Online pub quizzes a not-so-trivial isolation pursuit
“It just ended up being bigger than I ever thought it would,” he said. “It’s all very wild, it’s still hard to comprehend.”
While things calmed down a little after lockdown 1.0, the introduction of stage four restrictions in Melbourne has reinvigorated demand for a fun night at home.
The schedule is general knowledge on Tuesdays and Fridays, with the odd themed night thrown in. His video recreations of well-known movie scenes are a favourite with participants.
It is broadcast through Facebook Live and teams can exchange banter through the chat function. Each team reports its score at the end of the round and a leaderboard is provided within 45 minutes of the end of the session. The trivia is free but enthusiasts can make a donation through Paypal if they wish.
“I sit at my computer for eight hours to prepare, it’s so much more than what it looks like,” he said.
Two regulars are Brunswick couple Luke Dunstan and Julia Bennett, who have tuned in to Isolation Trivia since it started.
It’s an activity they’re unlikely to ever forget either: just this week Luke asked Aimon to help him propose during the live stream. Julia said yes.
“It was a bit embarrassing, not in a bad way. I’m just a bit shy,” said Julia.
Luke said the whole thing “just happened organically”.
“I asked him if he’d do a shoutout at the end of the trivia as a fun way to bring it up and pop the question and so he did,” he said. “It went off in the chat.”
The success of online trivia is about feeling connected with other people during the pandemic, said Julia.
“People like to feel like they’re doing something at the same time as other people even though we’re not together at the pub,” she said.
Isolation Trivia runs on an honour system, with no way of stopping people Googling the answers.
Those who cheat are only ruining it for themselves, said Aimon, and none of the prize giveaways are based on scores.
With dreams to one day host his own TV quiz show like Spicks and Specks, Aimon plans to keep doing online trivial nights well into the future.
“I’ve been able to connect with so many people, I get so many nice messages,” he said.
“I’ll keep doing it for sure, even if it’s just out of being thankful for those who watch. It’s something that I’m really passionate about.”
Tom Cowie is a journalist at The Age covering general news.