By AMANDA HESS JAN. 5, 2018
On New Year’s Eve, I went to dinner in Los Angeles to close out 2017 with friends. Naturally, the meal ended with me white-knuckling my phone, my eyeballs glued open and my mind laser-focused on spitting up ephemeral internet trivia like who is the most followed celebrity on Instagram (Selena Gomez) or which book topped Goodreads’ best-of list in 2017 (“Little Fires Everywhere”). That’s because, just as the check arrived, HQ beckoned: The live trivia app had announced a surprise game, and if I wanted a shot at answering 12 multiple-choice questions and vying for a share of the $18,000 pot, I had to tap in instantly.
For the next 15 minutes, I was not exactly human. I was a slave to HQ……
……HQ’s most impressive achievement lies in its re-establishment of appointment viewing in the Netflix age. You can now watch pretty much any TV show or movie whenever you want, but when your phone buzzes with an HQ notification, you have only a few minutes to enter the game. If you miss the window, you’ll be forced to watch helplessly, tapping in vain, as it unfolds without you.