Trivia games have been popular at South Carolina bars and restaurants for years, and the taste for trivia shows no sign of slowing down. Nearly every night, teams of friends can be found competing for prizes by conjuring often-useless bits of little-known information from their memories.
According to trivia host Sean Amormino, the game allows people to engage and communicate with others rather than doing something more solitary such as watching TV or staring at their cell phones. A good host will keep them coming back as well, he says. Fellow host Lucas Sams believes the competitive factor attracts people, as well as the social aspects of having food and drink and fellowship.
Teams often give themselves funny names such as Work Hard Play Harder, Bad Marinara and We'll Get 'Em Next Time. They also can search several places before settling on a venue where the host and the style of questions feel comfortable. Player Joe Cranney says he likes the game that Sams runs because he asks a wide variety of questions in categories such as sports, science, geography, history and music. He also ends every game with a question about the periodic table, which keeps players on their toes about the elements.
The basic element, of course, is the players' knowledge and memories, which can sometimes fail, said Victoria Van Zomeren. "I hate when you know the answer, but you can't think of it. It's very frustrating. And then he says the answer and you're like, 'I knew that,' and you really did, but it just wouldn't come."
But that's the way it goes sometimes, in life as in trivia.