Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The New Jeopardy Contestant

When I really think about the game show Jeopardy, I'm surprised a show that is so nerdy and 'intellectual' has had such longevity in American television. With mindless shit like Deal or No Deal I'm glad Jeopardy lives strong. May it last forever. Unlike Trebek's mustache.

Anyway, so Jeopardy hasn't been in the mainstream news since the Ken Jennings era but recently a new guy has been making waves in the geek community.
That's Arthur Chu. He's getting a lot of heat from a faction of the Jeopardy fanbase. If you hadn't heard then here's the basic information:
  1. He has an unconventional style of play. Contestants usually pick a category and go through it from top to bottom. Chu prefers to shoot directly for the lower tiers (those are the higher paying ones) and jump around the board a lot.
  2. He's a frenetic buzzer presser. Every time he goes for his buzzer he's really emphatic about it. So much so that it's pretty audible.
The first one doesn't bother me at all. Some people don't like how it interrupts the "flow" of difficulty though.
The second point, I think, is the more common gripe people have with him. Frenetic is the perfect way to describe the way he tap-tap-taps on the button. This by itself isn't a big deal, other people do it, but he makes an unusual amount of noise when he does it. And the way he frequently glares at the other contestants when beaten to the buzzer is grating. Ken Jennings was impeccable on the buzzer because he had amazing timing. He had an excellent feel for when the buzzers would activate following Trebek's reading of the answers. Arthur Chu does not. Whereas Jennings was accurate, Chu is a spammer. As a gamer, I don't appreciate the latter style of play.

If you Google his name you'll get a lot of circle-jerking internet "news" articles with the word 'game theory' in the headline. Most of it is bullshit. Pay no attention that that tripe. I don't begrudge him getting some attention though if he wants to get more than just 15 minutes of fame he's going to need to show some charisma, another quality Jennings had that Chu does not.