A modest proposal

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bleezy
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A modest proposal

Post by bleezy » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:27 pm

I was thinking of ways to change the rules of Jeopardy to make it a more interesting game. Why not do the following:

After a question is asked, the signalling devices become active, and the first player pushes the button, start a timer for some small duration (about 300 msec). When that window has elapsed, the player with the lowest score who pushed the button during that time gets to answer the question. If scores are tied, the player who pushed first gets to answer.

Obviously using the signalling device is a skill, and being good at pushing the button is part of being good at Jeopardy. But why does it have to be that way? Does anyone really enjoy seeing smarter players lose a game? Does anyone enjoy seeing the same guy sweep up all the "gimme questions"?

Just venting some of my personal frustrations- I think this would be a huge improvement.

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jeff6286
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Re: A modest proposal

Post by jeff6286 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:58 pm

So you're concerned that better players lose a game due to not being the best on the buzzer? And your solution to this is that the player with the lowest score "wins" every buzzer race. I'm not quite sure how this is meant to make it more likely that the most knowledgeable player wins.

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Re: A modest proposal

Post by OntarioQuizzer » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:18 pm

bleezy wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:27 pm
I was thinking of ways to change the rules of Jeopardy to make it a more interesting game. Why not do the following:

After a question is asked, the signalling devices become active, and the first player pushes the button, start a timer for some small duration (about 300 msec). When that window has elapsed, the player with the lowest score who pushed the button during that time gets to answer the question. If scores are tied, the player who pushed first gets to answer.

Obviously using the signalling device is a skill, and being good at pushing the button is part of being good at Jeopardy. But why does it have to be that way? Does anyone really enjoy seeing smarter players lose a game? Does anyone enjoy seeing the same guy sweep up all the "gimme questions"?

Just venting some of my personal frustrations- I think this would be a huge improvement.
This is one of the worst ideas I have ever heard.
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AFRET CMS
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Re: A modest proposal

Post by AFRET CMS » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:42 pm

bleezy wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:27 pm
I was thinking of ways to change the rules of Jeopardy to make it a more interesting game. Why not do the following:

After a question is asked, the signalling devices become active, and the first player pushes the button, start a timer for some small duration (about 300 msec). When that window has elapsed, the player with the lowest score who pushed the button during that time gets to answer the question. If scores are tied, the player who pushed first gets to answer.

Obviously using the signalling device is a skill, and being good at pushing the button is part of being good at Jeopardy. But why does it have to be that way? Does anyone really enjoy seeing smarter players lose a game? Does anyone enjoy seeing the same guy sweep up all the "gimme questions"?

Just venting some of my personal frustrations- I think this would be a huge improvement.
My two cents -- I don't think would represent an improvement.

Right now, Jeopardy is a contest not only of knowledge, but also of recall, reasoning, decision-making, and yes, a little bit of reflex. However, the signaling devices become active simultaneously for all players. Timing is important, but even more important is reading the clue ahead of Alex's oral reading, deciding if you know the answer (or if you WILL know the answer by the time you ring in; sometimes I pushed the button not because I had the answer ready, but because I knew I knew it even if I wasn't ready to say it), deciding if you don't KNOW the answer but have a good idea about it and if so, is it worth the chance of a miss to get the chance of a being correct, and then deciding whether to ring or to clam -- all in the time it takes for Alex to read the question out loud.

It's not an issue of timing only, nor is it an issue of knowledge only, nor is it an issue of reasoning ability only, nor is it an issue of decision-making only. The combination of all of those factors, plus a couple more, help make the game as exciting and as popular as it is.

I don't think many people would watch football more if the rules were changed so that the team with the lowest score only had to go 8 yards for a first down, while the team in the lead still had to move 10 yards.
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Re: A modest proposal

Post by Golf » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:39 pm

Just give everybody a trophy and get it over with.

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morbeedo
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Re: A modest proposal

Post by morbeedo » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:58 pm

This one's right up there with the idea of having a losers tournament ;)

How about adding a BANKRUPT box that zeros the score of the person who selects that box? Now, wouldn't THAT be exciting! ;)

I went to a taping and asked Alex "Isn't high time you increased the $$$ value of the clues?" Let's just say he wasn't amused

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Re: A modest proposal

Post by This Is Kirk! » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:09 am

bleezy wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:27 pm
Does anyone really enjoy seeing smarter players lose a game?
I suppose not, but I'm not exactly sure how we can discern who the "smarter players" are. Furthermore, how would your proposed rule change help these smarter players?

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Re: A modest proposal

Post by KellyLasiter » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:45 am

Also, how do you determine which ones are the "gimme questions"? Everything's easy if you know it. Everything's hard if you don't. There were definitely times I was like "How did I get in first on this? It's easy!", but I'm sure all my opponents had similar moments about some of their own questions, because everyone has their own weird and unique knowledge base. And wanting to cuss out the buzzer is just the nature of the beast.

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Re: A modest proposal

Post by AFRET CMS » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:22 pm

morbeedo wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:58 pm

I went to a taping and asked Alex "Isn't high time you increased the $$$ value of the clues?" Let's just say he wasn't amused
I think we were in the studio the same day; that question was asked by both the morning audience and the afternoon audience. To at least one of the questions, Alex said something like, "If you're willing to pay for it, we'll be happy to."

If they have 6 weeks of reruns per year, that means 230 new episodes per year. If the average champ wins around $18,000 plus $3000 for the other two, and we add in the higher prizes for various tournaments, total prize money for the year may hover around $5M.

Doubling the prize money would mean contestants would get almost as much money as Alex's $10M per year.

However, I'm betting that having Alex continue as host (and Johnny Gilbert keep announcing) are worth a heckuva lot more in ratings points and resulting ad revenue than higher prize money. I don't know that increasing prizes would do much to increase ratings, but I'd bet losing Alex or Johnny could cause a noticeable drop, at least in the short term.
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Re: A modest proposal

Post by morbeedo » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:50 pm

AFRET CMS wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:22 pm
morbeedo wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:58 pm

I went to a taping and asked Alex "Isn't high time you increased the $$$ value of the clues?" Let's just say he wasn't amused
I think we were in the studio the same day; that question was asked by both the morning audience and the afternoon audience. To at least one of the questions, Alex said something like, "If you're willing to pay for it, we'll be happy to."

If they have 6 weeks of reruns per year, that means 230 new episodes per year. If the average champ wins around $18,000 plus $3000 for the other two, and we add in the higher prizes for various tournaments, total prize money for the year may hover around $5M.

Doubling the prize money would mean contestants would get almost as much money as Alex's $10M per year.

However, I'm betting that having Alex continue as host (and Johnny Gilbert keep announcing) are worth a heckuva lot more in ratings points and resulting ad revenue than higher prize money. I don't know that increasing prizes would do much to increase ratings, but I'd bet losing Alex or Johnny could cause a noticeable drop, at least in the short term.
Haha yeah he told me I'd have to pay for it :)

I wonder if the producers have contingency plans for a scenario where Alex needs to retire early or take a medical leave of absence. I know they tape in advance, but I wonder if they've even started talking about a possible replacement. Would make sense for them to start bringing in guest hosts at some point to try them out. In the meantime, I'm glad Alex decided to renew his contract recently :)

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Re: A modest proposal

Post by acthomas » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:18 am

bleezy wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:27 pm
I was thinking of ways to change the rules of Jeopardy to make it a more interesting game. Why not do the following:

After a question is asked, the signalling devices become active, and the first player pushes the button, start a timer for some small duration (about 300 msec). When that window has elapsed, the player with the lowest score who pushed the button during that time gets to answer the question. If scores are tied, the player who pushed first gets to answer.

Obviously using the signalling device is a skill, and being good at pushing the button is part of being good at Jeopardy. But why does it have to be that way? Does anyone really enjoy seeing smarter players lose a game? Does anyone enjoy seeing the same guy sweep up all the "gimme questions"?

Just venting some of my personal frustrations- I think this would be a huge improvement.
I'm all about game hypotheticals and trying new things, so I enjoy tossing these out there too -- particularly when it comes to "parity" arguments in sports. And as a game enthusiast I'm generally in favour of games having more parity for what I think is excitement.

I think this doesn't achieve what you want it to. Because the two hypotheticals "Does anyone really enjoy seeing smarter players lose a game? Does anyone enjoy seeing the same guy sweep up all the "gimme questions"?" are contradictory. In expectation, the weaker players are the ones with lower scores and the ones who would benefit from the catch-up rule.

That version of the show would therefore have fewer streaks as better players get knocked out sooner, and from what we know empirically, ratings go up when players are on streaks -- either people love them more than they love shorter term champs, or they want to see them fall, and making that more rare is special.

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Re: A modest proposal

Post by hbomb1947 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:22 am

I'm just relieved there was nothing in this thread about eating children. I certainly wouldn't want to bring back Kids Week under those circumstances.

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Re: A modest proposal

Post by acthomas » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:19 am

hbomb1947 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:22 am
I'm just relieved there was nothing in this thread about eating children. I certainly wouldn't want to bring back Kids Week under those circumstances.
Admittedly, that's the only way I'd watch it.

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Re: A modest proposal

Post by BobF » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:19 pm

What's next, implement a system where the less popular presidential candidate is given a way to defeat his or her opponent?
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Re: A modest proposal

Post by Sherm » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:15 pm

The issue with what the OP is proposing is that it is an effort to give a weaker player an edge. The guy who can't answer as many and falls behind is going to be given the advantage with what is proposed on the buzzer. Fact is, there are advantages for the weaker player that already exist through normal game play.

1.) The use of the daily double allows for the weaker player to make a massive gain and stay in a game despite being outplayed.

2.) Final jeopardy allows a player at 51% of the leaders score to win based on one question.

To me, its hard enough for the better players to win on the show consistently. Weaker players do win with a lot of regularity. Any further advantage for the weaker player makes it more unfair than it already is.

This game is about knowledge, quick recall, buzzer timing and some luck, and all of them share an equal importance. It's easy for me to accept that buzzer timing is just another key component, and it should not be discounted.

There is little doubt that guys like Rutter and Jennings have consistently rolled opponents that have been able to match them in knowledge and recall. There truly is a skill on the buzzer, and it is part of the game.

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