HQ: The mobile trivia game that is taking UEA students by storm

Why is HQ so popular? Image: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Why is HQ so popular? Image: Chris Radburn/PA Wire - Credit: PA

HQ is a popular mobile trivia game that allows you to win actual cash prizes. Amy Newbery looks at why students like the ones at UEA are finding it so appealing.

The concept of trends could be seen as a trend itself; we're constantly looking out for the next trend and subsequently, trying to fit or avoid them. If you're someone that likes to keep up-to-date, I suggest you check out 'HQ Trivia'. Usually just referred to as 'HQ', it is a trivia game in the form of an app that was released in 2017. It has now become extremely popular amongst university students as it is free to play and offers a cash reward for winning. Formatted like a live game show, HQ provides a host who asks twelve questions that get increasingly difficult. The player has ten seconds to pick an answer from a selection of three after each question is read out.

'HQ is just a quiz game with an extra incentive to do well. The live shows make it feel like an actual game-show and even though I never win, the prospect of winning is still exciting.' – Peter Edwards, UEA student

Ever so popular amongst UEA students, HQ is appealing for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it's accessible to anyone with a smart phone which makes it playable no matter where. It also doesn't take up much time and is free to play. The rewards are decent as well, ranging from £500 to £5000. Special events have prizes that have gone up to £300, 000. So what's the catch? It seems too straight-forward to be true. Well, the prize money is split between all the winners of the final question which means you could earn next to nothing at all. HQ previously had a minimum cash-out amount of £20 which was scrapped in January 2018. Another drawback with the app are the technical issues, it often lags or freezes due to the large amount of players which can result in unfair elimination.

'HQ gives me a chance to top up my bank account, even though I never get past question 7 and even though the people who win only seem to get £20 each, I remain hopeful. Plus, it's pretty fun.' – Philippa Higgins, UEA student

Despite these drawbacks, which should be expected as the amount of players per game can reach as high as one million, HQ is a fun way to pass time. If you fail to win, you don't lose anything but a couple of minutes. HQ isn't a guaranteed way to earn you money, just like any game show. Additionally, two to three games are hosted each day so you have several chances of winning. Even if the chances of winning are slim, just spending a couple of minutes a day not focusing on anything important must have some benefits. In a world where it's near impossible to focus on just one thing, a quick trivia game might just be a way to de-stress. HQ also encourages players to connect with each other, offering extra 'lives' via referral codes. They have also featured stars such as Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson where he promoted his new movie, 'Rampage'. It is these extra features and exciting appearances that encourage people to play HQ, as well as to keep returning. Another reason for the app's popularity is its schedule. Players are able to note when the next game will be, and it's typically the same time each day, which allows people arrange their lives accordingly.

'It's a fun game that can be pretty addictive. Although I've never won anything on it, the added incentive or potentially winning money, even though it's not much, definitely adds to the experience. Followed by the progressively harder questions, it creates a very exciting and rewarding experience.' – Paulo Jorge, UEA student

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Video quiz platforms must be doing something right because Facebook recently announced they were adding video quiz tools. Facebook is constantly evolving, having already added features similar to other social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. It's interesting to explore the popularity of trivia games, specifically HQ. Although they have always been a staple of many TV nights (e.g. Jeopardy!), they are making a comeback bigger than ever through a more accessible form. Perhaps a presupposed reason for HQ's popularity is that founders, Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll, were also responsible for Vine, one of the most popular online platforms before its closure.

Whatever the reason, HQ is dominating the consumer game right now with a single game capable of drawing in tens of thousands of users, becoming a global phenomenon. So if you do have a smart-phone and a couple of minutes to spare each day, it won't hurt to give HQ a try. Who knows, you might win some money!

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