Element Descriptor

Money makes the world go round. Putting on a good quiz night can raise money while also giving everyone a good time, and slipping in some (subtle) Political Education, comrade. It’s an undervalued skill…

Level descriptors

You can, with plenty of advance warning and support, put together a simple fun quiz night that doesn’t fall prey to the whitemanitis of so many quizzes, and has some quirky/valuable prizes to bootWith some advance warning you can host a decent sized quiz night, of teams made up of different sizes and demographics, with questions for all tastes, that are actually fun while also just a little bit subversive. The nights turn a reasonable profit too…With minimal advance warning you host a large quiz night, attended by different groups, where everyone feels they had a good time, serious money is raised and serious (and fun) connections are made between the attendees.Just like an expert, except you can do all this while running across a ploughed field pursued by cops and a helicopter, while dictating a press release to a skeptical journalist on your mobile.

Element Overview Essay

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The reason quiz nights are done badly is that the standard acceptable to many is quite low. And this often revolves around the quality of the questions and the skew towards the achievements such as they are, or the notoriety such as it is, of white men. So I used to run a quiz night for a charity in Manchester once a year, there would be  eight rounds of 10 questions and I would make an explicit effort to make sure that there was an equal number of questions where the answer was a woman, as a man, though I would not do this tokenistically, within a realm around called explicitly feminist stuff. I would say that throughout the sport, the literature, the politics. And I would also make sure that if there were pictures of all your answers, it was not crushingly white, and Western. When I stopped doing that, the ratio went from 50/50 to 70/30, male to female. And I know this because I went to the next one, in order to check out how they would handle it. And the question setters were women, btw.

Consequences. So my main point is that unless you explicitly try to combat your biases you will with the best of intentions produce a quiz, which skews towards the dominant social groupings Now this sounds trivial. Maybe it is, but it’s worth bearing in mind. And I am not –  to be clear –  saying that all racism is unconscious bias. There are structural processes legal, political, economic, military, sociological cultural, at play here, and we’re not going to overcome those kinds of isms by being more polite and well meaning and more conscious about on unconscious bias. That’s not how this is going to be dealt with.

So the solutions are, take the quiz questions seriously. Also You have to get some nice prizes. And you’ll get better at organising quizzes. And if you go to a few before you try to hold your own, you can see which bits work and which bits don’t. Good luck.

See also band nights and fundraisers generally

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