Along with quizzes and dumb charades, 20 Questions was a staple at all the inter-collegiate fests way back when I was in college.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game, this is how 20 Questions is played:
The conductor of the contest has a list of celebrities. The teams try to pry the names of the celebrities from the conductor by asking questions. The faster they guess the answer (i.e., with as few questions as possible), the more points they win.
For example, let's say it's Team A's turn, and the celebrity whose name the conductor pulled out of box is Chuck Norris.
Question 1: Is it an Indian?
Question 2: Is it a politician?
Question 3: Is it an actor?
Question 4: Is it a male?
Question 5: Has he won an Oscar?
Answer: God! No! (of course, that would be a dead giveaway, but who could resist that response, eh?)
etc., until they got the answer or ran out of the 20 questions. Typically, the names are chosen out of the newspapers, so if you had been following the news, the chances were high that you could guess the name of the celebrity in the span of a few questions. Of course, there were some conductors who fancied themselves tough and would pick the obscurest celebrities.
Well, now, there is a game called 20 Q.
It's the electronic version of 20 Questions. It's a rectangular black plastic box with a screen and some buttons. When you start the game, a question scrolls from the right to the left of the screen. Your options are "no", "rarely", "unknown", "sometimes", "on/yes/new game", and "undo".
You think of a thing (anything - switch, phone, giraffe - whatever) and start answering the questions that come scrolling through.
We've been playing this game ever since we aquired it two days ago, and all I can say is, it's downright scary how it guesses what you are thinking. Things as diverse as rain, space shuttle, iron, and piano.
Just to give you an example, I started a session as I'm typing this and am just noting down what 20 Q's questions are and my responses to them. The thing that I thought of (i.e., the thing that 20 Q had to guess) appears at the bottom of the post.
20 Q: Is it an animal?
20 Q: Does it have fur?
20 Q: Is it a vegetarian?
20 Q: Can it run fast?
20 Q: Does it have four legs?
20 Q: Can it climb?
20 Q: Does it lay eggs?
20 Q: Is it a predator?
20 Q: Is it comforting?
20 Q: Is it dangerous?
20 Q: Is it usually colorful?
20 Q: Can you play with it?
20 Q: Is it ferocious?
20 Q: Can you find it in a church?
20 Q: Would you use it in the dark?
20 Q: Could it be found in a classroom?
20 Q: Can it be used for recreation?
20 Q: Do you clean it regularly?
20 Q: Do you use it in your home?
20 Q: Is it commonly used?
20 Q: I'm thinking.
Me: Ok, ok, come on then!
20 Q: You win!
20 Q: Just joking!
20 Q: Is it a soulmate?
My mouth is wide open, jaw scraping the floor.
The thing that I thought of (i.e., the thing that 20 Q had to guess): Man.
Should I be nitpicky and pretend that I won?