HQ: the free trivia quiz live tv show app with real cash prizes that is not dystopian at all

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who is in this hole with me? i just made it to round 11 (out of 12) with an extra life but fucked up on a question about which artist played both of the first two lollapaloozas (i guessed jane's addiction; it was ice t). the other day i made it to round 12 without any extra lives at all, and then a couple days before that i made it all the way through and split a $5000 prize with 47 other winners. it's in my paypal account now!

but also there's this insane amount of chat text from the 80,000 or so other people who are watching/playing at the same time. it flies up the screen so quickly you can only catch bits of it. you can hide it, but even then you can sense the waterfall of text flowing just behind the surface. it is sinister. it's twice a day, usually 3pm and 9pm EST, and the primary host is a youn gwhite guy in a suit and tie named Scott who gives it his best shot, but cannot help being the very symbol of gentrification. it's hard to explain but maybe you will see it in the same way. there are a couple other hosts, too, both women, and when they host the sinister waterfall of text explodes in comments about their boobs. the game is viscerally growing at an exponential rate. i started a week ago when there were around 10,000 people playing, typically. now it's typically 75-85,000, and i expect that the big weekend game on saturday, with a bigger prize, will probably break 100,000 people. so all of this comes with a terrible silicon valley edge. but yet, it's very addicting. i haven't missed a game in several days (granted, i spend a lot of time in my house just doing whatever, so).

is anyone in this hole with me? we could win cash prizes.

Karl Malone, Friday, 17 November 2017 02:25 (one year ago) link

but for real, i bet a lot of you would be good at it, particularly those who have competed on the popular tv gane show Jeopardy!

each question is multiple choice (A, B, or C), and you get 10 seconds. there's enough time to google answers for those who are fast typers and efficient googlers. i typically steal 3-4 correct answers per game this way, when i manage to make it to the end.

Karl Malone, Friday, 17 November 2017 02:27 (one year ago) link

the hunger games vibes to this thing are impossible to ignore

Clay, Friday, 17 November 2017 02:27 (one year ago) link

ps if you join and think you get addicted and be in the addiction hole with me you have to use my referral code (weinventyou) to give me an extra life when you sign up :D

Karl Malone, Friday, 17 November 2017 02:28 (one year ago) link

my heart knew adam clayton was in u2, but my thumb said he was in REM.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 17 November 2017 02:29 (one year ago) link

dammit i already have duo pestering me about my spanish lessons but i am going to try this

brimstead, Friday, 17 November 2017 02:36 (one year ago) link

their video stream is super choppy and i half expect it to glitch into a black mirror episode one day

Philip Nunez, Friday, 17 November 2017 02:40 (one year ago) link

hq META trivia - i think this app/game was designed by the creators of vine? or something? can't be bothered googling for that in 10 seconds or less, but someone might be able to look into it

Karl Malone, Friday, 17 November 2017 02:44 (one year ago) link

hold up i have to spend my lunch break doing this?? phbbbbt

brimstead, Friday, 17 November 2017 02:44 (one year ago) link

it could be your evening, as well. could be your life

Karl Malone, Friday, 17 November 2017 02:45 (one year ago) link

thing is, like i was tweeting to good ol' ilxor max the other day, i can easily imagine this gradually transforming into a 24/7 game (with a new game starting every 15 minutes or so), so if you get out, you can join a new game, and lots of people spending their life in a free-to-play gambling hell, watching in-game trivia/video advertisements, contributing their facebook contact's information, hoping to get a free life every once in a while, etc

Karl Malone, Friday, 17 November 2017 02:49 (one year ago) link

i feel like there's an upper limit to how popular it can get before bots are developed to mercilessly cheat on it to the point where the only humans involved are the hosts.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 17 November 2017 03:08 (one year ago) link

who is with me

Karl Malone, Friday, 17 November 2017 20:01 (one year ago) link

i'm giving it a try

Mordy, Friday, 17 November 2017 20:02 (one year ago) link

bummer, this is not one of the good hosts

Karl Malone, Friday, 17 November 2017 20:03 (one year ago) link

gawker.com obviously the one to get raided by swedish police

Karl Malone, Friday, 17 November 2017 20:08 (one year ago) link

i know nothing about oatmeal

Karl Malone, Friday, 17 November 2017 20:37 (one year ago) link

My office grinds to a halt twice a day because of this thing. A coworker won $1.24. I also guessed Jane's Addiction.

orifex, Friday, 17 November 2017 21:18 (one year ago) link

Hahaaa man this thing. Oatmeal let me down too. Next game is 2am here and I’m going to end up staying awake for it aren’t I?

JimD, Friday, 17 November 2017 22:05 (one year ago) link

is this worth me getting into?

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Sunday, 19 November 2017 21:47 (one year ago) link

IOS only :(

mor frog bs (S-), Monday, 20 November 2017 00:49 (one year ago) link

might try it 2nite hehe

lag∞n, Monday, 20 November 2017 00:53 (one year ago) link

dont think ill google its too chaotic need to stay zen

lag∞n, Monday, 20 November 2017 01:18 (one year ago) link

Man, fuck Venezuela. How's that for zen.

pplains, Monday, 20 November 2017 02:12 (one year ago) link

i tried to play the game but my internet was fd and the questions did not appear lol

lag∞n, Monday, 20 November 2017 02:13 (one year ago) link

Dammit! I am getting extra lives left and right, and I keep completely wasting them

Karl Malone, Monday, 20 November 2017 02:14 (one year ago) link

Oh. It's that guy.


pplains, Monday, 20 November 2017 02:17 (one year ago) link

Z, please never ever drunkenly animate this photo.


pplains, Monday, 20 November 2017 02:20 (one year ago) link

I don't want to sound intolerant, but guys who naturally look like they're wearing mascara kinda weird me out.

pplains, Monday, 20 November 2017 02:21 (one year ago) link

Well shit, made it to the last 200 people

And then failed

jjjusten, Monday, 20 November 2017 02:25 (one year ago) link

very sane

mookieproof, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 20:47 (one year ago) link

he reminds me of scott aukerman

Mordy, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 20:53 (one year ago) link

I feel bad for the host. I didn’t think that was possible. Good job daily beast!

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 21 November 2017 21:30 (one year ago) link

Tommy Wiseau vibes

“He cannot say that!” Yusupov shouted. “We do not have a brand deal with Sweetgreen! Under no circumstances can he say that.”

When asked to confirm that Rogowsky can’t say he personally enjoys eating at Sweetgreen, Yusupov said “he cannot say that,” inaccurately claiming that Scott had disclosed private company information by revealing his preference for a salad chain.

.oO (silby), Wednesday, 22 November 2017 03:05 (one year ago) link

scott has lettuce now

Q: Who's a cliche, stressed out startup founder? A: me. @ScottRogowsky @TaylorLorenz sorry for being a jerk. Lunch some time? @sweetgreen is great pic.twitter.com/Rr4v5GTNaO

— Rus (@rus) November 22, 2017

lag∞n, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 03:24 (one year ago) link


Looking for a good PR agent. DM me if interested!

— Rus (@rus) November 21, 2017

lag∞n, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 03:43 (one year ago) link

Does add to the dystopia that the game show host is actually a Russian-held hostage who isn't allowed to talk about food.

pplains, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 15:10 (one year ago) link

This is the best Daily Beast article I've ever read.

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Wednesday, 22 November 2017 15:17 (one year ago) link

this yusupov’s guy’s quotes reek of cocaine

It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes. (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 22 November 2017 15:49 (one year ago) link

i think the key thing we need to focus on is how to sue HQ because scott rogowsky said that "people want trivia". he can't say that! he can't make that claim! he doesn't know what we THINK! especially as it pertains to salad greens. so let's sue HQ!

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 17:05 (one year ago) link

i dont want trivia, i need it

lag∞n, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 17:37 (one year ago) link

btw after all the fuss and technical delays last night, i was eliminated on question fucking 2 like a goddamn fool. it was a savage question i thought

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 17:42 (one year ago) link

what was it

lag∞n, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 17:44 (one year ago) link


Hamsters are what kind of eater?


(i said vegetarian. i didn't realize hamsters will dine on the flesh of other living creatures)

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 17:52 (one year ago) link

i wldve guessed veg too

In the wild, hamsters are crepuscular and remain underground during the day to avoid being caught by predators. They feed primarily on seeds, fruits, and vegetation, and will occasionally eat burrowing insects.[3] They have elongated cheek pouches extending to their shoulders in which they carry food back to their burrows.

lag∞n, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 20:13 (one year ago) link

it is kinda a funky question tho since a lot of animals thatre vegetarian will eat meat if u give them the chance

lag∞n, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 20:14 (one year ago) link

Aren't hamsters legendary for cannibalizing their offspring?

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Wednesday, 22 November 2017 20:22 (one year ago) link



the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Wednesday, 22 November 2017 20:23 (one year ago) link

damn i wish i had an iPhone, trivia is about the only thing I'm good at

-_- (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 22 November 2017 20:23 (one year ago) link

and i need it

-_- (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 22 November 2017 20:24 (one year ago) link

speaking of trivia is anyone interested in invites to LearnedLeague?

.oO (silby), Wednesday, 22 November 2017 20:37 (one year ago) link

aye here's me kicking about california w/my monitor lizard. sucks to be you that's into ferrets

||||||||, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 21:01 (one year ago) link

This game is stupid I hate it

understood by moron level and above (brimstead), Wednesday, 22 November 2017 21:50 (one year ago) link

tell me more about this learned league

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Thursday, 23 November 2017 17:16 (one year ago) link

in the middle of an inter-joke riff on peter rabbit, scott blurts out "it's all about merchandizing!!!"

Karl Malone, Monday, 27 November 2017 20:09 (one year ago) link

ya know, i thought "Hey Where Are The Babies" was a kinda glib translation for Children of Men...

voodoo chili, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 20:26 (one year ago) link


johnny crunch, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 20:31 (one year ago) link

i hate scott he sucks enduring him isnt worth getting the trivia i want

lag∞n, Wednesday, 29 November 2017 20:11 (one year ago) link

he's at least getting slightly better, though. at first his energy level was always at 95+, but it seems that after a few weeks of hosting a couple times a day he's realized that he can't maintain that level of energy every time without risking a freakout on live national iphone. so instead he's settled into a slightly more comfortable energy level of 75-85 which is more bearable for me, personally.

also, there is no way to prove this but i SWEAR that my partner picked the Madden choice, which was the correct one. for some reason she was eliminated on it, but we were playing together and discussed the options and picked madden and it lit up as our selected option a few seconds before the timer expired. then eliminated us. i didn't see any mention of anyone else experiencing the same problem so i'm assuming it was just a weird bug on our end, but it's a bummer that there's no real way to prove it. (we would have been out on the bad english/whitesnake/journey one a question later anyway)

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 29 November 2017 20:16 (one year ago) link

would y'all prefer it if the video host were done away with entirely and it was purely a text-based game?

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 29 November 2017 20:43 (one year ago) link

alex trill-beck, plz kill him

lag∞n, Wednesday, 29 November 2017 20:47 (one year ago) link

nah, i don't mind the idea of a host. i think it's really interesting to watch the evolution of all of this, actually, and part of it involves the slow formation of archetypes for the format. maybe i'm mistaken in thinking that this format is new? at least on this scale, it is, i think.

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 29 November 2017 20:48 (one year ago) link

having the host def ups the drama level like when he runs his mouth before delivering the answer and u want to kill him, ive only played this 3 times and already i have a jihad against scott

lag∞n, Wednesday, 29 November 2017 20:50 (one year ago) link

what if scott were replaced by a robot that took up less video bandwidth and with scalable smarm settings?

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 29 November 2017 20:56 (one year ago) link


Karl Malone, Tuesday, 5 December 2017 20:08 (one year ago) link

just won another $5.41

feeling good, feeling relaxed

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 6 December 2017 02:21 (one year ago) link

have only played this twice but really love scott

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 6 December 2017 03:26 (one year ago) link

Uh oh they're running these on UK time too now.

JimD, Wednesday, 6 December 2017 10:31 (one year ago) link

scott is good

johnny crunch, Wednesday, 6 December 2017 12:01 (one year ago) link

@hqtrivia game sucks

— Lou Holtz (@CoachLouHoltz) December 4, 2017

Karl Malone, Thursday, 7 December 2017 02:08 (one year ago) link


lag∞n, Thursday, 7 December 2017 02:39 (one year ago) link

scotts akas (including 'quiz khalifa' reminding me of 'trizzz khalifa') remind me of bodega boys desus nice & the kid mero aka's poll

johnny crunch, Saturday, 9 December 2017 02:08 (one year ago) link

get outta here w mike rowe

johnny crunch, Saturday, 9 December 2017 02:12 (one year ago) link

baruch ata hq

Guayaquil (eephus!), Saturday, 9 December 2017 02:22 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

lol i looked quick and thought the 1145pm game tnight was for 180k

johnny crunch, Sunday, 31 December 2017 20:32 (one year ago) link

if i had to guess, the end game for all of this is something like price is right style HQ, so that advertising becomes the content of the game instead of just an increasingly prominent side factor.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 31 December 2017 20:35 (one year ago) link

Familiar face sits down with familiar face: http://nymag.com/selectall/2018/01/hq-scott-rogowsky-encounter.html

pplains, Friday, 5 January 2018 18:03 (one year ago) link

haha, nice! for some reason it's really funny to me that scott was wearing a yellow HQ shirt in public.

i have to admit, i have fully come around with him, especially when comparing him to the several other side-hosts. he's just way better at it.

For all his off-the-cuff weirdness, Rogowsky is serious about his work: “I put hours of prep into this sometimes.” It’s mostly research into the questions, but, yes, he prewrites many of his puns. “I’m doing my best to entertain,” he says.

it pays off. i like how he's developed his own series of catchphrases that become engrained in your memory. q-umero numero uno question one, let's get this show on the road, savage question, the long series of pun-nicknames at the beginning that somehow just get longer and longer with each passing week. those aren't HQ-created catchphases. the other hosts hardly use any of them, although a few will kind of make a nod at a particularly savage question. but for the most part they seem to conspicuously avoid repeating scott-isms, which to me suggests that they don't want to formally establish themselves as the also-rans - they see themselves as potential claims to scott's host throne. it's fascinating to watch but also has the whiff of an old superhero comic story because you just know that scott's gonna win that battle.

Karl Malone, Friday, 5 January 2018 18:14 (one year ago) link

sorry to post a tl;dr HQ post, but i don't know who else to talk to about this stuff.

there was a particularly bad side-host faux pas the other day when the host kept getting the stats wrong by an order of magnitude. so when 460,000 people got the first question right, she said that 46,000 people were still in, and when 135,000 were in the game a few questions later, she said 13,500 were in the game (those aren't the exact figures. i can't remember). i felt really bad for her because the chat mob just tore her apart and some of the most sexist things i've ever read by in the chat panel for...about 5-10 minutes straight. if you watched closely you could see that a bunch of people were getting banned from the chat by the mods, but the mob was much, much larger than the mods, and so it continued pretty much unabated. the dystopia of this game is real. dystopia already exists, in this world, in this game, which is growing. you can't look away!
of course i felt bad for her because of that hellscape, but the number-counting problem was emblematic of how clear it is that the side-hosts don't really play HQ or know much about it. putting aside the difficulty of reading numbers, if you play HQ even a few times you quickly come to understand how a typical HQ game proceeds. if there were only 46,000 people left after the first question, that would be an all-time highlight reel HQ moment, just an incredibly savage first question revealing deep systemic flaws in the US educational system. so when the host kind of casually said "wow, 46,000 people are still left after that one" - after the first question - "such a great job, guys, you all got that one!" she revealed herself as an outside. a substitute science teacher who plays a film for the class because we all know they're not prepared to hold forth on intermediate chemistry.

almost all of the side-hosts reveal themselves to be pretenders at some point. those who can stick around for multiple hosting opportunities inevitably face the Gauntlet of the Indeterminate Pause, which is when the question panel fails to show up in the app and the host is suddenly required to completely improvise until the techs fix it. these unexpected but recurring segments are some of the best tv/live media i've ever seen. sometimes the pause lasts only a few seconds, sometimes it takes 20-30 seconds, and at others the pause lasts a couple minutes and then they're forced to abandon the game and kick everyone out. i admit that the whole thing can be thought of as part of the "cringe" genre, but there's more to it than that. but i can't think of a comparison to this situation - a host suddenly being forced into a very anxious situation, live in front of half a million people, and they don't know how long it's going to last, and the chat mob is just exploding with rage at the delay. day after day, unpredictably! of course there are other sudden imposed performances that play out like this in public: a video or audio miscue on a news show that leaves the correspondent kind of hanging there for a few seconds, or the mariah carey NYE fiasco. but i can't think of an emergency improv situation that happens with such regularity, in front of such a hostile audience, and with such undeterminate length and results.

some day the techs will fix the problem and memory of it will fade away, but for now the tech problems are not only part of the show but are in some ways the best part of the whole thing. that's just my edgy HQ opinion there but i mean it!

anyway, every host runs into it at some point. but only scott deals with it in a satisfying way. he manages to offer empathy to the agitated audience while still keeping a light humorous tone. he can tell an anecdote, on the spot, about anything, and just fill it up while still providing status updates about the tech problem. in the same situation, the other hosts quickly fall apart. i think it's interesting that some of them wind up projecting the audience's rage back onto the viewer, while other hosts quickly reveal themselves to be frightened of the entire situation, frightened of the audience, of not knowing when it will end.


Karl Malone, Friday, 5 January 2018 18:48 (one year ago) link

It’s after 8, and Rogowsky has to rush off. He can’t take me to the studio, or tell me anything about it. The company wants to maintain whatever competitive advantage it can about HQ’s technical setup and filming process, he explains.

lol at the idea of competitors trying to emulate HQ's technical setup

Karl Malone, Friday, 5 January 2018 19:03 (one year ago) link

scott is intensely a reddit.com user

lag∞n, Friday, 5 January 2018 19:11 (one year ago) link

Did our own “josh in Chicago” just get a shout out there, or just a different josh in Chicago?

jjjusten, Saturday, 6 January 2018 02:24 (one year ago) link

haha, i wondered the same!

Karl Malone, Saturday, 6 January 2018 02:33 (one year ago) link

we could win cash prizes.

― Karl Malone, Thursday, November 16, 2017 9:25 PM (one month ago)

calstars, Saturday, 6 January 2018 02:37 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

everything that is interesting must be ruined


Karl Malone, Friday, 9 February 2018 19:45 (one year ago) link

seven months pass...

Got to #6

fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Friday, 14 September 2018 01:22 (one year ago) link

i've won like 3-4 times now and still haven't made enough money for to cover the processing fee

Clay, Friday, 14 September 2018 02:31 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

56k people guessed that Tony Montana directed The Bling Ring tonight

fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 15 January 2019 02:13 (nine months ago) link

i played that hq words game twice so far and won both times. well, "won" as in i survived all the questions and earned between 9 and 15 cents

suggest boban (Will M.), Tuesday, 15 January 2019 22:24 (nine months ago) link

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