Northwest Horizons

“HQ is live!”: High school students take interest in virtual game show app with monetary rewards

A+player+prepares+for+the+9+p.m.+round+of+the+HQ+trivia+game.+The+trivia+app+has+grown+much+over+the+past+couple+of+months%2C+especially+among+high+school+students.
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“HQ is live!”: High school students take interest in virtual game show app with monetary rewards

A player prepares for the 9 p.m. round of the HQ trivia game. The trivia app has grown much over the past couple of months, especially among high school students.

A player prepares for the 9 p.m. round of the HQ trivia game. The trivia app has grown much over the past couple of months, especially among high school students.

Photo by Stephanie Mayer

A player prepares for the 9 p.m. round of the HQ trivia game. The trivia app has grown much over the past couple of months, especially among high school students.

Photo by Stephanie Mayer

Photo by Stephanie Mayer

A player prepares for the 9 p.m. round of the HQ trivia game. The trivia app has grown much over the past couple of months, especially among high school students.

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Imagine you’re hanging out on your couch, twiddling your thumbs over your cell phone and checking your social media in pursuit of the latest news, when a notification pops up: “It’s HQ time!” You check the clock and, low and behold, it’s 8:56 p.m., just in time for the game to start. You join in, sure that this time, you’ll answer all 12 questions right and win some major cash on this virtual game show you play twice a day, HQ trivia.

[I didn’t think it was real] because you get money for playing a game and answering questions. It just doesn’t happen,” senior Lee Wakim said about his initial reaction to the app.

Of course, many people at first find this idea odd. A cell phone app that offers cash prizes every day to anyone who wants to play? But, as many are surprised to find, it is indeed real.

The app was developed by Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll, the creators of another popular app, Vine, and was published by Intermedia Labs. It offers games every day at 9 p.m. and every weekday at 3 p.m., with cash prizes split between those who can answer 12 increasingly difficult multiple choice questions anywhere from “What sound does a dog make?” to “What singer claimed that Daft Punk was playing at his house in 2005?”

However, the real kicker for most people comes in the form of the cash prizes, which range from $2,500 to $50,000. Most days of the week, the free app forks out at least $5,000 to the players, which makes many question where they get their funds.

“Yep, [it’s real money]. It’s sent straight to your PayPal when you win over $20 in prizes,” the app developers said on the FAQ page. “The prizes are sponsored by Intermedia Labs, Inc.”

With this obvious monetary draw, the app has successfully generated crowds of over 2 million players at a time and has had several celebrity guest hosts, including Jimmy Kimmel and Bert from Sesame Street. The app aims to accumulate a large fan base that will attract other companies to invest in the app and advertise during the games.

But it isn’t as easy to win as some may think. Both Wakim and senior Pearce Kerley have yet to win anything from the app due to the difficulty of the questions featured in the later rounds, many of which deal with relatively esoteric topics to most people.

“The ones I usually lose at are actor and actress questions, like ‘who was so and so married to in this year?’” Wakim said.

A lot of players marvel at the technology and find a good deal of enjoyment in playing, despite how hard it is to win. They find the pot of gold at the end of the question rainbow an entertaining thing for which to shoot.

“HQ is a very fun game, especially if you play with other people,” Kerley said. “The idea of the app is awesome, and the technology behind the live streaming with… 2 million people regularly is impressive.”

However, not everyone is a fan of the game. Wakim, while respecting the idea, finds the app flawed.

“If they have a sufficient amount of money coming in to give away, [I think it’s a good idea]… [but] they hype it up too much and… it’s just a quiz,” Wakim said.

Despite some criticism, however, the app has had continued success, especially among young adults, and it has garnered honors like the A-Train Award for Best Mobile Game at the 2018 New York Game Awards.

The app is a fairly novel idea, coupling live broadcast with interactive questions, and the developers have announced their goal to be able to offer a million dollar prize in the future. Will HQ be the next “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Only time will tell.

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1 Comment

One Response to ““HQ is live!”: High school students take interest in virtual game show app with monetary rewards”

  1. Anonymous on April 11th, 2018 10:58 am

    9pm? Haha. I play 3pm too.

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“HQ is live!”: High school students take interest in virtual game show app with monetary rewards