25 Aug 2021

Pandemic Pub Quiz providing light relief in lockdown

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:41 pm on 25 August 2021

An online quiz that started as a way to keep friends and family entertained during lockdown has gone national.

The Pandemic Pub Quiz is also helping people overseas access Covid-19 vaccinations.

quizmaster James Gatley.

Quizmaster James Gatley (on the right) Photo: Supplied.

During Level 4 lockdown last year, James Gatley and his friends  Alex and Denym took turns hosting quizzes over Zoom for their friends' bubbles.

"That went around for a few weeks and everybody loved it, and it turned out that many people were doing a similar thing.

"I was fortunate enough to have a couple of good friends and colleagues who had the brains to perhaps take this to a bit more of a larger scale and see if we could do something with it."

There was clearly demand for a pub quiz, especially during Level 4, James says.

"We started googling what platforms we could use, how can we broadcast this, do we need a quizmaster, or can just do simply with an online quiz platform.

"In the end, where we found a bit of success is adding value via a caster or broadcaster of such, so it's a bit more of an entertainment aspect than purely a quiz, and I think that's perhaps why a few punters keep coming back."

People shouldn't get intimidated about the quiz, James says, which is run in a traditional style with six or seven categories including Sport, Music, TV and General Knowledge.

Anyone can join the Pandemic Pub Quiz by going to this link and registering a team

Once you've registered your team, and paid the $30 team entry fee, a link for the Zoom meeting and a code for the quiz platform are sent out via email, James says.

"So all you're basically doing is casting Zoom to your TV ideally so the whole bubble can enjoy it, and then just get one person to log in on their phone to Mentimeter, plug in the quiz code and then they can basically use that as a remote to answer the questions.

"At the end of the day, this is having a bit of fun with your bubble on a Friday night when you can't go too far elsewhere.

"We think it's a reasonable price to pay, $10 of which goes directly to UNICEF and they manage those funds to be sent to countries that can't afford their own vaccines."

The quizmaster mostly relies on players' honesty when it comes to googling the answers, he says.

"We do try to only allow X amount of time for the questions, which certainly restricts the ability to do that.

"At the end of the day, there are still a few people that are going to do that and there's not much we can do about that at this stage. However, all I can say to those people is on Saturday morning after the quiz, it's them that have to get look at themselves in the mirror.

"This is about entertainment, having a bit of fun, getting something to do with your bubble, and if I can get a few giggles out of you along the way then that's a win-win."

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