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#540148 - Wed Jun 30 2010 11:19 AM How do players answer so quickly?
Terry Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Wed Dec 31 1969
Posts: 17625
Loc: USA
I often receive this question, and thought that with the start of the new Global Challenge that it would be a a good time to discuss this.

The question, in some such form, is:

"How on earth do people answer 15 questions in 20-30 seconds? They've GOT to be cheating!"

We see fast times like these most frequently in the easy game, some smartest game categories, and the early divisions of the global challenge. Occasionally you see fast times in other games, although it tends to be rarer. It is no secret that a small number of FunTrivia players are incredibly fast.

It's a good question, because those times do look fast, and perhaps even suspicious, don't they? That's an average of less than 2 seconds or so per question. Clearly it's difficult to imagine reading all of the text of each question, reading each answer, thinking, clicking, and then scrolling to the next question in 2 seconds.

It is all, however, occurring completely legitimately. For starters, every single FunTrivia tournament (daily/hourly/GC game) has built in cheat protection. Very rarely will you actually receive identical questions to someone else. Yes, there is often overlap and the difficulty levels are the same to keep a fair playing field, but our algorithms are pretty effective at stopping intentional cheating. We also have other methods for detecting cheaters, multiple-computer users, multiple-account players, etc.

The secret of scoring fast is twofold: small question pools, and repetition.

A lot of our "very easy" question pools are fairly thin. There aren't a ton of questions in these pools because there are only so many "very easy" questions that one can ask about "religion", for example. Our difficult categories tend to have many times more questions.

Next comes repetition. FunTrivia has been running for over 10 years, and it's not a stretch to say that a good number of our active players playing today have been here for 5+ years. Many of our top players have been playing 8 years or more. Almost every day. Multiple times a day. Multiple games per session. We're talking about millions of trivia questions viewed per player.

Some of our top players have literally seen each of our "very easy" questions hundreds or in some cases likely closer to a thousand times.

Add these two together, and our faster players don't even need to really read the easier questions. They just know the answer by identifying a keyword or two in the question or answer. The amazing thing is that some players can do this even in some of the larger question pools, where there are thousands of questions. I'm sure some likely have photographic memory too, allowing them to memorize some of our deeper question pools.

As for scrolling tactics, some players use their keyboards (tab, etc), others use their middle mouse button to scroll. Some people hit page down.

It's precisely because of the group of super-fast players that we added the "division" system within most hourly and daily games a while ago, to give newer players a chance to challenge themselves against players of similar experience level on the site. I actually added this after playing some games myself and getting irritated at the fast scores! As a newbie player myself, I wanted a fairer comparison of my scores. The division/level system allows fast players to put their legitimately earned skills to test, while also allowing us mere mortals to play against one another by reading and thinking.

As such, don't be disappointed when you see other players score insanely quickly. Perhaps if you play a few thousand games you too could one day have a chance against them! Even then, maybe not. Some of us just are never going to be fast. I constructed a set of games specifically for such people (monster quiz, 195 day bus ride, scavenger hunts, treasure hunt, mind melt casual mode, etc). FunTrivia really does have something for everyone.

If you're the type that likes to compare yourself to other players, save yourself some heartache and compare yourself to those in your experience/level range where the comparisons at least are somewhat fair.

Happy trivia!
Terry

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#540149 - Wed Jun 30 2010 01:06 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: Terry]
Deunan Offline
Explorer

Registered: Fri May 21 2010
Posts: 66
Loc: Colorado USA
When I first joined FT, it took me 51, or more, seconds to complete one game in Globals.

Practice helped me reduce the time.

Thanks for everything!

Practice, practice, practice.

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#540150 - Thu Jul 01 2010 06:27 AM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: Deunan]
dg_dave Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sun Oct 05 2003
Posts: 19214
Loc: Dallas, TX USA              
Well said Terry. I've been here over nine years myself.
_________________________
The way to get things done is NOT to mind who gets the credit for doing them. --Benjamin Jowett
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. --Eleanor Roosevelt
The day we lose our will to fight is the day we lose our freedom.

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#540151 - Sat Jul 17 2010 05:39 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: dg_dave]
DrBobWill Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Wed Jan 04 2006
Posts: 276
Loc: WA vet home Retsil, WA, USA
hi all
my results refer only to the latest global challenge test results that i can find on the screen.
there are 3 scores. 3 of 3 were 13 in an average time of 71 seconds.
in my teens i was a speed reader but after numerous strokes, heart attacks and general old age (now 78+) this is the best i seem to be able to do.
the best game i did was the first global challenge were i was 10th but that game (in a surprise to me) only counted the top players. so in the first game when i was younger i should in my opinion gotten an immortal badge but did not. i still wonder how come?
but at least i can still play and still run my team. one of the best (classicalmusic/mensan).
so thanks for the memories.
_________________________
goodhealth peace love joy drbob

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#540152 - Wed Jul 21 2010 11:06 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: DrBobWill]
cowdunking Offline
Explorer

Registered: Mon Mar 23 2009
Posts: 86
Loc: Black Creek <br>BC Canada
I haven't figured out how to speed up my brain yet, but using the Control Settings certainly speeds up your mouse.
_________________________
In the overall scheme of things, does it really matter?

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#540153 - Thu Jul 22 2010 12:04 AM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: cowdunking]
MarchHare007 Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Wed Aug 08 2007
Posts: 192
Loc: Jilliby NSW Australia         

I know just what you mean cowdunking.

I've been playing (and reading) for a little over four years and although I can have flashes of brilliance, for some reason it can depend a lot upon what time of the day I play - like early in My morning around 2 or 3am!

I am on the hunt to break my 20 second mark.

But it Is fun to battle friends.
_________________________
"Shoot for the moon; even if you miss you'll land among the stars." ~ Norman Vincent Peale

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#540154 - Thu Jul 22 2010 09:08 AM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: MarchHare007]
dg_dave Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sun Oct 05 2003
Posts: 19214
Loc: Dallas, TX USA              
Quote:

like early in My morning around 2 or 3am!




As in an hour from now...?
_________________________
The way to get things done is NOT to mind who gets the credit for doing them. --Benjamin Jowett
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. --Eleanor Roosevelt
The day we lose our will to fight is the day we lose our freedom.

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#540155 - Thu Jul 22 2010 09:41 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: dg_dave]
cowdunking Offline
Explorer

Registered: Mon Mar 23 2009
Posts: 86
Loc: Black Creek <br>BC Canada
And I was upset that it now resets at 11:00 my time. Suddenly I don't feel so bad. I'll have to come up with another excuse for 'slow brain syndrome'. CD
_________________________
In the overall scheme of things, does it really matter?

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#540156 - Thu Aug 05 2010 10:07 AM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: cowdunking]
GhurkaSam Offline
Participant

Registered: Tue Nov 10 2009
Posts: 19
20 seconds? Even with a mouse on steroids I can't click them that fast, never mind any kind of speed reading. I'm not complaining and I'm not jealous. Just in awe.

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#540157 - Thu Aug 05 2010 11:59 AM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: GhurkaSam]
JMElston Offline
Prolific

Registered: Sat Aug 05 2006
Posts: 1574
Loc: Grayslake
Illinois USA    
One case I can't see an explanation for (other than system error) was a 15/15 in 4 seconds for a Religion category in a GC round a year or two ago. I assume Divine Intervention might have been involved.

Happy Speed Demon Trivia!


Edited by JMElston (Tue Aug 17 2010 02:41 PM)
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Immortal #4, #8, #15, #18, #6, #6, #5, #5, #4, #7, #4, #12, #15, #48, #26, #19, #__, #__, #16 (GC2-20)
Who Am I? Editor since June 17, 2008 - June 30, 2013

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#546054 - Thu Aug 19 2010 11:35 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: JMElston]
cowdunking Offline
Explorer

Registered: Mon Mar 23 2009
Posts: 86
Loc: Black Creek <br>BC Canada
Perhaps time travel has finally been invented. I know I would need to start in the future and score in the past to manage 40 seconds much less 4. Tried playing once with my son's mouse, which is set super fast for gaming, but couldn't seem to keep it on the screen. I guess it's just a matter of how your brain functions, and mine is getting slow.
_________________________
In the overall scheme of things, does it really matter?

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#576919 - Wed Dec 15 2010 07:00 AM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: cowdunking]
tnrees Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Wed Mar 09 2005
Posts: 154
Loc: Taunton Somerset UK       
Even clicking at random I can not beat some of the fastest times I sometimes see

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#587027 - Sun Jan 16 2011 02:38 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: tnrees]
StrumTStrummer Offline
Participant

Registered: Sun Oct 17 2010
Posts: 19
Loc: Dublin Ireland
I hope this is close to the right Topic folks?

A query?

Recenly a Tournament Hostess banned a member for Googling. I feel so strongly about this unfairness that I just had to post about it.
On a particular Tournament one Day everybody got 9/10 right in their usual times, except for one member who got 10 in about 160 seconds or something and he/she got banned for that??? because the Hostess deemed Googling as Cheating???
I'm sorry but I think that Hostess has it all wrong and is trying to make Her own rules to suit her own Tournaments.
I think that is absolutely ridiculous. Of course people can Google, it's all about learning isn't it? and the Tournaments are about time and memory mostly and if somebody wants to Google, why not?
They're wasting loads of precious time doing that but what the hell? That's up to them.
I actually thought it was clever that that member took the time to try and get the 10.

So...my query is..does anybody think that's fair to be banned for Googling or is this Hostess trying to dictate to us how we play?

Regards,

Dec (Strum)

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#587028 - Sun Jan 16 2011 02:42 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: StrumTStrummer]
looney_tunes Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Tue Jan 20 2009
Posts: 2923
Loc: Briar Hill Victoria Australia 
You will get very divided feelings on this issue! Some players definitely consider googling as tantamount to cheating, as they feel they are pitting their personal knowledge and speedy reflexes against others. I belong to the group who feel that research is fine, since the extra time taken is its own handicap, and it is all about learning as you go. You might as well find out the new information as you are answering the questions instead of waiting for someone else to tell you the answer. The issue iof googling has been extensively debated here in the forums, with no concensus being reached.
_________________________
(Editor in Humanities, Literature and Books For Children)
That's all, folks!

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#587029 - Sun Jan 16 2011 02:51 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: looney_tunes]
shuehorn Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Tue Jul 04 2006
Posts: 2991
Loc: Lawrenceville Georgia USA     
I would also like to remind everyone that not every 160-second quiz means that the taker googled or otherwise looked answers up. I can't tell you how many times my answers just don't take on the first two or three or four times I click or double click. Sometimes, when they finally go through, I get the message that I've already taken the quiz, and can't even see which ones I got right or wrong. When this happens, my times are inflated, and I didn't google. So if it happens to me, it happens to others. Not everyone has the fastest connections and the newest equipment.
_________________________
Sue (shuehorn)

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#587035 - Sun Jan 16 2011 03:02 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: shuehorn]
mike32768 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Sep 15 2005
Posts: 964
Loc: Upstate NY, USA former LIer
Regardless of your feelings about Googling, in my opinion, for a private quiz, the quiz host has the right to ban anyone he/she wants.

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#587039 - Sun Jan 16 2011 03:12 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: StrumTStrummer]
dippo Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sat Jun 14 2008
Posts: 574
Loc: London
England UK         
Originally Posted By: StrumTStrummer
I'm sorry but I think that Hostess has it all wrong and is trying to make Her own rules to suit her own Tournaments.


I agree with Mike - you say it yourself, her tournaments and her rules!

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#587047 - Sun Jan 16 2011 03:22 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: dippo]
WesleyCrusher Online   content

Administrator

Registered: Thu Sep 04 2008
Posts: 3642
Loc: Germany
I agree - she has the right to do whatever she wants.

That said, however, players also have the right to play or leave any private tourney and if I had been a player in that tourney, I would probably leave and never come back. A tourney host can set rules and enforce them but banning a player without warning because they once violated a rule that possibly wasn't even clearly communicated before - at least not with these consequences - is a style of leadership I would not wish to play under.

The Cat People have their tourney and the intro page says "please do not google, this is for fun". I am also pretty sure one member does at least occasionally look up answers but yet I would never ban him from the event just for that - it would be handing out a severe penalty without proof!
_________________________
FT Editor and Administrator
Guardian of the Tower

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#587055 - Sun Jan 16 2011 03:35 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: dippo]
cubswin2323 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sun Jan 31 2010
Posts: 931
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
I think I'm the banned player. Strum, I wrote Deborah about it. I made it clear that there's just as much skill in googling as there is in memorizing answers after having seen them over and over again. After all, I do just as well in P of C as I do in WTS or FMI. I play so many private tournaments anyway. I won't miss playing one out of the dozen or so I play every day. If folks are looking for purity in their games, they will inevitably be disappointed. She grants folks the use of the hall, it's her rules. I've since shrugged it off. Don't sweat it too much Strum.

-Dave


Edited by cubswin2323 (Sat Jan 22 2011 03:32 PM)
_________________________
-Dave

December 23rd is Festivus. A Festivus for the rest of us! Get the aluminum pole out from the crawl space. A donation has been made in your name to The Human Fund. The Human Fund. Money for people.

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#587253 - Mon Jan 17 2011 05:22 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: cubswin2323]
shuehorn Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Tue Jul 04 2006
Posts: 2991
Loc: Lawrenceville Georgia USA     
I'm glad to hear it's not a problem for you, cubswin2323, but I still dislike a snap judgement made without proof. haven't any of you gotten a phone call in the middle of one of these quizzes or gotten otherwise distracted and then submitted your answers late? There are so many ways other than googling to have a long quiz time.
_________________________
Sue (shuehorn)

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#587294 - Mon Jan 17 2011 08:03 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: shuehorn]
mehaul Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 4960
Loc: Florida USA
If a player has difficulty reading due to vision handicaps, high scores are par for the course. But then that exhibits itself on every test not just once in a while.

So Cubby, did you get to take your virtual flower vase and virtual hot dog with you when you were cast out into the cold?
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#587383 - Tue Jan 18 2011 07:12 AM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: mehaul]
StrumTStrummer Offline
Participant

Registered: Sun Oct 17 2010
Posts: 19
Loc: Dublin Ireland
Yes it was you Cubs. I thought it was ridiculous but there you go.
Thanks for all the replies folks.


Edited by StrumTStrummer (Tue Jan 18 2011 05:54 PM)
Edit Reason: An edit

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#588538 - Sat Jan 22 2011 05:51 AM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: StrumTStrummer]
cubswin2323 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sun Jan 31 2010
Posts: 931
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
I will never be afraid to stick my neck out there. I believe in freedom. Freedom in what one says, freedom in how one plays. That is ABSOLUTE! BE BRAVE!

-Dave Miller


Edited by cubswin2323 (Sat Jan 22 2011 05:54 AM)
_________________________
-Dave

December 23rd is Festivus. A Festivus for the rest of us! Get the aluminum pole out from the crawl space. A donation has been made in your name to The Human Fund. The Human Fund. Money for people.

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#588608 - Sat Jan 22 2011 03:24 PM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: mehaul]
cubswin2323 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sun Jan 31 2010
Posts: 931
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
Originally Posted By: mehaul
If a player has difficulty reading due to vision handicaps, high scores are par for the course. But then that exhibits itself on every test not just once in a while.

So Cubby, did you get to take your virtual flower vase and virtual hot dog with you when you were cast out into the cold?


I wasn't given a home version of the game if that's what you mean. Meh, I overcome mehaul. Arrogant or not, I'm too damned good to let that bother me. Fleas and flies son, fleas and flies. Easily flicked off. Ha!

-Dave
_________________________
-Dave

December 23rd is Festivus. A Festivus for the rest of us! Get the aluminum pole out from the crawl space. A donation has been made in your name to The Human Fund. The Human Fund. Money for people.

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#601283 - Thu Mar 03 2011 09:44 AM Re: How do players answer so quickly? [Re: cubswin2323]
cubswin2323 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sun Jan 31 2010
Posts: 931
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
"Winner!"

-C.Sheen

If I inject myself with tiger blood, is that illegal doping under FT rules? I haven't read any rule against it. Just wondering.
_________________________
-Dave

December 23rd is Festivus. A Festivus for the rest of us! Get the aluminum pole out from the crawl space. A donation has been made in your name to The Human Fund. The Human Fund. Money for people.

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