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Smart Phone-y

Monday, May 6, 2013
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Dear Miriam,

I have a friend who's actually really smart, but he consistently cheats at Quizzo by using his phone under the table. Our team doesn't usually win, so I don't feel like his actions compromise my integrity, but it's just such a dumb way to spend an evening. Should I tell someone?

Signed,
Smart Phone-y


Dear Phone-y,

Yes: Tell your friend. Tell him that his cheating is making your Quizzo nights less fun. Then tell him that you're going to start a new team unless he puts his phone away. If you're feeling vindictive on top of self-righteous, when you form your new team, keep your eye on him and then point out his phone usage to the Quizzo-master, or, if it's that kind of scene, just yell, "put the phone away," in between questions. While you're on the same team, though, it would be totally weird for you to tattle on him, and I don't think that would do much for your integrity with your friends or your fellow Quizzo players.

Given that your friend is cheating, though, I don't understand 1) why your team isn't winning and 2) why you think your friend is so smart. If he's such a smarty, he should be able to win on his own or cheat more effectively. Or, if you're so smart, why aren't you fixing his incorrect answers before he turns them in? I'm also wondering whether this is happening on other teams, too, in which case, perhaps you could improve the whole situation by talking to the Quizzo-master in the abstract by saying, "I see people on a bunch of teams using their phones, and it would be cool if you could do something to prevent that so the game is more fun and more like it used to be."

You could also look into what other Quizzos happen around town and find out if some of them have stricter phone policies already in place. I also think the time has come for a bar trivia game that you can't cheat on using a phone. I'm picturing a "Win, Lose, or Draw"-style game, or a quiz game where contestants sit in front of the bar and have to answer questions verbally. Does anyone know of such options in Philly for the uncontrollable cheaters among us? Anyone want to steal these ideas for a new business venture?

You're right that this sounds like a ridiculous way to spend an evening, so maybe your group of friends is ready to try something new for your nights out. You could just go to a bar to drink instead of play Quizzo, or you could check out a concert or movie. As spring and summer kick in, Philly's full of outdoor festivals and activities. They're probably cheaper than Quizzo, and it's hard to use your phone while your hands are covered with funnel cake.

Be well,
Miriam

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