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Games people play - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
Games people play
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jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: November 5th, 2010 09:55 am (UTC) (Link)
IIRC, it was "at an unspecified location in an unspecified country anywhere in the world". I think I was covertly begging the answer "underneath the Eiffel Tower", to test a received wisdom that that would/should be the answer, and don't think I got it.

Very similar games to the above were played postally, particularly in the 1990s, normally under names like "By Popular Demand". For instance, "By Quite Popular Demand" (or "By Not So Popular Demand") awards minus (or zero) points to players submitting the single most popular answer, or any of several answers involved in the tie, but positive points (as per Common Answers above) for every other answer. Accordingly the aim was to try to submit the second most popular answer.

On TV, Family Fortunes is indeed based on the Common Answers principle, and the "it doesn't matter whether it's a correct answer or not, just whether people have picked it" property is fun; conversely, Pointless (and, briefly, Topranko) were based on principles rather closer to Scattergories, though (almost always) without the given-initial-letter criterion. Heck, Scattergories itself had a short-lived TV show in the US. This goes to demonstrate - if anything - that there aren't all that many game ideas out there sufficiently simple to turn into a game show.
addedentry From: addedentry Date: November 5th, 2010 10:11 am (UTC) (Link)
You may also remember fivemack's Invariants quiz, in which points went to questions, not answers. A question to which everyone or no one knew the answer got nul points (too easy to set!) The most points went to a question pitched just right, i.e. with 50% correct answers.

But I digress.
simont From: simont Date: November 5th, 2010 11:49 am (UTC) (Link)
That's a scoring system also used in games of induction (well, at least, those organised enough to have a scoring system, i.e. not Mao). Typically each guessing player scores based on how efficiently they guess the rule, and the rule-setter scores in some way that's based on the spread of the guessers' scores, so that (as you say) they're encouraged to set problems at a difficulty level that differentiates players from each other. Of course setters' and guessers' scores aren't directly comparable, so everyone has to take a turn at setting before you can sensibly work out who won.
shermarama From: shermarama Date: November 5th, 2010 10:33 am (UTC) (Link)
(I have a terrible weakness for Pointless... it's something about Alexander Armstrong doing what I'm convinced is an impression of an urbane game show host, like at some point he's going to dramatically kick over his little lectern and, I don't know, either plunge a sword through Richard Osman's heart and then run out laughing, or turn to the camera and deliver the punchline to the entire extraordinarily extended sketch.)
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