Monday, May 30, 2005

I spent many, many hours this weekend with the local (and otherwise) quiz-bowl crew in an exercise known as play-testing. "Play-testing" consists of either simulating games or merely reading outloud question sets, for several purposes:

  • Testing the questions grammar and readability
  • Fact-checking when something sounds fishy
  • Testing for difficulty and age-level appropriateness (i.e.: eliminating the questions about deviant sexual practices and R-rated movies from the high school packets)
  • Making snarky comments about the people who wrote the questions.
Like any good thing, one can have too much play-testing, but the questions themselves can't. So we bit the bullet and did all 21 rounds. The mitigating factors were the snarkiness, the company, and watching all sorts of interesting sports on mute from deep, deep digital cable channels. At one point we learned, for instance, from the crawl on CSTV that something called Limestone College is in the Division III finals in, well, something; we also learned, sadly, that they are the Limestone Saints, not the Limestone Cowboys.

Thanks to the Canadian contingent, we also learned some interesting facts about everyone but DEK's current or future alma mater.

The strangest part of this weekend, though, will actually be next weekend, when we get to read all the same questions to high schoolers from around the country for real. Play-testing plus moderating for real makes for a weekend-long case of deja vu.

Finally, I have to relay this evening's discovery LJ style.....

Current mood: Super-excited that I found my sublettor's Weird Al box set
Current music: King of Suede/Polkas on 45

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