily toward Showtime, which is why HBO felt under-represented. That will hopefully be corrected next time around. The suggestion that college students are less likely to have HBO/Showtime/etc is a sentiment that had some bearing on the answer selection.

-The pre-1990 television questions were generally meant to be iconic stuff that someone with a good sense of history (reads magazines and notes the contents of best of lists) would often at least have heard of. With more and more shows being released on DVD, they are becoming more accessible. Peter Gunn was mentioned. It wasn't just the theme song. It was a favorite of critics known for its jazzy score (not just the theme), the involvement of creator Blake Edwards, and some early work by Robert Altman (not included as a clue).

-Lost. There was a Lost tossup in round 17 which went unheard.

-TRASH Junior Bird. I think the model was hoped to be older players not playing on the set writing questions for younger players. There was also some hope of giving some writers experience on the editing side of things, and no one seemed to step up on that front. It fell apart because there was just no interest internally in taking on that kind of commitment annually close to Regionals.

-Video games. I think the recently cited statistic is that the average gamer is 33. Some of that may be parents playing Madden NFL with their kids and some of it may be people buying an old NES on eBay. How heavily should tossups on current video games be skewed toward titles that are advertised on TV? Those would seem to be the most accessible answers, but not necessarily the answers that are the most pleasing to hardcore gamers. I suspect that it occasionally felt like more than 1/1 because there were a few multi-disciplinary bonuses which had a video game part.

-lames. I have the scoresheets. In theory, there's a space for them, but we'll see how well they were utilized. I'm the one who tries to get that data and I suspect that I forgot a few times. From having analyzed scoresheets a few times, the only real data that I can feel certain about determining is which tossups were answered at a rate well below average. Everything else (except perhaps the first few bonuses in a round) can't be completely trusted. This honestly isn't going to be a huge priority for me, but if I ever get around to it, I'll share some of the results.

-Since video games and indie music are being mentioned, I should note that one collegiate team told me that the tossups they were answering that weren't bouncebacks were mainly those two categories. I have no idea how typical that was for college teams.

-Curling. IF one could find clues to make it pyramidal, then a tossup with the answer "broom" or "HARD" would be answerable. Whether or not it would be a good idea is a debate left up to anyone who wishes to pursue it (in other words, not me).

-The 2004-2005 season was the greatest NHL season ever. This has nothing to do with the actual question set. The curling talk just reminded me of this sentiment of mine for some reason. Plus, it can never be said enough.

-Anthony de Jesus

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Post by theMoMA » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:44 am

The suggestion that college students are less likely to have HBO/Showtime/etc is a sentiment that had some bearing on the answer selection.
I don't think it really should. Most people I know own at least one season of an HBO/Showtime TV program and as one poster put it, "to a lesser extent, BitTorrent" is the reason that if you want to see it, you will see it.

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Post by QuizbowlPostmodernist » Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:24 pm

theMoMA wrote:
The suggestion that college students are less likely to have HBO/Showtime/etc is a sentiment that had some bearing on the answer selection.
I don't think it really should. Most people I know own at least one season of an HBO/Showtime TV program and as one poster put it, "to a lesser extent, BitTorrent" is the reason that if you want to see it, you will see it.
I'll keep that in mind. A tangential question which might be interesting. Do you believe that questions on Comedy Central original programming should be more than, equal to, or fewer than questions on HBO original programming?

Also, do you think that the college students that you know (or know well enough to know what DVDs they own) are more or less likely to own a season of an HBO or Showtime program than the college students that you don't know? I have a theory that people generally self-select for people who share their pop culture tastes and some are unable to account for bias in their generalizations about what is popular. I want to make it clear that I am not accusing you specifically of this. I don't know you well enough to even know what your biases are. But every once in a while I see complaints by people who fail to adjust for this bias. I'm actually curious about your answer, since I have no data to formulate a guess.

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Post by Rothlover » Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:48 pm

QuizbowlPostmodernist wrote:
theMoMA wrote:
The suggestion that college students are less likely to have HBO/Showtime/etc is a sentiment that had some bearing on the answer selection.
I don't think it really should. Most people I know own at least one season of an HBO/Showtime TV program and as one poster put it, "to a lesser extent, BitTorrent" is the reason that if you want to see it, you will see it.
I'll keep that in mind. A tangential question which might be interesting. Do you believe that questions on Comedy Central original programming should be more than, equal to, or fewer than questions on HBO original programming?

Also, do you think that the college students that you know (or know well enough to know what DVDs they own) are more or less likely to own a season of an HBO or Showtime program than the college students that you don't know? I have a theory that people generally self-select for people who share their pop culture tastes and some are unable to account for bias in their generalizations about what is popular. I want to make it clear that I am not accusing you specifically of this. I don't know you well enough to even know what your biases are. But every once in a while I see complaints by people who fail to adjust for this bias. I'm actually curious about your answer, since I have no data to formulate a guess.
blah blah blah. It is entirely about quality. Good comedy Central programming should, and often does, come up. Mind of Mencia is NASCAR comedy and should come up about as often as racing comes up at a real trash tournament (read: never.) There is near limitless space for the good programs on tv. The reason HBO and showtime should be cited its basically a fact that The Wire, Big Love, Dexter, Weeds, This American Life, Bullshit, Rome, Sopranos, Curb, Six Feet Under and Entourage are all among the top 20 shows on air. Even crap like Cathouse, Debbie Does Dallas Again, Louis C.K.'s show and Real Sports are better than most of what you get on prime time. Its about giving most of the question space to good things as far as I'm concerned. You can always make things accessible. I am sure a wholly pyramidal and non-confusing tu could be written on "HBO" or "Showtime" based on programming and you wouldn't even need to reference fucking veronica mars.

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Post by mrmaguda » Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:53 pm

This sort of relates back to my original complaint. I don't think question writers should focus on stuff that is "good" or not. That's why there was too much indie music and not enough questions on bands that people hate but at least they have heard of them. It's trash for a reason. There should be questions on 2 and a half men, Good Charlotte, the NBA, Wild Hogs, and other crap no one likes. You're limiting yourself if you just ask questions on "hipster" stuff because the last time I checked, a lot of us aren't cool.

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Post by MLafer » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:15 pm

mrmaguda wrote:This sort of relates back to my original complaint. I don't think question writers should focus on stuff that is "good" or not. That's why there was too much indie music and not enough questions on bands that people hate but at least they have heard of them. It's trash for a reason. There should be questions on 2 and a half men, Good Charlotte, the NBA, Wild Hogs, and other crap no one likes. You're limiting yourself if you just ask questions on "hipster" stuff because the last time I checked, a lot of us aren't cool.
I hate so much about the things that you choose to be.

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Post by The Time Keeper » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:11 pm

mrmaguda wrote:This sort of relates back to my original complaint. I don't think question writers should focus on stuff that is "good" or not. That's why there was too much indie music and not enough questions on bands that people hate but at least they have heard of them. It's trash for a reason. There should be questions on 2 and a half men, Good Charlotte, the NBA, Wild Hogs, and other crap no one likes. You're limiting yourself if you just ask questions on "hipster" stuff because the last time I checked, a lot of us aren't cool.
I pretty much dislike everything in this post.

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Post by Mr. Kwalter » Sat Apr 28, 2007 1:00 am

mrmaguda wrote:This sort of relates back to my original complaint. I don't think question writers should focus on stuff that is "good" or not. That's why there was too much indie music and not enough questions on bands that people hate but at least they have heard of them. It's trash for a reason. There should be questions on 2 and a half men, Good Charlotte, the NBA, Wild Hogs, and other crap no one likes. You're limiting yourself if you just ask questions on "hipster" stuff because the last time I checked, a lot of us aren't cool.
So, according to you, limiting the music distribution to what's "good" would lead to so-called "indie" music, right? Doesn't this mean you "like" Indie music? And yet, you claim that "a lot of US aren't cool." How does this fuck you I'm different but wait no I'm not attitude make you not a hipster douchebag? Just wondering.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Sat Apr 28, 2007 1:03 am

MLafer wrote:I hate so much about the things that you choose to be.
matt lafer is awesome
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Whenever you say this, I get the same feeling that Ricky gets when Lucy says "I have a plan."

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Post by Captain Sinico » Sat Apr 28, 2007 1:38 am

mrmaguda wrote:...the NBA... and other crap no one likes.
:w-hat:

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Post by mrmaguda » Sat Apr 28, 2007 1:50 am

I was just throwing some ideas out there. Sorry if I upset anyone.

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Post by Rothlover » Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:01 am

mrmaguda wrote:I was just throwing some ideas out there. Sorry if I upset anyone.
I think we are more confounded than anything. If you made your point of view logical and clearer, some of us (myself included) might be able to respond better. Also, don't worry, Whiffle will not want from things like "the NBA" if you noticed the 1/1 basketball distribution.

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Post by mrmaguda » Sat Apr 28, 2007 4:24 am

I admit it was a very poorly written post. All I was trying to say is that TRASH needs to broaden their spectrum of topics. That's all. The NBA was the worst example. I was just trying to find something in the world of sports. Sorry for any confusion.

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Post by theMoMA » Sat Apr 28, 2007 4:39 am

QuizbowlPostmodernist wrote:Things about HBO and whatnot
Honestly I don't watch too much TV (and what I do watch is almost exclusively not on TV or DVD) outside of baseball and The Office. I just notice that in nearly everyone's dorm there are Sopranos/Entourage/other premium cable DVDs, and every season of every popular premium cable show is readily available for download.

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