The answer to this at our ‘BIG FAT END OF SEPTEMBER TECH QUIZ AND BINGO’ evening for Brighton Digital Festival 2018 was ‘There’s no right answer’.

The frustration in the room was palpable and after several pronunciation issues and annoyingly vague (Who invented the computer?) questions… tempers amongst the more nerdy guests were in the red zone. Perhaps it wasn’t wise for us to cast Tom, our marketing guy, as the host and quiz master at this event. Pretty much anything he was asked relating to the quiz went over his head and watching him manage the coding contest was like observing a 2-year-old with a car manual. Alas, the quiz happened, the computer game music round was a highlight, and the ‘hilariously ramshackle’ tone of the evening developed into the event’s surprisingly charming identity. We’ll cast Tom again.

“When’s the next one?” one of the winning team asked at the end, holding 3 handmade desk plants and an envelope full of Higgedy Pie vouchers. The next one will be next year, and we’ll add some polish to proceedings to that one… DEFINITELY. Perhaps we’ll even source a lead for the projector we borrowed at the last minute. But I guess a massive unused projector screen at the front of the room is better than no screen at all…?

This was the event we decided to put on for BDF2018. It was hosted in Moksha – a restaurant/cafe in Brighton with a late license and a versatile space. The event was free, the prizes consisted of books, music, plants and food, and the content was everything DIGITAL.

We’d like to thank all the teams and Moksha for hosting us. There were around 40 guests crammed into Moksha in the end. That made 6 teams, and each team were able to send one person up for the coding round, one person up for the Tetris round, and one person up for the dev knowledge buzzer round.

Due to new work and unfortunately placed deadlines, this quiz fell victim of being quite ‘last minute’ in style, but the ‘do whatever you want in 10 minutes on notepad’ coding round ended up delivering some really interesting results despite an intimidatingly open brief. Only one of the coders included some colour in their work. Someone else used their 10 minutes to produce a text form field with the word ‘please’ in it. Very interesting stuff. They do say Brighton blends tech and art like no other city. The evidence was right in front of us.

Due to a ‘dodgy power cable’ (the battery compartment was broken), Tetris players weren’t allowed to actually hold the Gameboy. So, a new playing style for all contestants evened the field somewhat… but the winner was still miles ahead of anyone else with a whopping 145 lines. Well done. He won a desk plant.

The Dev Knowledge Buzzer Round was missing actual buzzers, but the contestants quickly got to grip with the ‘first to put their hand up’ method, and due to 3 of the contestants being pretty similar in ability, it did eventually turn into a game of who can raise their arm the fastest. Highlight questions were: What does JSON stand for? / What width and Height should a favicon be in pixels? / What does JPEG stand for? Answers on a postcard, please.

From the quiz masters perspective, the nicest part of the night was the ‘Digital Bingo’ – which in the end turned out to have nothing to do with ‘digital’ at all. You could say that the desk plant prizes were tenuously linked to the theme of the evening, but other than that it was just: 40 people in a room playing bingo. In a desperate attempt to be a bingo ‘caller’ rather than just a man reading out numbers, Tom tried to link each number to something. Age was a common theme. We learned that 65 was ‘almost old’, 16 was ‘the old legal smoking age’ and 19 was ‘the age you can drink in Canada’.

It was a shame the prizes ran out before anyone could call BINGO! – but 7 people claimed prizes for completing lines, and the audience seemed to genuinely enjoy discovering Bingo in this new, funky format. Listen out for it on the streets.

We’d like to thank our sponsors, who all donated prizes: Higgidy Pies, Tru Thoughts Records, FatCat Records, Faber & Faber, Moksha Caffe, Bird & Blend Tea. These people are all very nice and make brilliant stuff.

See you next year? There’ll be a poster in most of the co-working spaces. Look out for it.

Huxley