MSU students turn to gaming website for studies, leisure
A quiz website has students at MSU playing games in an effort to both assist and resist the education they are here to receive.
The website, sporcle.com, features games that range from the trivial to educational, and has received frequent visits by MSU students. MSU was ranked 10th in the site’s Jan. 23-29 College Rankings, which take into consideration the average time spent on the site, number of games played, page views and visits.
Website founder Matt Ramme, a fan of “Jeopardy!” and The New York Times’ crossword puzzles, created the site as an online tool to help users expand their knowledge, said Sporcle’s Vice President of Products Derek Pharr.
There are more than 4,700 quizzes that have been created by members of the Sporcle staff and more than 150,000 created by users of the site, Pharr said. Quizzes on Sporcle range in topic from geography and science to music and sports.
Pharr said students are using Sporcle’s various quizzes as a studying tool.
“It’s a guilt-free way to study,” he said. “You feel better about it in a way then if you were just going to some other site to goof-off.”
Accounting freshman Samantha Noe said the site is a place students can visit to learn.
“That site has a lot of information you can use, and I think it’d be extremely helpful in the classroom,” Noe said.
Pharr said some professors assign their students to take the site’s quizzes and are creating their own Sporcle quizzes.
Since the site’s quizzes require users to quickly regurgitate facts rather than explain those answers, however, Alex Games, telecommunications, information studies and media assistant professor said he thinks the benefits of the site are limited.
“You want students to be able to develop things more in the level of critical thinking,” he said. “Skill sets ideally at the university (level) are more complex.”
Although she has never been assigned by an MSU professor to take a Sporcle quiz, secondary education junior Kimberly Boloven said the website could benefit students if used by professors.
“With all this new technology that is available, it’s more engaging than just taking a test on paper,” Boloven said.
Games said students should use the website to create their own quizzes rather than simply playing games that already exist. Such an exercise of using knowledge to create questions would help students to better learn certain material.
“It requires you to take advantage of the raw facts and really put them into context,” he said.
Many MSU students, however, don’t use the site to help with their studies but instead to get away from them.
Boloven and Noe both said they turn to the site when bored either in class or spending time with friends and looking for some fun.
Boloven has taken quizzes mostly about pop culture, including naming Disney villains and what’s on McDonald’s Dollar Menu.
“I enjoy the challenge that it proposes and really having to think and rack your brain,” she said.
English freshman Brooklyn Pluger said she finds Sporcle’s quizzes addicting.
“Once you started (one quiz), you would find something that was similar to it,” she said. “An hour would pass and you wouldn’t even realize it.”
Click here to play a quiz about MSU.