A single fact can change everything
If you want to understand Trivia Happy, take a look at this sheep that lived at the White House.
It’s possible for a single fact, a single picture, or a single White House sheep to change everything. It’s easy to think of World War I, past Presidential politics, and war conservation efforts as dusty historical facts. Then trivia gets involved. You learn that the White House kept sheep on the lawn to graze (saving gas) and provide wool for sale (called White House Wool). A picture of a man feeding a sheep at the White House makes the past vivid again.
Trivia is about discovering secrets that make the everyday world more realAt Trivia Happy, we think trivia is more important than ever. That’s because trivia is more than memorizing facts you could find on Wikipedia. Trivia is about discovering secrets that make the everyday world more real, surprising, and exciting. Knowing all of the tiny, absurd details that create places, history, movies, and games makes all of those things more important and interesting. For us, trivia isn’t knowing that Shanghai is the largest city in China. It’s knowing that Shanghai was one of the last major cities to get a sewage system, and an entire industry of door-to-door sewage collectors was part of the city’s fabric for decades. Trivia isn’t knowing that George Lazenby was James Bond for just one movie. It’s knowing that he forced his way into getting the job and squandered it because he insisted on growing long hair and a beard for the world premiere.
Where trivia falls short
That said, trivia isn’t perfect. It’s important that we at least stamp an asterisk next to this paean to the form. While trivia is great for highlighting some things, it misses a lot of others. Since our trivia questions test established knowledge, it’s difficult for us to break free from the historical biases of previous ages (we simply have more common cultural knowledge about some cultures, people, and places than other ones). As a United States based company, that bias becomes even sharper for us, since our questions are skewed toward that audience. However, we’re doing our best to correct these biases as the site grows, though they’ll never completely disappear.
Trivia isn’t troubling, at least not very oftenPerhaps more troublingly, trivia isn’t troubling, at least not very often. We’ve created a site that’s supposed to be a fun place to play, and that means leaving out some of the strange historical oddities that wouldn’t be appropriate. To pick one example, the British colonization of Africa has many strange legacies, but some are so horrific that they aren’t fit for a playful site. That’s part of the reason we include links to our sources, so that after reading a fun fact about a period in history, you can enjoy a more full and textured perspective by reading the entire book.
Where knowledge plays
We have access to more information than ever before, but the good stuff is just as hard to find. We hope that our trivia informs and surprises you. We hope it excites a curiosity in subjects you never cared about before (because it’s done exactly that for us). We hope that, at its best, our trivia might make you reconsider a few things you were certain were true. As importantly, we hope our site makes learning those facts fun again. If we’re doing our job right, you’ll come back to Trivia Happy because, like us, you’ll see it as a place where knowledge plays.