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WWTBAM, IM, and Google

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WWTBAM, IM, and Google

Postby hassgocubs » Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:36 am

Here's a question that I'd like to throw out to the group and Mr. Jennings.

I have access to iChat/AIM at my office and I signed up for the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire IM program (for the uninitiated, when a contestant asks the audience, the producers also send a broadcast IM with the question and the four (or two) possible answers to subscribers. You answer, and about 15 to 30 seconds later, they send the correct answer and the dollar amount of the question to the IM folks, and display the results as a standalone chart for the contestant.)

When I get a question that I'm unsure of the answer, I'll Google it (and usually have good success at finding the answer before time expires). Having read the comments here on Google-proofing trivia, I wonder if, in reality, that's fair/appropriate. Perhaps this is my overanalysis of the thing, but I'm curious what others think of this, from a trivia ethics POV.
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Re: WWTBAM, IM, and Google

Postby themanwho » Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:01 am

hassgocubs wrote:Here's a question that I'd like to throw out to the group and Mr. Jennings.

I have access to iChat/AIM at my office and I signed up for the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire IM program (for the uninitiated, when a contestant asks the audience, the producers also send a broadcast IM with the question and the four (or two) possible answers to subscribers. You answer, and about 15 to 30 seconds later, they send the correct answer and the dollar amount of the question to the IM folks, and display the results as a standalone chart for the contestant.)

When I get a question that I'm unsure of the answer, I'll Google it (and usually have good success at finding the answer before time expires). Having read the comments here on Google-proofing trivia, I wonder if, in reality, that's fair/appropriate. Perhaps this is my overanalysis of the thing, but I'm curious what others think of this, from a trivia ethics POV.


Unless the sign up rules specifically prohibit such googling, I'd say you have no ethical problem. You want to give the player the right answer.

-M
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Postby JayLewis » Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:07 pm

I've been a member of this service too and have never had enough time to Google. On a few occasions, I didn't even have the time to think it through before it spit out the correct answer and value.

What's the highest value question anyone has answered? The highest I've been IM'd was $25,000 once (got it right too).
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Postby Robert Hutchinson » Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:09 pm

Considering how the IM results turned out on the few occasions when I saw them on the show, I have to say that Googling for the right answer can only be an act of mercy for the contestant.
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Postby MarleysGh0st » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:55 am

As with the PAF call, there's nothing in the rules against Googling. You've got to be fast and selective in your keywords, but it is possible.

Some observations about the ATA IM:

1. The IM audience is already at a distinct disadvantage compared to the Studio audience. Those in the studio are focused on the game, see the question (and its dollar value) and may have lots of time to ponder before the contestant chooses to use the ATA. IMers are busy working or web browsing or whatever, when a question arrives without notice and demands an immediate answer. And the dollar value (a helpful hint as to whether or not to pick the obvious choice) isn't disclosed until the official answer is announced.

2. Everyone in the studio audience is supposed to be an adult. There's no age limit for the IMers, many of whom are probably kids.

3. If you pay attention to "lifeline in progress" messages, you'll see that it can take several minutes for everyone to receive the IM. While there may be 100,000 people on the MillionaireIM buddy list, they probably only count a tiny sample--the first 100 responses or so. So one more answer, googled or not, probably won't even be counted.
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