Remember that game show, "1 vs. 100" that was on for a while? It tried gamely to ride on the coattails of the genius that was "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" but sort of failed what with no one watching and it kind of getting canceled. In case you don't recall, the premise was basically some guy or girl would answer questions at the same time as a mob of 100 other people did. If the individual outlasted the mob, they'd win a new car or a make-out session with Bob Barker or some such thing. The show was kind of a waste of time.
But do you know what's not AT ALL a waste of time? Spending hours and hours playing the Xbox Live version of the very same game show. XBox's version of "1 vs. 100" has been beta testing for a couple weeks now and has consumed hours and hours of my unemployed time. It is pure bliss.
Why so blissful? Because it's like playing trivia at the bar except that the drinks being spilled on you are your own and the booming bass line making your ears bleed is your own special '70s disco mix that you only play in the privacy of your own home because of the shame. Also, there are no sticky controllers, ridiculous bar tabs or a drunk guy (screen name: Big Guns) who wants to fight you because you beat him on a "Knight Rider" question.
Playing "1 vs. 100" on Xbox Live also can be a huge ego booster given that you're mostly playing against 15 year olds who don't pay attention in school. So when questions about "Sunset Boulevard" come on the screen, you can almost hear their collective cries of intellectual pain as you quietly and confidently select "Norma Desmond" as your first and final answer.
The cool thing is, though, it's not a total walk in the park. The questions get progressively harder and cover a wide range of topics and there are actually some pretty tough competitors on there. You can flex a good deal of trivia muscle over the course of an evening, with each round offering 37 questions over a 30 minute span.
Also, if you're feeling extra brilliant, you can submit questions for inclusion in the game. I'm guessing that's why I spot typos from time to time, but overall, the question quality is pretty high. Much like the guy playing the game last night who did not seem to know what color the Grinch was. Or where America was. Or Earth, for that matter. It was sad.
There's no cost to play "1 vs. 100," which means you have to sit through commercials three or four times a round, but mostly they've just been showing the "Transformers 2" trailer so it's not too much of a burden. This week, as beta testing continues, you can rack up entries to try and be a player when the real game launches later this month. When that starts, prizes will be awarded to contestants...and who doesn't love prizes?
Mostly, though, the geek in me just loves answering questions and trying to feel smarter than thousands of other Xbox Live gamers. If you have an XBox account and haven't tried this game yet, I heartily encourage you to give it a go. It's even better if you have a significant other next to you to handle the controller while you eat cookies.