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Trivia Games: 15 Disadvantages & Drawbacks (Arguments, Cheating,…)

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Trivia games are a fun way for groups to bond and have fun while testing their general knowledge about varying topics. They’re also exhilarating for spectators, which explains why many successful trivia game tv shows exist. However, trivia games aren’t without some disadvantages and drawbacks.

The drawbacks of trivia games include the problem of performance anxiety and the fact that players may cheat. The game depends on the luck of the draw and may not accurately reflect the most knowledgeable players. It’s also hard to prepare for games due to the random nature of trivia questions.

Let’s take a deep dive into this topic and examine the downsides of trivia games and how they affect the game’s overall experience.

1. Preparation for Trivia Games Takes Time and Effort

When people think about game nights, most associate it with having fun and letting loose. The whole idea is to unplug and unwind. Unfortunately, preparing for trivia night takes time and deliberate effort as you cram down as many facts as possible so that your team wins. This preparation is essential when the stakes are high.

The stress associated with preparation can also be overwhelming and make it difficult to retain information.

2. Trivia Topics and Questions Are Random

After several hours or days of preparation, you are still not guaranteed victory in trivia games because the host picks the questions randomly. The probability of doing better after spending time on extensive research is undoubtedly higher. Still, you may also have missed some vital information covered in the trivia.

Having prepared so much, this can be pretty frustrating and perhaps even demotivating when preparing for subsequent games.

3. Performance Anxiety Can Interfere With Trivia Games

Stage fright or performance anxiety can interfere with the trivia game experience, especially when playing before a large or unfamiliar audience. There are various ways that anxiety affects individuals: some may have a hard time remembering what they truly know, while others may be unable to express their thoughts eloquently.

Players affected by performance anxiety (either as an anxiety disorder or only occasionally) may have an undue disadvantage when participating in trivia games, as it’s often an inaccurate expression of their skills or knowledge.

4. Accessibility Limitations of Trivia Games

Many trivia games, more so the interactive kind that involves the use of pictures, sounds, or movements, are inaccessible to people living with various disabilities. Although the game developers may not exclude this category deliberately, it’s a reality that requires serious consideration.

It’s worth mentioning that particular trivia games cater to specific special needs categories, but there’s always room for more research and innovation to make them more inclusive.

5. The Problem of Cheaters in Trivia Games

Trivia games are supposed to challenge the player’s knowledge, so cheating gives excessive leverage to dishonest players, denying honest players their due wins. Undoubtedly, cheating is a common drawback in many other games.

There may be rules to reduce the prevalence of cheating, but they only go so far in curbing the vice. Perhaps the main challenge is that cheaters get more innovative by the day, so it’s hard to keep track of all possible loopholes.

6. Mobile Trivia Games Are Quite Addictive

According to Healthline, playing trivia games releases a rush of dopamine in the brain, which is the brain’s reward system. On the one hand, dopamine is beneficial when released in moderation. However, it is also to blame for addiction, and this is why many mobile games, trivia games included, may be addictive.

Therefore, what may begin as an innocent pastime may take up valuable time meant for more important tasks.

7. Inside Competition Among Trivia Teammates

Competition in trivia games is not always limited to separate teams. Sometimes teammates may cultivate unhealthy competition amongst themselves, negatively affecting the team’s performance and overall experience of other teammates.

Healthy competition, even among teammates, is sometimes helpful since members are more motivated to improve their trivia skills. However, when unchecked, it can easily affect relationships among team members.

8. Trivia Games Are Only Fun When You’re Winning

Losing takes all the fun out of trivia games because there is no longer the rush of excitement that comes with getting questions correct. Losing is quite demotivating and can be somewhat embarrassing, especially when there’s an audience.

Failing publicly at trivia games may also result in feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem since people generally prefer appearing intelligent in the eyes of others.

9. Trivia Games Are Not a True Measure of Intelligence

Winning at trivia games does not necessarily equate to a higher intelligence quotient. For one, trivia experts could be good at memorizing random information. Another reason some people do better at trivia is because of abundant experience in playing: perhaps they have learned a few tips and tricks.

Trivia games rarely target other measures of intelligence, such as critical and creative thinking. The result is that some brilliant players may not get an opportunity to showcase their intellectual abilities.

10. There’s Not One Sure Way To Prepare for Trivia Games

If you think about it, winning at trivia games combines sufficient knowledge and sheer luck. The latter is not in anyone’s control.

Despite having plenty of experience and practice, there is always the possibility that the questions asked will require new information which you may not have encountered. For many other games, practice does make perfect. However, in trivia games, there’s no guarantee of perfection.

11. Sharing Prizes Isn’t Always Fair 

When playing in teams, sometimes not everyone makes the same effort to lead the team to victory. However, this difference in participation does not reflect when sharing prizes.

Even joyriders in a group receive an equal share of the prizes, even though only a few members did the heavy lifting. The disparity between efforts and rewards can discourage teammates who put in the work.

12. Age Difference May Affect the Trivia Experience

Unfortunately, it’s not easy selecting a suitable trivia game for a family game night if you intend to engage young children, teenagers, and adults in the same game. Older children/adults have an undeniable advantage when playing against younger children, so you may need to choose a trivia game that even the younger children will appreciate.

The significant drawback here is that when you choose less challenging games to accommodate younger kids, you inevitably “dumb it down” for the older generations. The best solution is to have separate games for each group, which is quite time-consuming.

13. Varying Difficulty Level of Questions in Trivia

Trivia game questions often vary in difficulty level, affecting the outcome and overall experience of the game. Some questions may be more challenging, while others may seem like low-hanging fruit.

When one team or individual gets the more challenging questions, they may feel like they are getting the short end of the stick and become a little contemptuous toward the other team. Unfortunately, sometimes trivia games don’t create a level playing field, which inevitably gives one team leverage.

14. The Trivia Game Host Could Diminish the Gaming Experience

The trivia game experience is heavily reliant on the host’s conduct. The individual needs to be eloquent, engaging, and entertaining to keep the game fun. Objectivity and unbiasedness are also essential to observe when hosting trivia.

When the host lacks these crucial traits, it may negatively impact the experience for both the players and the audience.

15. Tempers Can Flare During the Trivia Game

Sore losers are no fun, and sometimes trivia games produce sore losers. When one team feels they have lost unfairly, tensions may arise and cause conflict.

Another cause of tension during trivia games is when teammates are under pressure when brainstorming and cannot seem to agree on the correct answer. There’s bound to be a heated exchange when a player submits the wrong answer despite some teammates suggesting the correct ones.

Trivia games are supposed to be channels for bonding and socializing, not heated or tense.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.