A question on popular quiz show Jeopardy is causing some ripples in the gaming world, and we’re here to set things straight. The final Jeopardy question was video game history, and I scrambled to try and find the phone number of my seventh grade teacher so I could finally prove to her that I was right about how playing video games instead of doing homework would eventually pay off. I mean, why the hell did I ever need to know what a gerund was anyway? The question came up and boy was it a tough…well, it was pretty easy actually.
“The title princess of THIS GAME, which launched a best-selling franchise, was named for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife.”
The emphasis is mine. I immediately leapt to my feet and shouted “Cool Spot” because I mistakenly thought the question was referencing F. Scott Fitzgerald’s second (and lesser known) wife, Cool Spot Rockefeller. Turns out they were actually referencing his first and only and real wife, Zelda Fitzgerald. How was I supposed to know?
And of course, Zelda is the title princess, meaning the game they wanted to know was The Legend of Zelda. Two foolish contestants, however, just wrote Zelda because they didn’t read the question all the way or they didn’t know the name of the game or they just wanted to make Trebek mad. Some gaming sites seem to be lobbying for Zelda to be an acceptable answer because they call the game Zelda, which is only fine if they think that what I call the game is an acceptable answer, which is That One Game That Isn’t Cool Spot. There are literally a dozen titles that I and many other gamers have referred to as “Zelda” at some point in the past, and as they were asking for the specific game (not the princess nor even the franchise, as some people mistakenly believe), there is no way that this is even close to an acceptable answer. It would be like if the question asked about the man who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation, and you thought Mr. President was an acceptable answer. All their answer proves is they knew the name of the princess, not the name of the game which is what the question was clearly asking for.
Regardless of what side of the debate you fall on, ours or the wrong one, I think we can all agree on one thing: the transformation that occurs on the contestant’s faces in a matter of seconds is hilarious. Smug self confidence to oh no I’ve ruined my life isn’t something that you usually capture in back to back frames, but that’s exactly what we see here. It probably doesn’t help that Trebek is in the background, muttering like your disappointed dad about how you should read the whole answer and dammit, I told you to fill the car up with gas if you were going to take it out tonight.