People are using virtual quizzes to socialise during the lockdown writes William Murray for commonspaceEU.
As most of us approach the end of the first full month in lockdown, people have started to get creative in the way that they socialise, and the humble quiz seems to be experiencing a resurgence. Whether through weekly digitisation by a local pub or bringing together 5 family members from different corners of the world on Zoom, a lot of people are getting involved with quizzes to make their time in isolation a little bit more bearable. Whilst there are many apps, such as the global trivia platform QuizUp, that have access to endless lists of questions, the art of putting together a well-balanced quiz is not quite as easy as may seem.
If you are interested in getting started on putting together the perfect virtual quiz for your friends, family or colleagues, here are some things to keep in mind:
Get the right balance. The ideal quiz question is something that your audience should know but may be difficult for them to remember. Whilst the quiz should be challenging, it is much more interesting for participants to rack their brains over something like the colour order of the Olympic flag than who filed the first patent for the modern corkscrew (...an English Reverend named Samuel Henshall for anyone interested).
Make sure your questions are clear. When asked about the most important things for a great quiz, Jeremy Vine, the host of BBC quiz show Eggheads, said that it is essential to make sure your questions only have one answer - it is "much harder than it sounds" . As the quizmaster, it's your job to keep everyone both interested and invested in the activity. If the questions are ambiguous or could lead to multiple answers, it could result in confrontation when the points are being given out and a bitter taste left in those that feel aggrieved. Try to anticipate alternative answers and avoid such questions or be especially clear when you ask them.
Know your audience. What are they likely to be fascinated by? There is no point in having a question round on 'the Beatles' if none of the participants will be interested let alone know the answers to the questions. Think about who you are writing the quiz for and think of topics that they will be interested in. This way, even though they won't be able to answer every question, the quiz should still be informative and enjoyable for them.
Use media to bring your quiz to life. In this day and age, there are so many video conferencing platforms to choose from and you may as well make the most of it. Through many of them, you will be able to share music, videos and pictures from your screen to your participants. By adding media rounds to your quiz, you can make the experience much more entertaining and add another dimension to the challenge for your participants.
What do you think makes a great quiz? Let us know on twitter @commonspaceEU
Source: William Murray, Project Officer and Coordinator at LINKS Europe, for commonspace.eu
 BBC News - 'Virtual pub quiz: How to run one that's actually good': https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-52187500
Specialists at the University of Sheffield in the UK estimate that the blast had about one tenth of the explosive power of the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima during World War Two and was "unquestionably one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history".