Mobile phones and the demise of the pub quiz?

More of a question than an observation - how has the pub quiz changed in your neck of the woods, now that everyone is carrying round the equivalent of the British library in their arse pocket?

The pub quiz is a strong tradition in some parts of the UK, I used to do them regularly but don’t get out to the alehouse much these days, so it’s a few years since I’ve done one. Whilst they’re just a laugh, really (although v serious ones do exist), it would still seem a bit pointless if some scoundrel is skulking in the corner looking up all the answers on his smartphone.

How do the quizmaster’s deal with this? Just a request to people not to do it, ignore it, actively try to prevent it etc?

You’d have to do some pretty fast typing to get any significant number of answers from a smartphone from my experience - maybe one point per round. And you’d have to do it without being seen either by the judges or by the other teams. You’d have better luck leaving your phone connected to someone sitting at a broadband terminal who could text you the answers, and in the end is it really worth it?

None of the teams I’ve played on in the past few years have been bothered, but then, we’re not playing to win; it’s an excuse for a blether, a pint and getting the quizmaster to read out our “hilarious” team names. We don’t use our phones because it would ruin the fun, and we hope that the same goes for the other teams.

I’ve been to plenty of Trivia Nights, which I’m assuming is the same game in the US. Looking up answers on a smartphone Just Isn’t Done. It’s all in good fun and looking up the answers just kills it.

Borgers are scorned.

Cheating doesn’t seem widespread on general knowledge type questions, but I’ve had my suspicions during music rounds. Shazam works very quickly.

In my UK expereince we’re all sitting around a table in 4 feet of each other. Simply no possibility of such cheating.

I have been to a couple of pub quizzes at an English pub in Stockholm. The quizz master always reminds us to switch off mobiles, but everyone is a gentleman/woman so nobody cheats anyway.

I run a weekly pub quiz and I just tell folks to please not cheat and stay off their mobiles. I haven’t had any problem with it.

I play weekly in Chicago and have the same experience as others here. The trivia master mentions that phones and computers aren’t allowed. It’s never been a problem.

I’ve played at a few different local bar trivias, and cheating via phone is seriously frowned upon. One bar even calls this the “Douchebag Rule.” As in, don’t be a douchebag. I’ve only seen someone busted for it once, and their team was told they couldn’t finish out the night.

I’ve seen it attempted once or twice. Invariably, they are called on it by another team. Once, it resulted in a disqualification and nearly a brawl. This rule is conscientiously self-enforced by the community of players. Everybody (and I mean everybody) keeps an eye out for it.

Wetware rules! :smiley:

Unfortunately my experience hasn’t been so benign. I used to go to a place where you’d sit with a table of up to 6 people, the tester would read all the questions one by one over about 40 minutes then you’d grade. So there is plenty of time to cheat. And there are booths and nooks to facilitate it. There is a college right down the road and many students come out. I have no doubt they are cheating. As evidence, when i started about 5 years ago, the average winning score was in the range of 26 or 27 (out of 36), now it’s more like 33. More evidence is that at the other quiz I go to, it is a more open layout and the crown is a little older and i have seen no grade inflation.

Yeah. I mean, if some bar is giving away free beer for life, I bet we’d have a problem, but I’ve played a bunch of pub quiz all over San Francisco, and no one would ever think to cheat. In fact, I think it’s pretty annoying when they tell you you can’t use your phone while the answer sheets are still out. No one on the premises is cheating, so all that does is make whoever is trying to come meet you confused and annoyed.

I play every few weeks at a local English Pub in South Florida. They ask us not to use cell phones. I’ve never seen anyone cheat. It’s all for fun…and a $100 bar tab.

We’ve won a few times…so if anyone is cheating…we must be pretty smart to beat them. And I’m fairly sure we’re not…

Same here…the music round is always my team’s downfall. We once had a round where all the questions (ten of them) were nothing but clips of the harmonica solos from songs. You can only guess Blues Traveler so many times! But one team got all songs and artists right for a full twenty points…I didn’t buy it, especially since it was a team name that we didn’t recognize (when you’re regulars, you get top know the other regulars, and there is always three teams that alternate who wins the music round…but then not much else, and it wasn’t one of them.)

But other than that, I don’t ever think people are cheating…for one, it’s crowded and people would notice if you were looking down at your phone “texting” a lot more than normal. At least with Shazam you can just turn it on and set the phone down, it’s less conspicuous. For two, most people are there to have fun and see how much they really do know, so what’s the point of cheating? To win a crummy t-shirt with a beer company logo?

Me and a few housemates used to call into a local on a Monday for a few pints and the quiz. We didnt take it too seriously, just a quiz after all, but it was very obvious that other teams taking part were using their phones.

Quizmasters can ask all they like, but people are people, and people are competitive, so there will always be somebody out there who will use the phones to cheat a few extra points.

We werent ever going to win anyway, but it does degrade the whole experience a little to know that the team with every answer correct probably has five people sitting with google open in their Iphones. It doesnt matter how well we might have done, we couldnt match that, so what was the point.