Join the discussion.

Inklings News

Join the discussion.

Inklings News

Join the discussion.

Inklings News


Click on the picture and test yourself on countries of the world

Dana Rappaport ’11
Web Opinions Editor

Click on the picture and test yourself on countries of the world

Hi, my name is Dana, and I am a Sporcleholic.

Two months ago, my daily fixation only consisted of a “New York Times” crossword puzzle, alongside a “USA Today” “Up & Down Words” and “Quick Cross.” All puzzles were satisfying and highly entertaining, yet my craving for more grew farther than the rate of one per day.

I bought compilations of puzzles, composed into 100-puzzle long books. But after a while, the synonymous box-based structures could not appease my puzzle hunger.

My fervor for solving problems with my common and acquired knowledge was the gateway cause towards a rapid obsession.

I officially became addicted no longer than two months ago, Nov. 25 to be exact.

It all started when my friends and I were out for lunch. One conversation, which was more like a whining session, consisted of complaints pertaining to last period. None of us could fathom how our teachers had expected productivity from us, a mere 20 minutes before the release of Thanksgiving break.

One of my friends quietly – and somewhat mockingly – laughed at our misfortunes, telling us her entire class had played on Sporcle for the whole period. Jealous comments buzzed around the lunch table, until interrupted by my innocent question: “What in the world is Sporcle?”

Test your movie knowledge with Sporcle's "Movie Quotes" quiz

Genuinely confused, I got looks that said it all: “How do you not know what Sporcle is?

My friends quickly explained to me that Sporcle was a website containing puzzles for almost every subject imaginable. The spectrum ranges from remembering all World Series winners since 2000, to naming all of Johnny Depp’s movies, or attempting to list every country on a world map.

How could I have not known about this!? This website is not only condoned by a mass amount of students, but teachers as well. And better yet, its goal was to provide its users with a plethora of puzzles! A true phenomenon.

It was a combination of curiosity and peer pressure that drove me to type the URL into my search bar; little did I know, it was the beginning of the end.

Overwhelmed at first by the immense amount of categories available, I started with the second most popular game of all time, U.S. Presidents. I thought my selection would be easy due to five years of U.S. History classes, but I was wrong.

The second I clicked on the game, a clock started running. Frazzled, I started typing, not fully knowing how Sporcle’s games operated. I eventually became so frustrated with my incompetency in naming the U.S. Presidents, I hit the “Give Up?” button.  When my time ran out, I had only gotten 14 out of the 44 presidents correct.

But about three weeks later it was clear my addiction had peaked.  I had become well aware that only last names were necessary and that I didn’t have to hit the “enter” button as hard as I could for the answer to be deemed correct; if the answer was right, it would automatically register.

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, see if you can brush up on all the football teams in the country

I am now capable of naming all 44 presidents in one minute and 30 seconds, and yes, I realize this is a problem.

I will admit there is a brief high, an ultimate feeling of success, when the clock is still running but you have answered every clue or question correctly, thus completing the puzzle. Maybe that is the source of my addiction?

On the top left corner of the website it says: Sporcle – mentally stimulating diversions; this is a warning sign, not a clever slogan. Well Sporcle, you have succeeded; I am now always mentally stimulated due to your unfortunately accessible selection of “diversions.”

Sporcle is pure genius.

View Comments (2)
More to Discover

Comments (2)

All Inklings News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    JRubJan 19, 2010 at 2:22 am

    I realized the irony in reading this article. It is the night before I have to midterms and an article about procrastination and addiction is keeping me from studying.

  • J

    JRubJan 19, 2010 at 2:18 am

    The only way to overcome your sporcle addiction is to succeed in naming all the countries in the world and then quit cold turkey.