By Casey Sanders
3 p.m. and 9 p.m. are no longer just the times you get home from school and finish homework for the night; these are the times when you play HQ. For the few people who are unfamiliar with HQ, it is a relatively new, trivia game show app that was released in August of 2017. This app, available internationally, is completely live. Everyday at these two times phones are buzzing with notifications indicating the show is beginning.
After a two minute countdown, the app begins with the host, Scott Rogowsky, reminding players of the rules. After what seems like a lifetime of talking, the game finally begins. The game is a series of 12 random trivia questions, each getting progressively harder as you near the twelfth question. Each question has three answer choices, and players have up to 10 seconds once Rogowsky begins reading the question to come up with an answer. After time runs out, the screen displays the right answer choice and also gives a breakdown of how many people are left in the game. Once you get a question wrong, you cannot reenter the game, but you can continue to view the remaining questions.
The game is now averaging more than 600,000 people playing each round. The incentive is not only the thrill of competition but also the cash prizes split between the winners of each round. The prize is typically $1,000 but can sometimes be more, and it has even gone up to $18,000.
HQ is more than just a fad; it is an addiction for many. You are bound to see people of all ages stop what they are doing at 3 and 9 to get a chance at the next prize. Often, people even play it together, as the questions are not targeted towards any specific age group and require knowledge of random facts.
In all, HQ is one of the biggest games played around the world today. However, a downside to this app is that many players experience technical difficulties. Sometimes the app freezes mid game or even stops working altogether. HQ usually ends the game and starts it up again once the app is running seamlessly. The errors are most likely due to the large number of players and the small headquarters from where they go live. Another downside is the seemingly endless introduction to the game and the rambling conversations between Rogowsky and the players that occur between questions.These long speeches are often used to stall the game in order to get it running better or to get more people to join. However, the negative aspects of the game definitely do not take away from the overall enjoyment that the hundreds of thousands people get from their twice a day “HQutie” call.