The life of a quizmaster

The end event is a way for us to get connected for one last time. Our class decided to work together and use all of our talents to make it into a nice day. We, Alexandra, Marieke and Jolien are in charge of the quiz department. We will make a quiz around technology and write a blog concerning the history of quiz masters and quizzing in general.

It is sure to say that technology has changed the lives of many. It has also changed the lives of people in the quiz industry. First of all lets go back to the way it all began. There is a legend that says that the word ‘quiz’ was introduced by James Daly. He had a bet with a friend. He had to introduce a new word in the English community within 24 hours which would be used by everyone. James hired some street boys and asked them to write the word ‘quiz’ all over town. Within the 24 hours everyone was talking about the word. They wanted to know what it meant and if it was some sort of test. So, James won the bet and the word ‘quiz’ continued existing. This is a nice story but most people think the word comes from the English word ‘to quinset’. We did some research but we could not find out when the quiz was firstly introduced as a way to play. One thing is for sure, there have been some changes during the years. First of all when there is a pub quiz taking place, nowadays the quizmaster has to make sure that no one is cheating. Cheating is very easy because of phones and the possibility to connect with the internet everywhere and since google knows it all, everyone can easily cheat. So in general we can say that it is very challenging for a quiz master to let everything happen fairly. Another trend happening now is recruiting quiz master through Linkedin. Linkedin is a social networking site designed for business related stuff. A lot of people have an account to get in connection with the company they would like to work for. Quiz master also have it and there are even pages on linked with the top 13 or top 25 best quiz masters! 


Furthermore, the life of a quizmaster has changed quite drastically due to technology. We already mentioned how Google contributes to cheating during a quiz but the existence of Google is not just for the worst.  Google and other search engines have made information much more easily accessible and this is not just in favor for all the cheaters out there, but also for the quizmaster herself. Reminiscing of the good old days we all remember those big fat knowledge books with different letters of the alphabet marked on the cover. If you wanted to gain large access of general information you needed all the letters of the alphabet which could add up to about 20 different (heavy) books. Imagine designing a quiz back then compared to now, witch one would you prefer? We think it is fair to say that most of us would prefer to gain knowledge by a few clicks on the mouse rather thanblog1.png almost getting a workout from browsing through the never-ending general knowledge books. This of course means that designing a quiz nowadays is far more time efficient than in the past. This concerns mainly finding information to build your questions but also the fact that technology has provided quizmasters to present their questions in different ways. This means that a quiz does not only have to be in the form of written questions but can also be presented in sounds and images. Of course, if you were friends with like Rembrandt and Mozart back in the days they could probably help you with that but again; it would require a lot more effort and time than saving an image from Google and subscribing to Spotify premium.

On another note, technology has not only contributed with perks regarding the role of a quizmaster. The backside of this is that technology has also made the quiz itself more accessible for the public. This means that there are various apps and online games where you can vent your quizzing needs. Another aspect to keep in mind is that technology is giving birth to a more and more unsocial society and we sadly believe that many people today prefer to sit in front of a screen and quiz online with their friends, instead of sitting face to face at a pub and quizzing together.   Initially, this negative effect on socializing that technology so kindly has contributed with means that there are less pub quizzes being held and thus hard for a quizmaster to find a job. We know what you are thinking. The quizmasters should be able to easily find a job designing these online quizzes you talked about, right? Well, we also thought so but sadly we believe that even that job (in the long line of many others) has been replaced by computers. After all, if a Robot named Watson can become an all time champion on Jeopardy then he can probably also design the whole thing .

Now that we have discussed the origin of quizzing, how it is easier to cheat and the life of a quizmaster. Let’s take a look at what this means for the future of quiz-mastership. We’ve mentioned before that we think that quizmaster will disappear, because people quiz on their mobile devices all day, like the app Trivia Crack. But also that if a robot could beat all human competitors in the game that he could easily design and host the game itself.

In the earlier day’s how you would become a quizmaster was quite something. First, it was, according to the book: How to make £100 A night (or more) as a quizmaster, too  important to get your quiz out there. The best way to do that was to publish it in the newspaper, because everyone read those. Then you should get yourself known by doing interviews with a variety of people and if you were one of the lucky ones you could spread your fame using other media like TV or radio. We already mentioned that nowadays it’s easier to become a quizmaster, because of LinkedIn and other social media.

We did some research on the future of being a quizmaster, but there are no signs yet that a quizmaster will be replaced. Which we think is a good thing, since we like having an actual human as a host of a show better than one made of tin. Of course you will say: But there are also robots looking like humans. We have to admit that that’s true. But then there is the phenomenon of the uncanny valley.


As soon as a robot tents to look more like a human, we humans tent to be scared of this robot. Because it looks real yet we know it is not real. Which seems quite weird, that we are scared of something that looks like us. Kind of hypocrite if you ask us. So, better and actual human that a robot. Maybe if it were just a hologram we would react different to it. There is not a lot or research that can support that statement.

So to conclude, we think technology made the life of a quizmaster easier in terms of finding and creating questions because information is more easily accessed than it used to be in the past. Also it is easier to become a quizmaster, because of the fact that we are more connected to each other than we have ever been. But if we want a robot to host our quizzes? No thank you, that could turn out quite scary.


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