HQ Trivia has become the next bona fide phenomenon in the mobile gaming community. The game, a twice-a-day live competition complete with a streamed human host, challenges users to correctly answer a series of trivia questions (usually 12-15) with actual money up for grabs. The daily prize is usually divided amongst those who have outlasted all the questions, giving the game seemingly infinite replay value as well as a communal feel.

However, the game could be more than a mere entertainment trend a la Angry Birds or Pokemon Go; it may stand as a major advancement in IoT’s impact on mobile gaming in general.


Jump starting an old model

Connected gaming is by no means a new concept; major industry names like Microsoft and Nintendo have been fine-tuning it for decades on end. However, in today’s smartphone- and tablet-dominated mobile culture, communal entertainment has, in many cases, become a staple of our daily lives. What started with simple competitive interfaces and revamped versions of classic concepts (Words with Friends) has grown into the advanced communities exemplified by HQ Trivia and its contemporaries.

Now, players have have access to games rooted in deeper human interaction; trivia games like HQ, in particular, have proven how “shared knowledge helps hold communities together,” and while this notion may seem overwhelming and dystopian to some, it is an undeniable extension of what has already been achieved via Xbox Live headsets and Facebook game apps: a merging of real-world socialization and in-game fantasy — except now, the latter is not necessarily all fiction. A redeemable cash prize is a very real goal, and it presents a whole new form of motivation that has perhaps been unobserved on the casual gaming front.


The future

With IoT technology advancing its status as a societal norm, and with gaming only continuing to tout its identity as such, it is safe to assume that connected device competitions like HQ Trivia will expand into their own subdivision of emerging sophisticated technologies. The game has set a precedent in terms of our in-game expectations; now, we may find ourselves favoring only those games that incorporate a potent blend of intrinsic competitiveness — the kind originating as far back as Pong — and a new form of reward-based motivation conditioned by HQ’s daily cash prizes, which, in times of elimination, feel close, but never close enough.