How HQ Trivia Became the Best Worst Thing on the Internet

Excerpt from this article:

HQ blasted out of obscurity this fall to become the best worst thing on the internet. It’s the most popular app that barely even works. The questions (“How many times does the word ‘sex’ appear in the U.S. Constitution?”) can be so obscure as to be meaningless, and the wording (“What is the more common plural form for octopus?”) is frequently indecipherable. (The hugely controversial “correct” answer: octopuses.) Some questions (“Which retro fashion style did NOT make a comeback this year?”) basically test opinions. Others, which mine inconsequential information about obscure start-ups, stink strongly of advertorials.

Then there’s the app itself, which is riddled with glitches and lags. Players are regularly booted from the game without explanation. The live host’s face is frequently obscured by the wheel of death. Sometimes, the whole game is scrapped for mysterious technical reasons — including one high-stakes game scheduled for 11:45 p.m. EST on New Year’s Eve, which was unceremoniously aborted, then rescheduled for 45 minutes later — the game I hopped into.

And yet, as many as half a million people are tuning in for each session. It’s maybe the only real appointment viewing across all of entertainment right now. Why?

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