PICTURED ABOVE: HQ Host Scott Rogowsky entertains one million players on Feb. 13th’s 8 p.m. Mardi Gras game. Photo courtesy of HQ.
When the clock nears 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., multitudes of teenagers, as well as some adults, pull out their phones in order to compete in the online trivia game, HQ, hoping they can reach question 12 and win a piece of the cash prize.
Released in August 2017 on the App Store, Vine creators Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov founded the live game show. Although no one knows what HQ actually stands for, host Scott Rogowsky jokingly has mentioned “humpback quail” and “happy quinceañera.”
For every game, the host, generally Rogowsky, asks 12 or 15 questions, beginning with an almost humorously easy question. However, by the last question, the majority of players have already been eliminated, and the questions become almost seemingly impossible to answer or even guess.
At the end of the game, the cash prize is split between the winners, so normally winnings only amount to a few dollars. So why do people obsessively wait for the notification “HQ is live” to pop up on their phone?
It comes down to two things. Everyone wants to be the person that somehow makes it through all of the questions to the end when the “you’ve won” window and your winnings glow from the screen.
Yet, it’s also #fomo (fear of missing out). When all of your friends and the internet are raving about the insanity of the questions, Rogowsky’s lame jokes or the number of people that joined that particular game, you don’t want to miss out on the buzz.
However, HQ can be dangerous at times.
Since the growing popularity of the game, HQ has become somewhat addictive to the players. Some students leave their classes to pull out their phones and answer the trivia questions. I have even found myself once setting a timer to ensure that I would be ready when the game started.
Many have even compared HQ to characteristics in the Netflix show, Black Mirror, which highlights the fear and danger of the rise of technology. To me, HQ is harmless as a technological threat.
Also, the waiting cash prize at the end of the game leads people to not play HQ simply for entertainment, but many people now pull up their laptops and open search engines to find the answers to the trivia questions in the 10-second time frame. As a result, HQ has become less of an easy way to have a little bit of fun and instead has created stress for some players as they wait to see if the answer they checked is correct.
Although the game is only supposed to last for about 12 minutes, the large number of people joining the game has caused technical malfunctions and the game to delay until a later time.
Despite these setbacks, all in all, HQ is an app that allows people to rave, laugh and connect over random trivia questions. It’s fun and entertaining. Thus, if you’re looking for an app to test your odd knowledge or win a little bit of money, download HQ to join in the fun that millions of people are already enjoying.
Story by Maria Harrison, Features Editor
Photo courtesy of HQ