Hey, guys, they're kicking our butts at Trivial Pursuit

Hasbro's online 'experiment' might be more fun if men weren't being so embarrassed

Trivial Pursuit page
As a promotion for its new "Trivial Pursuit Team" offering, game maker Hasbro has foisted upon the Internet an "experiment" that threatens to permanently undermine men's largely self-anointed standing as the masters of minutiae.

It's a battle of the sexes, all right, and so far the women have opened up a can on the men.

The "experiment," which began Oct. 7 and runs through Dec. 31, is simple and the rules even simpler: You go to Hasbro's special Trivial Pursuit Web site, announce your gender, and start answering questions in the categories -- art/literature, sports/leisure, science/nature, geography, history and entertainment -- that are familiar to anyone who has ever ruined an otherwise tranquil family gathering with a bout of the classic board game. Every correct answer earns your "team" a point.

When I first checked last Friday after reading this story on Network World, women had accumulated 176,369 correct answers to 159,210 for the men, which represented a 53% to 47% advantage.

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That was then. As I type this morning, the gap has swelled to 58-42% -- 353,753 to 258,879 -- where it's been holding steady since Sunday ... Oh, swell. (Attention: Game-changing update at bottom of post.)

Whatever happened to the Internet gender gap? Troop strength clearly matters here.

What is the Wikipedia editing crowd -- famously revealed recently to be 87% male -- doing while this indignity is unfolding? Editing Wikipedia, you say? Priorities, people, priorities.

Where's Colbert? Where's Limbaugh? Where -- dare I say it -- is 4chan when the stakes here are so much higher than a silly Time poll.

Now let's address the possible excuses, lame though they may be, before we get too agitated.

Participants in this "experiment" self-identify themselves, which means that men could be masquerading as women and vice versa.

However, as a spokesman for Hasbro tells the Daily Mail of London, there's no strategic value in trying to sabotage either opposite sex by tanking questions: "You could go online and pretend to be a dim member of the opposition, but this will do nothing to the results as points don't get taken away for wrong answers, they only rise with the correct ones. (Any) time spent answering incorrectly for the opposition is merely time wasted which could be used answering correctly for your own team."

Might there be hordes of men selflessly playing in virtual drag and offering correct answers, sacrificing their own sense of gender worth in the name of chivalry? (Even Book of Odds would refuse to try to quantify that improbability.)

No, fellas, we're getting trivialized, all right.

The only unanswered question is whether we're going to do anything about it.

(Update, 3:15 p.m.: A mere 10 hours after my posting of this item -- and with the help of sites such as Reddit and Fark -- what was earlier today a 16-percentage-point margin, has been narrowed to less than 1 percent; it's now 50.4% to 49.6% in favor of the women. ... My work here is almost done.)

(Update 2, 4:15 p.m.: The guys are now ahead 51% to 49% out of a total of 785,500 correct answers logged. A full 22% of those answers -- 173,000 -- have been registered just since this morning.)

(Update, Wednesday, 8:15 a.m.: Welcome Diggers. The turnaround on the scoreboard is complete this morning as there now have been 950,864 correct answers registered with the men holding a 54% to 46% advantage.)

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