Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ideas for using trivia resources

Dave and Devon discuss what they might do with the trivia boardgames being collected.

Dave: When I bought the first trivia game -- Trivial Pursuit, the main purpose was to collect trivia games to use them as information resources. In other words, I'm treating them like books on cards.

Devon: Then we found out there are too many editions of TP to get them all, and in fact there were many other trivia games available. There were trivia categories that we had little interest in. So getting "all" trival games was not practical given budget and storage limitations.

Dave: I found that I have more interest in the science questions, and had an spark of an idea to use them for personal projects. So the purchase criteria focused on getting games with Science questions. The current plan is to do an online quiz or a question of the day generator for websites.

Devon: Or maybe even a simple game in Perl. That might lead to an interactive kiosk application that could be useful as an activity station in a learning centre or in a science centre.

Dave: The first major hurdle is entering the questions. Manual data entry is very resource intensive. Scanning might be useful, but my OCR program isn't very good.

Devon: Practical consideration aside, what about making our own trivia game, using the existing cards as the source of questions. It could be a general trivia game, just plug in your own questions.

Dave: That's sounds like a very good project idea. We always have opinions about other people's game design, so it's time to walk in another pair of shoes.

Devon: Another idea, if we have the proper storage environment, is to display the boxes of cards along side the reference books, treating them like printed sources of trivia.

Dave: Would there be any copyright issues involved in using the questions in our own product?

Devon: Trivia represent known facts, and cannot be copyrighted. Using an entire collection verbatim might be a problem, but using a combination from different sources is just ordinary research and data gathering. After all, when the trivia questions were created they came from different sources too.

Dave: It is the game design and gameplay that can fall under copyright. But the general concept of answering trivia questions for points is a well known idea already.

Devon: So the first question would be "When did the first edition of Science Trivia Universe first appear?"