Flash cards, spreadsheets, binders. Did I get into my “Time Machine” and go back to college for finals week? No, this is the new era of competition in the Schmoedown. Competitors have been upping their game like never before! Players are now coming in with study regimens and secret strategies making for more intense competition!
I feel like the Schmoedown came in phases. Yes there’s always been that air of competitiveness and desire to win, but it was more pure silliness and fun than anything else. Then characters, personas and entrances came to the forefront around seasons 3 and 4. Now it’s all about expanding knowledge bases and becoming a more well-rounded player trivia-wise. I think the players who have always been really good have studied on some level from the start, but today it’s expanded beyond watching more movies or taking brief notes. It’s become about genre-based spreadsheets, flash cards, audio quizzing and binders filled with precise documentation and info graphics.
How will this effect the game? Will it discourage competitors who have gotten by with just base knowledge from playing? Or will it cause more competitors to up their skills and with it, up the entertainment level? I think the latter. I mean for me personally, I consider myself someone who has been working off my natural film knowledge. Maybe having friends quiz me, taking simple notes, or reviewing IMDb. But I’m not where I want to be. With close wins and stopping short at my contention shots I have, myself, amped up my study methods. Focusing on specific genres, extensive spreadsheet notes, watching things that are new to me and even quizzing others helps keep my knowledge fresh, among other things.
Personally I have not seen a sacrifice in entertainment and character work because of this intense studying; although some may. I love watching the Schmoedown as well as competing, and I strive to be a competitor who can encompass both a persona and a strong trivia base as I think that’s just more fun to watch. Studying in general has always had this stigma of fun-sucking but in this case it’s made for richer and more complex gameplay. I for one have appreciated seeing the commitment and discipline that has become a bigger part of the game. It’s terrifying, but also a challenge and It’s given me that push to be a better competitor.
Never have the words “knowledge is power” been so prevalent in the league, So I say cheers to ushering in this new phase in the Schmoedown! This Machine is downloading her upgrade!