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 WHOPPER WHOPPER WHOPPER WHOPPER, the team who won the last regular 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.
- This contest will be entirely virtual, and each team will have its own chat room. Geographically dispersed teams are welcome to create their own voice chats for added camaraderie… so your team members can be anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection.
- Snacks! Under no circumstances should snacks be omitted.
- Reference books. Courage. An inner (or outer) Nerd and/or Geek. A will to survive.
In the days before the contest:
- Pick a righteous team name. Any name will do, but the best team names are answers to trivia questions.*
- Before 10:00PM Eastern Time on May 12th (10:00PM is like the latest, sign up as soon as you can), go to www.williamstrivia.com and register your team.
- Set your team picture to be either a photo of your team or something evocative of your team's name (worth one point)!
- Make sure that everyone knows the team password.
Just before 10:00:
- If you’re in Williamstown, tune into WCFM. If you’re elsewhere, 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.
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 tell us the answer to the question. 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.
- To get us the answer, type it in the chat room (which one of us will be monitoring).
- You may ask your host for hints, and your host will usually answer yes-or-no questions about the answer. Usually. If you're nice. You get as many guesses as your host will put up with, but when the song runs out, that's it.
- 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 four 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 seven Action Trivias, 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 111 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.
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_wso.williams.edu.
So start forming your team and planning your snacks as soon as possible. Send any questions you have to me at lms6 [ at ] williams [ dot ] edu. We look forward to grading your answers and laughing with/at your Action Trivia on Friday, May 12th!
*Click here to see the origins of the names of all past winning Trivia teams. 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.