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Trivial Pursuits

Back when I used to watch Jeopardy regularly, I’d jokingly tell myself I was validating my intense liberal arts education. After all, being able to answer rapid-fire questions on a broad range of subjects clearly demonstrated┬ámy intelligence, right? If I wasn’t earning multi-thousand-dollar payouts, surely I could take comfort in imagining I was just as smart as the contestants.

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve watched Jeopardy on a regular basis, but I have been playing pub trivia most of the past seven or so years. This particular game is rather well-designed, with neither schoolish geeks nor those steeped in pop music, entertainment, and sports having a marked advantage. (And while I wouldn’t mind big cash prizes, the coupons for food and drink are a reasonable substitute.)

Why do I play trivia? Because it’s fun, of course. Hanging out with friends, eating and drinking and competing against strangers–what’s not to love? Still, enjoyment aside, I’ve come to appreciate over time how much this silly, social game has to┬áteach.

It all begins with the team. Continue reading

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