• Top
Opinion

Opinion: Save the humble pub quiz from being gradually killed off!

Posted by Liv Siddall,

This week, Liv Siddall looks at the future of the humble pub quiz, and whether it can survive now that we all carry the infinite wisdom of the internet in our pockets.

Who doesn’t bloody love a pub quiz? For one hour a week your friends aren’t just people that let you hang around with them, you’re an indestructible team of knowledge who will stop at nothing to win the coveted pint glass full of pound coins. You’ve been handed the tag of “geography” due to your gap year experience and you believe in yourself more than you ever do in your real job. As you sip on your shandy, you scan the room to “suss out” your competitors and try to think of the wittiest quiz name since Quiz-Teama Aguilera shook things up in 2008. The bag of Scampi Fries is open and the quiz master’s testing the mic…things start to get a little. bit. tense…

Well, that’s how it should be. In 2009 a study found that there were 22,445 pub quizzes going on each week in the UK. That was the year that pretty much everyone had bought, or was planning to buy, an iPhone 3GS. People were just getting to grips with the idea that they could carry the internet, therefore infinite knowledge, around with them. Before that, it was still possible to go to a pub quiz and cheat using a phone – you could run to the toilets and text your mum, or even make a cheeky phone call to a friend outside. If you were really daring you could ask a rival team while you’re outside having a smoke.

Those tactics however were risky and didn’t always bring the correct answer, much to the displeasure of your teammates. Now, though, all you have to do is Google the answer between your legs on your phone and get it within seconds. And why not? It’s only a pub quiz, you’re not stealing from a charity shop. No one’s going to arrest you

So what are the pubs meant to do? Take your phone off you when you come in and keep them safe behind the bar? Have matron-like people patrolling the tables looking for rule-benders? That’s never going to happen.

Some pubs in London are tackling the issue creatively, for instance the Boogaloo in Highgate which uses images, film clips and soundtracks rather than simple questions for their cinema-themed quiz. The Star of Bethnal Green asks teams to use their acting skills to impersonate animals to clinch the winning prize. Your iPhone won’t help you there.

The fact of the matter is that 99% (ish) of us own web-ready phones. We are also, as a nation, rather competitive and we like to WIN. Should anyone be blamed for cheating at a pub quiz, or is it just human nature? Shall we all just use our phones from now on and let the winner be decided on who is the best at Googling the answers? I don’t know. If it means we can keep the rapidly dying-out pub quiz, and one of the best Tuesday nights you’ll ever have, then so be it.

All comments welcome below!

comments powered by Disqus
Ls-300

Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Opinion View Archive

  1. Robertbye-opinion-list

    The intern debate is still one of the most talked-about issues whenever we meet young designers. This week Robert Bye wrote an interesting article about why, after three months interning in a design consultancy, he believes doing crappy jobs did sometimes make sense.

  2. List

    Assistant editor Maisie Skidmore chimes in on the debate about the presence of full-frontal male nudity in Rick Owens’ AW15 collection which showed in Paris a few days ago. Do you think penises on the catwalk are a step too far? Leave your comments below!

  3. List

    Following this week’s news that plain cigarette packaging could be introduced in England as soon as next year, Studio Minerva co-founder and creative strategy lead Silas Amos tells us about the designs that made his relationship with smoking “always equally one with the branding.”

  4. Artsemergency-list

    Earlier this week James Blunt’s open letter to shadow culture secretary Chris Bryant went viral, in which the musician hit back at the MP’s assertion that the arts was dominated by those from privileged backgrounds. But Jonathan Wakeham of Arts Emergency and The London Comedy Film Festival believes James’ (admittedly amusing) letter missed the point. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comments thread below.

  5. List

    Branding agency Morillas’ chief executive officer Marc Morillas considers the way advertising agencies commandeer symbols of protest for use in advertising campaigns and commercial branding. What do you think about the reappropriation of these symbols? As ever, you can add your comments in the discussion thread below.

  6. List

    It is now one week since the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people were killed, including some of France’s best-known and best-loved cartoonists. We have already covered the immediate responses of the illustration community but in the past seven days so much has been said and written about satire, cartoons, free speech and the subversive magazine that it’s been tricky to try and make sense of it all.

  7. Unnamed-2

    Back to school, back to work – it’s not surprising everyone’s got anxious, upside down smiles at this time of the year. Most fresh starts are usually followed by fresh resolutions – and we’re no stranger to looking ahead and trying to predict what’s going to happen in our own lives, as well as that of the creative world. With that in mind, we’ve put our slightly mushy heads together and concocted a list of ten animators, designers, illustrators, magazines and artists who are about to spring from the perfectly acceptable “small time” to the much-lauded “big time.” Ready? Here they are in no particular order…

  8. List

    Last week features editor Liv Siddall put out a call to arms to the illustration community, inviting practitioners young and old to push their discipline further and keep their work exciting and fresh. She cited in particular the regurgitation of the same established names at illustration fairs and events as a cynical way to flog tickets and boost sales instead of creating a platform for new, innovative work.

  9. Main

    This week, Features Editor Liv Siddall wonders whether the world of illustration, and the events that champion them, have perhaps become a bit stale. And maybe we should take steps to champion as many new and exciting artists as possible, as opposed to falling back on the same names time and time again.

  10. List

    This week Rob Alderson welcomes the excellent Dazed 100 list of defining creative pioneers but wonders why readers are being asked to help rank the entries. As ever you can join the debate using the comment thread below….

  11. Opinion-list-new

    This week It’s Nice That director Will Hudson talks about why he reckons the new Randall Wright-directed documentary Hockney is so brilliant. You can let us know your thoughts in the comment thread below.

  12. Opinion-list

    This week assistant editor Maisie Skidmore asks what it is about weekly podcast Serial that has got the whole world talking. As ever, we want to hear what you think! Add your two pennies in the comment thread below.

  13. List

    This week Rob Alderson examines Paper Magazine’s attempts to “break the internet” with their nude Kim Kardashian photoshoot. He asks if it’s actually a good cover, and what (if anything) it tells us about the magazine industry. As ever you can add your thoughts below…