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Trivia Crack latest in innovative intramural sports at DePaul

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Trivia Crack is the first digital intramural sport that DePaul has offered in an effort to reach out to off-campus students.  (Trivia Crack / MCT)

Trivia Crack is the first digital intramural sport that DePaul has offered in an effort to reach out to off-campus students. (Trivia Crack / MCT)

Chances are, you’ve played it or at least heard of it.  Trivia Crack has been downloaded over 125 million times on mobile devices, making it the most popular mobile game worldwide, according to VentureBeat.  And now it has become a DePaul intramural tournament.

The tournament was played remotely, with competitors sending in screenshots of their wins. The final face-off will begin this week between “erinisreallyawesome” a.k.a. Erin Yarnall, a journalism and history double major, and “thechicagoprep” a.k.a. Lindsay Goldstein, a journalism senior.  The winner will get a T-shirt, a big prize among the intramural community.

The Trivia Crack tournament was Assistant Director of Marketing for campus recreation Kristen Pengelly’s idea after she noticed that intramural participation was declining. Pengelly saw that a lot of her friends were playing the game and decided to make it an intramural event to pull in students who might not usually participate in intramurals. 

There were only nine participants in the tournament, so Leanne Thompson, assistant director of intramurals, and Pengelly are hoping to repeat the tournament again, with increased even more students taking part. 

“It would be cool to do in the summer, remotely,” Pengelly said. “It could be a way for commuters to feel connected to the University, too.”

Plus, it’s a way for students who move home for the summer to stay linked to DePaul.

Senior Peter Warpinski is an avid intramural participant, so he jumped at the chance to incorporate something he already does, Trivia Crack, with the thrill of competition. Over the past four years, he has competed in intramural basketball, ping-pong and chess.   

“I’m pretty competitive,” Warpinski said. “It’s more about being able to say I won than anything.”

Unfortunately for his competitive streak, Warpinski was eliminated early in the bracket.  However, that would not stop him from playing again if there was another Trivia Crack tournament. 

But, getting students to participate in activities that aren’t essential to their academic success can be difficult.  Additionally, with so many DePaul students living off campus, it can be hard to commute for in-person events.  Pengelly wants students to see all the Ray has to offer.

“It’s also a push to get infrequent users of the Ray in here,” she said. “Sometimes there is a barrier and students think they have to be a muscle-head or a cardio queen to come to the gym, but it’s really about wellness.”

Pengelly has noticed that when students do come to the Ray, they tend to work out alone rather than come to socialize.

“The interests of college students are shifting,” Pengelly said. “Students want to play, ju st not compete.”

Thompson said another thing students might not know about intramurals is that students can suggest their own ideas.

“They say,‘this is what we want’ and then we see if we can make it happen,” Thompson said. “I can really do anything I can buy equipment for.”

Anything they can buy equipment for that isn’t a liability for the university, that is.  Right now, Thompson is trying to figure out if they could make bubble soccer work.  The problem is, the game is basically bumper cars without the cars.  It’s not the only sport they have had troubles with.

“Quidditch is a risk-management nightmare,” Pengelly said, laughing.

Creative thinking is required to get increasingly busy students involved in intramurals, especially because 84 percent of students live off campus.

“DePaul and Chicago are so unique,” Thompson said. “We’re finding ways for students to get involved.  It’s very untraditional to do something like this.”

The Trivia Crack tournament is the first digital intramural the Ray has offered, but not the first non-sport.  Other intramurals have included scrabble, chess, and Yukor.  Trivia Crack and Wallyball are new this year.

Editor’s Note: Finalist Erin Yarnall is the Focus Editor of The DePaulia

Update

At just after four on Monday afternoon, Erin Yarnall triumphed in the DePaul intramural Trivia Crack tournament.  Lindsay Goldstein was the runner up.

“That was so nerve-wracking,” Yarnell said right after entering the winning answer.

The final question was “What was outlawed during prohibition?”

Goldstein was defeated by an obscure pop culture question – what comedian used to be a shoe salesman. Goldstein picked Will Ferrell.

“I will never forget that Kevin Hart started his career as a shoe salesman in Massachusetts,” Goldstein said. “I’m still proud of myself though.”

Yarnell said she was ecstatic to be the winner, especially because of the prize – an intramural champion T-shirt.

Both said they would participate again if there is another Trivia Crack tournament.

“It’s nice to play with someone besides my dad,” Yarnell said. “So I would definitely play again.”

 

 

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Trivia Crack latest in innovative intramural sports at DePaul