I’ve always been a big fan of intellectually stimulating games like Scrabble and Pictionary. Sure, it’s an opportunity to enrich your knowledge and polish your skills, but it’s the scholarly kicking of other people’s asses that really enthralls me. I’ve tried playing without keeping score (at my sister’s insistence), and I didn’t really care for it. What’s the point? Competition’s much too fun for that.
During a meeting, one of my coworkers announced that Google Philippines had invited us to their annual trivia night. Now, I can be fiercely competitive when it comes to games – ask anyone I’ve ever played board games with – and I’ve never participated in a trivia night before (I’ve always wanted to; the opportunity’s just never come up), so I guess you could say I was pretty stoked about the prospect of pulverizing someone in a mental skirmish.
Just in case you’re not familiar with the concept, trivia night is composed of teams, questions about pretty much everything, and prizes. Now take all of that, put them in a bar, and douse everything with copious amounts of alcohol and you’ve got yourself a proper game. Like I said, stoked.
We were the first ones to get to this year’s coliseum, Relik Tapas Bar and Lounge in BGC. After registering and grabbing shirts, we settled into a table and (hello, open bar!) almost immediately ordered beers, wings, and Jack and Cokes.
Not long after, other companies started coming in. At about 8PM, the master of ceremonies finally took hold of the mic and got into the mechanics. Each table was given a white board and marker for the answers. Categories will range from video games to cheesy song lyrics to general knowledge, the host said. To keep the game interesting, teams were given options to double their points on certain answers, block other teams from answering, or steal their answers if you can’t think of any. The first question was read, and the bloodshed began.
White boards were raised, food was consumed, steals and blocks were cast left and right, and drinks were tossed back. The host barked questions like “Which movie does the ‘My name is Inigo Montoya’ line come from?” and “Whose death in 2009 caused the Internet to break?” (I’m paraphrasing). In between categories, beer-downing contests were held (An animal from Cebu Pacific won twice before being dethroned by a BDO challenger). The air was thick with cigarette smoke, cheers, and taunts. A fun clusterfuck, one might say.
Our team was actually doing pretty well in the beginning, securing third place early on. But as the night progressed, questions got a bit trickier and amped up the intensity even more. A couple of moments during the game, I recall actually grabbing the white board out of my teammate’s hands so I can scribble the answer myself because she was taking too long with it. I also felt myself dying a little bit every time I thought of an answer and couldn’t spit it out on time.
We missed quite a lot of questions as the game reached its last leg, so we were hoping to at least finish fourth. But scores were tallied and alas, we had slipped to sixth place. (Procter and Gamble emerged victorious. Bah.)
As fun as the night had been, I was still reeling from our loss the next day. I also apologized to my team mate for the board-grabbing (she understood, I think). So, to sum up: competition is fun, losing is not, but that night was definitely one for the books.
Oh well, there’s always next time.
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