Looking for more human contact (and maybe a bit of competition)? Trivia Mafia’s got you covered.
Danny Parker, an English and public speaking teacher at Mayo High School during the day, has been hosting Trivia Mafia games for six years. He started at Big Brad’s in Rochester, but of late, “the brewers have been our best partners,” he says.
Pre-coronavirus, trivia nights packed the bars in Rochester, Parker says. Nowadays, the Facebook streams (live from Parker’s home) see 60 to 90 participants on Thursdays. And the competition remains intense-- keep an eye on the stream for familiar team names and players from your nights out at Little Thistle, Grand Rounds, or Thesis.
In fact, quarantine has made it easier for some Rochester players -- like Paul Sims -- to play every week with a group of friends who normally met only once a month.
Now, Sims says, it’s a highlight of their week. “It’s a must-do. Can’t book over that time.”
The table-to-table competition may have flagged, Sims says, but the weekly livestreams fill a need for “cameraderie we’re all hungry for these days.”
No group? No problem. Single players or welcome, or they can form groups through Facebook comments and interaction with others looking for teams. And even if you’re playing alone, keep an eye on that Facebook feed for some friendly banter.
“The comments I’ve been getting, it feels like they’re in the bar,” Parker says. “Even though everyone’s at home, drinking beer in their basements.”
Here are a few ways to make your trivia night in a great one.
This should go without saying, but be honest. The trivia livestreams have adjusted the rules to account for playing at home -- and that includes tallying answers on the honor system. “The tagline for Trivia Mafia is ‘use your noodle, not your Google,’” Parker says -- and with everyone signing in from their computers, that’s more important than ever. There’s no official scoring, but players self-report their scores for the first and second halves in competition for bragging rights and a congratulatory shout-out.
BYOB. Participants are encouraged to pick up beer from the breweries that normally host Trivia Mafia games to drink in their own homes. Support your local brewery!
BYO… answer sheet? In a bar setting, trivia teams normally receive an answer sheet to fill out. But nowadays, the rule of thumb is “have something to write with, have something to write on,” Parker says. Some players make “legit-looking” answer sheets to print and fill out at home, while others merely share a Google document between their team (and Parker) where they fill in answers. Sims’ group designates one member to keep a score sheet while the group text competes to answer first. Another group member might be designated to “talk trash” and banter with Parker, who feeds off the energy in the comments. “We’re riffing back and forth, making terrible jokes, (and) answering the questions,” Sims says.
Keep your weekend open. Thursday nights are trivia nights, beginning at 7 p.m. And starting Sunday, Trivia Mafia added a special stream from Thesis Beer Project -- keep an eye on the Trivia Mafia - Rochester Facebook page for a list of special topics (this Sunday, June 1, is a “Mean Girls”-themed game).
Tip your waitstaff. Remember those prize packages? Instead of being awarded to winning players, they’re now a huge reason to drop some dollars into the virtual tip jar (Parker’s Venmo), a share of which goes to the local breweries who normally host games. Anyone who does so is entered into a drawing for prizes from Thesis Beer Project, Little Thistle Brewing, and Grand Rounds Brewing Company. Sims’ group tips every week, he says, to try to make up for the money they would normally have left for the bartenders and waitstaff on a night out.
Play Trivia Mafia online through Facebook (Trivia Mafia - Rochester) Thursdays or Sundays at 7 p.m.
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