Wednesday, August 12, 2009


No, this is not about a failed attempt at dating. Really? You should know better. I don't post personal stuff on here because I'm not good at sharing, even with my internetfriends, not that any of you really are. I suspect I know all six of you in RL.

It's about a contest, to which I shall not link, and wasted time, and me being not happy, but in a very controlled fashion and not in a raging I-might-still-be-20-years-old fashion.

Today my schedule broke out in a fashion other than that which I'd planned, so instead of playing volleyball to my little heart's content tonight, I found myself pulling into the local BWW at 8:45 or so, just in time to grab a box and sign in for the 25 Years of Sports Trivia finals. (Long story short: play once, qualify for finals. Three nights, top scorer in each of four regions plus next two wild-cards win trips to Bermuda.) On top of that, the Millercoors girls were there doing a Madden 10 promo (yeah, the sexism in beer sales does bother me on some levels, but I can't say it bothers me to have attractive women asking me questions as part of their job), so I got a $5 coupon and free shipping for Madden 10. nice.

Anyway, 9:00 rolls around, the game goes up on the board, and my playmaker says

"Sorry. Buzztime sucks, so it locks you out. go home."

Actually, it said something about not being qualified for the finals, which was a flat-out lie, since a) I made damn sure I qualified and b) Buzztime even sent me an email saying so. I decided to play at BWW tonight in part because I didn't trust their new system to confirm my participation out of state. (You can now use your forum login and password to sign on at the bar, and it actually looks up your Players Plus info and connects you properly. Buzztime, meet the 21st century.) Instead, I got to go home right after dinner.

Because most of you probably don't know about them, I'll explain. Buzztime has a reputation among trivia players for three things: a low-quality network, poor equipment, and very poorly-run contests. Basically, they're not given nearly enough people and money to do their jobs well, and their business model is flawed anyway because their customers are the bars, not the players ... several good people I've "met" do the best they can, but it's not nearly enough.

So there were many predictions of doom and gloom on the boards in advance of this competition, particularly with respect to the idea that non-qualifiers would be locked out so that qualifiers could focus. (Not a bad idea: apparently the problem the playmakers have with freezing out answers has to do with someone logging in while you are trying to answer a question. Yes, one person logging in on one box can prevent any of the other boxes from responding for a few seconds, or so I hear. I believe it.) Some people believed that it wouldn't work properly. Guess they were right.

Well, it's not like I would have won ... I barely cracked the top 100 during qualifying games, and I'd have needed a top-5 finish to feel good about a shot at a prize. Plus there's something awkward about winning a trip for two when you aren't two. (Hi there ... want to go to Bermuda with me? It's another country and everything, you know. Hey, where are you going?) No worries about that now.

Ah well, time to pack. Wrigleyfest, here I come.


  1. So you didn't even get to try? Was there no phone number you could call or something? Is there someone you can complain to today?

  2. 1. Correct, I did not get to try. I was prevented from playing.

    2. No. I don't know the number and technical support would have been useless even if it were available (and I believe this was outside of support hours). Buzztime didn't even know there was a problem, and once the first question came and went, it would have been irrelevant: the only chance I'd have had would have been answering all questions.

    3. Oh, trust me, complaints have been posted. I would have done so from the bar if I could have on my phone; as soon as I got home, I added my comments to the thread.

    It's supposedly been "addressed", but because they couldn't even use the word "fixed", I'm not going to make a run to an unfamiliar place (where I might not even get a board anyway) on the off chance that a) they have it working b) even if you're not playing at your home bar.

    Buzztime's record on these issues is, quite frankly, poor, and I'd rather spend my time on things I know I'll enjoy.

  3. You cracked me up with this post.


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