Event Gamification Bootcamp: Build a Better Game Show Question

So you're using a game show at your event. Great idea.

You want to increase content retention, boost engagement, have a highly interactive experience and make the event energy soar...right?

But you want to make sure your game show doesn't fall flat. One of the key components to a game show is also one of the basics: The questions.

Event game shows can be made or broken on the strength of their questions. Here's why:

  • The audience needs to feel the experience was worthwhile. If questions are too easy and everyone is getting 100% all the time--what's the point of the game? It's not competitive. It doesn't keep peoples' attention or inspire them to cheer on their team, after a while.

  • The audience needs to feel success. If questions are too difficult it's likewise discouraging. Game play will drag. The audience needs to experience enough success to remain engaged.

  • The audience needs to stay in the spirit of the game show. The audience can't feel so far behind or helpless that they "check out" of the game show. Scores need to be relatively even.

  • The audience needs a positive overall experience. Questions shouldn't cause controversy (unless it's intentional).

To achieve these things, questions must achieve a balance of being challenging but with attainable answers.

Your questions are too hard:

  • Trivia questions are obscure.
  • Content questions are irrelevant.
  • Questions are meant to stump or focus on tiny details. 
  • The distractors are too close to the correct answer.
  • There is no *objectively* correct answer.
  • There are "trick" questions.

Your questions are too easy:

  • ANY of your questions contain "all of the above" as the correct answer. 
  • The correct answer option is longer/more detailed than the distractors.
  • Distractors are too obvious/not close enough to the correct answer. 
  • Difficulty is set way below the expertise of the audience.

Your questions are poorly constructed:

  • The answer segments are longer than the question and more complex.
  • Questions and answers don't make sense.
  • It's unclear what's being asked.
  • Multiple answers could apply where a single answer is needed. 
  • "Trick" questions are used to confuse instead of challenge. 
Watch out for...:
  • True/False questions are often too tricky or too easy by their very nature. 
  • All of the above is almost always too easy unless it's very carefully constructed.
  • Give the audience enough time to read and digest more complex questions.
  • Run your questions by someone at the level of the audience--not just your team of experts. 

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