7 responses to “Tales from Bozospace: The AOL Trivia Club”

  1. screed

    I met a gang of middle-aged wiccan wifeswappers in the MIDI enthusiast section of a local BBS in 1989. I don’t go to meetups anymore.

  2. trinnit

    Wait for the Guide Bash stories.

  3. yoscott

    As one of the few people you’ve met through the Trivia Club (and still talk to) I have to comment, that this was a great read. You’re dead on when you say they had “exotic diseases” and made other generalizations. But you know that, as we’ve talked about this before. ;)

    However, the “Bash” scene seemed to be completely splintered into 3 cliques. And I’m not trying to claim superiority for either group, as they were all dysfunctional in some way. It seemed like the West Coaster Trivia folk were just as you described, but the East Coast crew were more interested in drinking, relaxing, and pirating SHITLOADS of software. Not to mention all the .WAV file trades.

    I went to a crapload of those Bashes and met a lot of people I really enjoyed being around. I sort of grew up with those people in a way. While I had one foot in the “real life” social circle, I did have the other firmly implanted in this online community. Not that I’m proud of all of the following, but I had my first drunken buzz, my first taste of various drugs, and I learned about a ton of music that I still love today. I can only imagine what level of Heavy Metal I’d be into if I hadn’t expanded my tastes thanks to Stark’s DJ Library.

    If it hadn’t been for about 15-20 people in this crew, I probably never would have left Daleville. In fact, I might even be part of the Cops-On-Cows program. So, yeah, there’s the drunk horndog factor… and if you weren’t firmly grounded in reality, it was probably a terrible place to be. I see kids that are growing up in AOL chatrooms and dont have any real life friends, and I cringe at the thought of what they’ll do when they’re forced to leave home. Maybe they’ll grow up to blow up their wives with gas bombs like other people who don’t have a firm grasp on reality.

    As for the third clique…after going to a bunch of these bashes, and the burgeoning AOLification of the Internet, a third group of people started attending them. I think I was about 24-25 at the time, and I can’t really characterize them in one specific way except they all seem very fond of cliches, puns, and really tame sexual innuendo. When one would speak up to gain attention, they’d be very proud of themselves. I just know I felt very awkward around these people. I remember bumping into one in NYC at an AOL thing I went to on business. They called out my old (and mostly now defunct) screenname and I really tried not to turn around, but was unable to escape. I actually blame this incident on my 3 year battle with Social Anxiety and why I never left the house again.

    Like you, at least we made it to new careers, and in my case, it was a ticket out of the Evangelical Rurality that is Southwestern VA.

    Thanks for the read, I sure am glad I got to meet you in such a setting and feel lucky that we still remain friends almost 15 years later. Like Pete, I look forward to a sequel on the subject of Guide Bashes. ;) Particularly a suite-party in SF involving vodka and the emptying of a mini-bar.

  4. TheVagenius

    I also really enjoyed this read. From the other side however. I was a big fan of the trivia rooms on AOL in the mid 90’s. I too formed “space friends” from those rooms. A few years in we all met and to this day……….18 years later and a few reunions later, a few weddings that were attended, births, divorces, career changes later…….I still call them friends……..we were different than other triviots……..we were a special breed. We were “Snobbies”. Besides….who else would have posted this blog read to all of us on our own private page but my ole Trivia friend. Long live the cyber loons and triviots of AOL days gone by. :D Poodka…..my real cyber name.

  5. Richard S White

    I know this is an old thread, but perhaps someone will see it. I was one of the AOL Trivia Forum members, an obsessed player, and one of the 50 or so M&M couples from AOL Trivia (Met and Married). I’ currently compiling a list of all the people we can remember from AOL Trivia – well over 400 as it stands.

    I would welcome any lists of peoples screen names/ real names, and if Providence is smiling and someone who reads this has any archives from back then – the community bulletin board, etc., I’d love to hear from you. I was RichW9090, my wife CaryW09090 (formerly CaryInGA)

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