Every year we have a family event on Pi Day, March 14. It might be a geeky reason to get together, but everyone brings pies, and then we eat pies, it’s awesome.The past few years, the night has culminated in a parents vs. teenagers trivia challenge. It’s become a pleasant rivalry, especially with the teens’ epic come-from-behind victory to reclaim the title this year. Good times.
We’ve struggled to come up with a good system to run the game, and accept answers. Raising hands gets contentious and relies on whoever was seen first. Buzzer systems are expensive and limit the number of players. So what to do?
Turns out we’ve had the answer in our pockets all along. We simply used my cell phone as the buzzer. I put my number up on the screen and then when each question was asked they would text in their answer. It worked for both multiple choice and short form questions, and it was easy to see who was first so there were
no less arguments about who “buzzed in” first. (A word of caution, it can get a little tricky to scroll check who came in first as the phone bombards you with notifications.)
A few notes about using this method:
- You should have an unlimited texting plan.
- It can get a little tricky to scroll check who came in first as the phone bombards you with notifications
- If you didn’t want to give away your number to the whole room of people, you could enlist a service like Pinger to get a separate phone number to use.
- It’s a great way to collect cell number you might not already have.
It might be a little rudimentary, but it got the job done and didn’t require any equipment or services we didn’t already have. I can’t believe it took us a couple years to have this “a-ha” moment!