Classes to include built-in HQ Trivia break beginning fall 2018

Lectures and discussions will soon take a 10-20 minute break at three p.m. every day for HQ Trivia players


The popularity of HQ Trivia is not lost on the University 

Callie Collins | Cavalier Daily

'It’s 9 p.m. At this time of night, one would expect your average college campus to be abuzz with students finishing last minute reports or chilling in their dorm lounge. Instead, what one would find is every single student staring at their phone, desperately trying to win $2,500. 

This is all thanks to HQ Trivia, the hottest new mobile game that has quickly risen to extreme popularity since its founding in August 2017. The object of the game is simple, answer 12 questions correctly and you win a portion of the prize, which is most often $2,500. There are two games a day at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. More than one million people play an average game, and a fair amount of them are students. College students possess the best qualities for a trivia player — they have a lot of unnecessary knowledge, love procrastinating on actual work, and will do anything for extra money. 

The popularity of HQ Trivia is not lost on the University, which has announced that classes that take place during the 3 p.m. game time will include a built-in break beginning in the fall of 2018. The University of Virginia is the first east coast university to make such a change.

“Here at U.Va., we celebrate knowledge,” a university spokesman said after the announcement, “and HQ Trivia tests students on that knowledge in a completely arbitrary and pointless way, which is why we’ve decided to make HQ a part of daily life here on grounds. This university was founded on the principle of illimitable knowledge, and HQ Trivia represents that idea. It’s a game that celebrates the knowledge of completely useless facts that will in no way help students in the future. We want our students to know that we support this endeavour, and I’m sure if Mr. Jefferson were alive today, he’d be playing twice a day with the students, too.”

The University has maintained that these are their only reasons for the change in scheduling, but recent admissions announcements might undermine that. After a devastating slip to the #3 Public University in the country, U.Va. has been dedicated to increasing its pool of applicants, and appealing to more high schoolers around the country may hold the answer. Studies show that trivia nerds make up a silent majority of America. In fact, a recent survey out of U.Va.-Wise shows that the average teenager would rather go to a trivia night than an amusement park. The only thing teens ranked higher than trivia in order of fun was online quizzes, which often overlap with trivia anyways. The university is most likely appealing to this cleavage in making these new changes. 

In coming years, the trend of appealing to trivia nerds may even expand further. Leaked documents from the undergraduate dean’s office suggest new classes like “ENWR 1510: The Pursuit of Trivia” and “ECON 4730: How to Get Away with Trivia Fraud” could be available as early as spring 2019. If the trend continues, there could even be a Mobile Trivia major (TRIV) available to students within the next two years, making U.Va. the fourth U.S. university to implement such a program. 

So far, faculty reactions have been mixed. While most are supportive, some argue that these new changes don’t do enough. Economics Prof. Margaret Jamieson spoke to The Cavalier Daily on Monday, saying “It’s nice that they want students and professors to come together over this, but their announcement shows a clear lack of understanding of what HQ Trivia is all about. They call it a ‘game,’ but it’s so much more than that. It’s a cultural phenomenon, and the University needs to recognize that.” 

Jamieson then revealed ongoing plans to protest outside University President Teresa Sullivan’s home every day until more is done to celebrate HQ and trivia in general on grounds. “I won’t stop until they’re ringing the chapel bells every day at 3 and 9.”

For now, though, students should plan on returning in the fall to a new classroom culture, one that stops dead in its tracks every day at 3 p.m.

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