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Holden On: Sporcle

Holden McGinnis, Science/Tech Editor

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As a wise man once said, “To Sporcle or not to Sporcle, that is the question. Oh wait, that isn’t a question at all. I should Sporcle.” Now whether or not that wise man is me is beside the point.

Sporcle is, simply put, the most interesting website in the universe. It is so influential that it has manifested into a verb, to Sporcle, and into a noun describing its followers, Sporclers. As a Sporcler, I’ll be the first to tell you it’s a pretty worthwhile addiction.

Now you may have never heard of Sporcle and if so, fear not because Sporcle is simple. The website consists of a myriad of trivia games categorized by topic. Seem simple enough?

Well now comes the hard part, determining whether you know everything there is to know about life, the universe and everything. Hint: 42 is not a valid response on most Sporcle quizzes.

If you are human, which I would tend to assume you are, then you don’t know everything there is to know. The enjoyment comes in the exploration of what you really do know.

Consider yourself a sports expert? I bet you couldn’t name every single running back to rush for over 1000 yards in a season in the history of the NFL. Well neither can I. But what about that one friend of yours who always brags to you about how he knows more about football than you do?

Herein lies the true fun of Sporcle: the social aspect. There are two ways to enjoy Sporcle with a friend; you either work together on that one ridiculous puzzle that requires two minds to solve, or compete on a quiz, fighting for supremacy over a chosen topic.

There have been many times throughout the past few years when my friends and I have had intense Sporcle competitions. Rivalries developed, tempers flared, but in the end the only thing more blissful than getting the last answer to a Sporcle quiz as time is running out is the green checkmark on WebAssign. And let’s be honest, nothing will ever usurp that green checkmark.

In that way, Sporcle has become, at least for me, more of a stress reliever than a boredom reliever. Sporcle clears your mind as you focus on retrieving random information from your subconscious rather than those nagging APUSH notes that are begging for attention. Sometimes you need a break from the troubles of the world and rather than just staring out into space you can learn something new.

That’s not to say that Sporcle is purely educational; a good half of its quizzes involve word puzzles that test the way your brain works rather than your actual knowledge The point is that Sporcle is a better waste of time than nearly anything else.

It has become an activity as commonplace as going to the bathroom because of that slight educational value. Well maybe not that common nor driven by any form of educational value, but you get my point. Everywhere you go there are people busy Sporcling.

The main reason for this is that Sporcle appeals to people of all ages and with any of a wide variety of interests. Many games advertise that they are fun for the whole family, but Sporcle actually is. Some quizzes require the knowledge of multiple generations of pop culture to finish.

Essentially, Sporcle is the ultimate stress reliever and boredom reliever. “A Sporcle a day keeps the doctor away,” says the wise man. “Nine out of ten fake doctors recommend it. That 10th guy? You don’t want to meet him.”

So next time you’re sitting around in the library or a study hall, staring blankly at your computer screen, thinking “oh golly gee there has to be something exciting I could be doing,” turn to your friend and simply say “Sporcle?” Let’s just hope they know what you mean.

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The School Newspaper of Harriton High School
Holden On: Sporcle