Last month @GoodJobBrain posted a photo of a Trivial Pursuit card with the question, “Who has never been Batman — Ben Affleck, Christian Bale, George Clooney, Val Kilmer, or Adam West?” saying the card will be outdated soon. The Internet erupted, but we went to the source and asked Hasbro exactly how Batfleck affects the game.
— Good Job Brain (@GoodJobBrain) September 30, 2013
We take board games seriously. Arguably too seriously. Okay, definitely too seriously. So our first instinct when we saw this story was to consult the official Trivial Pursuit rules. Does an outdated question really “ruin the game” as so many were implying online? We were disappointed to find that they don’t address the issue of outdated cards in the rules for any of the editions we checked, and we checked every edition available on the Hasbro site.
Obviously, things change over time. Playing an old Trivial Pursuit edition can be an exercise in frustration if you’re dealing with a question about the Soviet Union, a world record that’s since been broken, or any number of other reasons a question can become outdated.
Ben Affleck being cast as Batman is just the latest example.
So when you’re playing Trivial Pursuit five years from now, and you come across this Batman question what should you do? We reached out to Hasbro’s PR department last week and they got back to us this morning. Here’s what Hasbro PR rep Mary had to say:
I would suggest answering the question as if it were the year of the edition.
So there you have it. Yes, questions become outdated, but you know the right answer to that question is “Ben Affleck.” Even after the movie comes out, and it is technically outdated, you’ll know what they’re really asking. Or just skip the question and move on.
One thing that the Trivial Pursuit rules do outline is the idea of “House Rules.” Establish precedent for what to do if there’s an outdated question. Ben Affleck as Batman isn’t the first thing to make a Trivial Pursuit question defunct.
Since it took a few days for Hasbro to reply to our question, we also reached out to purveyor of Internet justice, Judge John Hodgman.
“@glentickle: Does Affleck being cast as Batman really ruin Trivial Pursuit? Or can people just ignore that card?” I only play vintage 1985
— hodgman (@hodgman) October 3, 2013
We can only guess somewhere around 90% of all the cards in the 1985 edition of the game are outdated by now, and that playing it in these modern times would be to walk the very edge of madness, but Hodgman is after all an eccentric millionaire. He lives on the edge of madness.
Thanks to both Hasbro Mary and John Hodgman for taking the time to answer our question.
- Batfleck is a contentious issue here at Geekosystem HQ. Victoria is against it
- I however, am passionately in favor of Batfleck
- We all agree that Pete Holmes as Ben Affleck as Batman in Good Will Hunting is great