What the heck is Williams Trivia?
Trivia is a glorious and time-honored Williams tradition dating back to 1966. Once in January and once in May, all Williams students—and anyone else who wants to, for that matter—are invited to stay up way too late for a night of music, goofy acting, and things-you-know-but-can't-quite-remember. It's the final exam for everything you never learned at Williams College.
We are Four Oreos from Paradise, the team who won last January's contest. That is the prize for winning trivia: more trivia. If you win this contest, you have the privilege and requirement of running the next one.
What you'll need:
- As many friends, entrymates, strangers, or messy mix of all three as you can gather, representing as wide a variety of tastes as possible. There is no limit on team size. There have been Trivia teams with more than 80 people, and many with just one person.
- In theory, one computer with an internet connection. Realistically, each teammate should bring their laptop.
- Snacks. Under no circumstances should snacks be omitted.
- Reference books. Courage. An inner (or outer) Nerd and/or Geek. A will to survive.
Before the contest:
- Once you've gathered your team, pick a dope team name. Any name will do, but the best team names are answers to trivia questions.*
- Before 10:00PM on the day trivia starts (10:00PM is like the latest, sign up as soon as you realize how cool Trivia is), go to www.williamstrivia.com and register your team. Find the link to the audio stream, and open that. That's how you'll hear questions. (Make sure your computer runs it without issue.)
- Also click on the link to your team's chat room in the upper-left corner of the homepage (make sure everyone on the team knows the password so you all can join). You'll be joined by a moderator from our team. That's how you'll send us answers.
- Upload a team photo for a bonus point, and so the other teams know who to swear vengeance against after your inevitable sweeping victory.
What Will Happen:
- At 10:00PM, we will read a question over the air, and then play a song. You have the duration of the song to send us the answer to the question (You do this in the chat room). You get one point for answering the question correctly, and one point for naming the song and artist. You may use the internet to answer the question, but may not use search engines or song-identifying apps for determining the song/artist.
- Now lather, rinse, and repeat. Those are the "on-air" questions, and they will continue all night.
- But wait, there's more! Every hour, we will post an Hour Bonus on the website. It will contain a set of questions on a particular topic, like "Dogs" or "A Song of Ice and Fire" or "Dance Crazes." You have a full hour to answer them in your team's Google Doc answer sheet. You have a choice of using the internet or not. If you forsake your search engine of choice (also known as "going commando"), your bonus will be worth more points and you will gain our love and respect.
- And even more! There will be two Super Boni, released at 10:00PM and 2:00AM. (In Williams Trivia, the plural of "bonus" is "boni." It just is.) You have 4 hours for each of these and they are completed in their corresponding Google Doc.
- There's also the dreaded Ultra Bonus: a series of clues spread out over the whole night. You have to tell us what they mean. The sooner you do, the more points you get. You can guess as many times as you want, so keep 'em coming.
- We will also have a handful of Action Trivia, which will require you to act out a scene, dance, or draw, film it, and send us a link to the movie. Points for style. (Videos uploaded to a Google Drive are perfect for sharing, as are YouTube uploads and other services like Streamable. Images can also be uploaded to places like Google Drive or to Imgur.)
Be sure to read the official contest rules for all the nuts and bolts.
Almost all the trivia from the past 105 contests is online in the Trivia archive at wso.williams.edu/orgs/trivia. If you want to see what questions and boni are like, go there.
Some old folks still use email. The Trivia mailing list is where you can hear scathing reviews of the contest afterward, and also post your own postmortem (highly recommend, the trivia community is great). To join, go to wso.williams.edu/mailman/listinfo/trivia.
So start forming your team and planning your snacks as soon as possible. Send any questions you have to me at mconger [ at ] umich [ dot ] edu. We look forward to chatting with you in chat rooms and laughing with/at you in action boni on Friday, May 10th!
*The reason the best Trivia team names are answers to trivia questions is that the answer to the first question in the contest is, by tradition, the name of the host team. So you've got that going for you.