NYU students have turned into full-on “HQties,” or at least that is what Scott Rogowsky, the face of the popular game HQ, would call them. Whether played covertly under classroom desks at 3 p.m. or with friends in dorms at 9 p.m, the trivia based app is everywhere.
Built by Vine co-founders Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov, the premise of the free game is that players compete live in answering 12 trivia questions, and those who answer all the questions correctly split whatever the prize amount is. Most winners receive cash prizes in the single digits because there are upwards of one million players per game, and the prize usually totals $2,500. However, with a new round of investors, HQ has been able to increase its prize amounts on various occasions, offering a $20,000 prize this past Sunday, Feb. 4, which facilitates higher individual gains.
Unfortunately, with money comes controversy; HQ has recently faced criticism over one of its new investors, Peter Thiel. Thiel is known for being a right-wing libertarian and a supporter of President Donald Trump, which does not please NYU’s largely liberal student body. Surprisingly, the main issue that most users have with him is that he funded a legal campaign that contributed to the bankruptcy and eventual shutdown of the news site Gawker. Despite the new resistance towards HQ, now hashtagged as #deletehq on Twitter, the NYU community continues to feel the draw of the competition.
Professor Frank Lantz, who is the director of Tisch’s Game Center, believes that people are so obsessed with HQ because it surrounds live, scheduled events.
“It’s fun to have a real-time, event-based game on your phone,” Lantz said. “People like live events.”
Lantz did admit that the game is not super original, however, design-wise, he believes that there are no obvious interaction problems and that the concept was well executed, or, as Lantz put it, “exe-Q-ted”.
When asked if he has ever played the game, Lantz said, “Yes. As a matter of fact I just won for the first time yesterday! I’m Monty Cantsin, say ‘Hi’ if you see me in the chat. LOL.”
Tisch freshman and avid HQ player Saachi Bhandari also spoke highly of HQ, focusing on the camaraderie surrounding the game.
“I think it’s cool how we get people to join in and play together on our floor,” Bhandari said.
“When you play with a group, you have a better chance at winning, and it’s more fun.”
As for her reason behind playing, Bhandari said, “It’s less about the money and more about the feeling of victory.”
Next time you need a study break or something to entertain you and your suitemates in the dorm, try breaking out HQ. It’s a ton of fun and, who knows, maybe you will finally figure out who is the smartest out of all of your friends.
Email Tyler Crews at [email protected].