2588: Party Quadrants

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Party Quadrants
Single-elimination might provide more drama, but I think we can all agree that a comprehensive numerical scoring system will let us better judge the party's winner.
Title text: Single-elimination might provide more drama, but I think we can all agree that a comprehensive numerical scoring system will let us better judge the party's winner.


In this comic there is a graph divided into quadrants to visualize the range of possibilities of fun for Randall and for guests at parties hosted by Randall. The top and bottom halves are labeled as "fun for guests" with "no" in the top quadrant and "yes" in the bottom quadrant. The left and right halves labeled as "fun for me", i.e. fun for the host Randall, with "no" in the left quadrant and "yes" in the right quadrant.

In the bottom right quadrant (which indicates fun for everyone), are two separately outlined but largely overlapping regions, like a Venn diagram. One is the appropriate zone for a party (in general) and the other other applies to Randall's own birthday party. They are both vaguely ellipsoid and both enclose a reasonable to nearly maximal amount of fun in both dimensions. The key difference is that the range of the birthday party is skewed towards being marginally more for Randall's enjoyment, but is still firmly in the bottom right quadrant. By contrast, the range for a party is weighted more towards "Fun for Guests" and less towards "Fun for Me", as befits an event hopefully hosted to entertain its guests and make them feel special.

Omitting the extreme edges may indicate that there are no points there because it's impossible to completely please everybody, or it may be a warning that a party should not be such extreme fun that it gets out of hand nor let the balance of fun stray too far from equal. There are no specific points labeled in this quadrant.

The joke is that the only data point, presumably Randall's latest idea for a party, is in the upper right quadrant, signifying that it is only fun for Randall. It is very far right and fairly close to the top, indicating extreme fun for Randall and not fun at all for anyone else. The point is labeled "Sporcle geography tournament with snacks! Live-updating scoreboard, no distracting music". The elements of Randall's "fun" party include:

Element Comment
Sporcle Sporcle is a trivia website. Trivia games are a lot of fun for some of people, while others get bored by their "trivial" nature and would rather spend time talking, dancing, etc.
Geography trivia Randall is a geography geek (as evidenced by his fascination with map projections). Needless to say, many people are not, so a geography trivia quiz would be one of the worst types for many people.
Tournament Many people might prefer not to have competition at the party, especially considering the host might be a little too invested in the outcome. The title text further elaborates on this, debating possible scoring options.
No music Randall tries to bill this as a positive, that the music won't distract people trying to focus on Sporcle. Indeed, even a well-planned party that considers the interests of all guests would require appropriate music (some people prefer a quiet gathering over a loud party). That said, music on the whole is something people enjoy, so excluding it would make this party even less enjoyable for potential guests.
Snacks At least there would be snacks, which is another common element of parties. It's hard to imagine why people would object to snacks, so this is perhaps the only item that would be enjoyable both for Randall and his guests. But they only move the party down slightly in the graph, not enough to get this party into the "fun for guests" quadrant.
Live-updating scoreboard To a software geek, this would be something that would be fascinating, both to develop and watch in action. To most people, not so much - particularly if said scoreboard was developed while the party was taking place (In that case, the guests may not even get around to playing the trivia game).

In the caption, it is mentioned that for some reason, Randall keeps "accidentally" planning parties in the top right quadrant (fun for him, not for guests). Presumably, he is so caught up in what he considers entertaining that he doesn't take into account the interest level of the guests. This is regardless of which party-context, and well outside either of the appropriate zones. This diagram though indicates that he know this is the case, but maybe he is first able to place the point on the diagram after the party, when he realizes that his guest leaves early (again) out of boredom.

The title text elaborates on the Sporcle trivia game night that Randall has planned in the upper right quadrant. It makes mention of a comprehensive, and perhaps overly complicated, scoring system to determine who is the party's winner. That he's talking about "winning the party" suggests he is fundamentally misunderstanding the point of parties -- they're supposed to be fun for everyone attending, not (exclusively) a competition.

See the previous comic 2587: For the Sake of Simplicity, which seems to be a bit related to what Randall thinks is fun, whereas other might not.


[A solid black lined square chart is divided into four quadrants with two light gray lines. Above the chart the left and right column are labeled, and above the labels there is a bracket with a label written on the bracket. Similarly there is labels to the left, of the top and bottom rows, with a bracket indicating those also with a label written on the bracket:]
Top: Fun for me
Top: No Yes
Left: Fun for guests
Left: No Yes
[The top left quadrant is empty. The same goes for the bottom left quadrant, except labels for items in the bottom right quadrant is written in the bottom left quadrant. In the top right quadrant, there is a single black point which is almost touching the right edge of the chart, and lies about a quarter of the way down from the top towards the gray line. The point is labeled:]
Label: Sporcle geography tournament
Label: with snacks!
Label: Live-updating scoreboard, no distracting music
[In the bottom right quadrant there is a Venn diagram. It consist of two skewed ellipsoids, one with a solid line overlapping the other with a dotted line. The solid lined region goes further to the left, and the dotted line region goes further to the top, but both are mainly in the bottom right region, and the bottom right section is completely overlapping. Both regions are indicated with an arrow that goes to them from a label. The solid lined regions label is written to the left and it is entirely inside the bottom left quadrant. The dotted lined regions label is written in both of the lower quadrants, thoug mainly above the Venn diagram in the bottom right quadrant.]
Solid lined label: Appropriate zone for a party
Dotted lined label: Appropriate for my birthday party

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I added a first draft. I'm sure someone can make it better.

The Venn diagram specifically says my birthday party. Barmar (talk) 00:01, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

I can't be the only person who thinks I'd like to go to that party. Angel (talk) 23:44, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

Randall doesn't think so, as evidenced by his placing it about an eighth of the way down the chart, rather than completely in the top right - he thinks it will at least be some fun for some people. 14:02, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
That party sounds fun! I like to see how fast I can name all the countries in the world in alphabetical order on Sporcle!Mathmannix (talk) 02:20, 4 March 2022 (UTC)

Competitions are not uncommon at parties. E.g. "pin the tail on the donkey". Barmar (talk) 00:01, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

I assume the "not fun" for others part is trivia, specifically geography trivia. 01:05, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
I am clearly Randall. I definitely cannot organise parties. The last BBQ I tried to organise, for the neighbours, was pre-Millenium. The weather did not cooperate and the neighbours moved away within only 10-15 more years!
(I also haven't even had a birthday party since the early '80s, and haven't minded missing the stressfulness of the occasion at all.)
Oh, and of course I do love a good map-based problem. 01:50, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

Why are there no examples of party games in the other 3 quadrants?

Am I missing something important? For the other 3 quadrants, why are there no examples of party games that may be enjoyed/not enjoyed. Eg; Squid Game (not enjoyed by anyone), TenPin Bowling (probably enjoyed by everyone). Beechmere (talk) 02:09, 3 March 2022 (UTC)Beechmere

Less is more? There's three things. Two different 'party zones' that pretty much are the same thing, except for slight birthday-boy/host differences in emphasis, and the party that happens, which is a self-indulgent planned activity that lies entirely outside those. :There are probably an infinite number of other 'party game spots' to place, but I think it's funny enough to show 'reality doesn't match theory' in just the one highly specific way. YMMV, but that's my interpretation. 03:22, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
Agree. The joke is that this diagram clearly indicates where his party should lie on this diagram. Fine if it's his birthday, it's OK it is more fun for him than the guest, but not so it would move up to not fun for the guest. And then he adds his latest attempt at a party, which is extremely fun to him and extremely dull for his guests, a long way from what is appropriate for a party. --Kynde (talk) 07:59, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

The statement "while music would be considered fun for most people" should be removed or a [citation needed] added. People have no concept of appropriate volume and have different taste in music, making it no fun, or alternatingly fun, for most attendees. Parties are much more fun when you can actually hear and understand the people around you.

Depends on the party, otherwise people wouldn't go into discos. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 12:50, 4 March 2022 (UTC)

The snacks are probably why the Sporcle geometry party isn't further up on the graph. But they're not enough by themselves to move the party into the "fun for guests" half. Barmar (talk) 18:07, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

I am puzzled by Randall's guest list. If he is inviting random people off the street, why is he inviting random people off the street? If he enjoys geography trivia, why doesn't he know people who enjoy geography trivia? Clearly there is something more deeply wrong with his party organizing than simply having non-conventional tastes. This should be discussed. A Zorn's lemma themed party is great fun if you invite the right people. 21:30, 4 March 2022 (UTC)

Perhaps someone should organize a Sporcle geography tournament themed party and invite Randall. I'd go, but IMO there should be at least some ambient background music.
I would guess that it's because it's a *birthday* party - guests are invited based on acquaintanceship with Randall, not on commonality of any other interests. L-Space Traveler (talk) 16:27, 7 November 2023 (UTC)