Naming the World

By the time I realized what had happened, I was already in too deep.

Staying up into the wee hours of the night. Putting off homework assignments. Speed typing a word I never thought my fingers would memorize. All for a world countries quiz that (warning) can be found on the trivia quiz website, Sporcle. Why am I warning you? Because Sporcle’s world countries quiz may just be the most unexpectedly addictive educational quiz you’re likely to encounter. Since this was an educational quiz, and technically good for me, I figured that I would be spared from the type of obsessiveness that has led to an evolving statistic of 227 million people regularly playing video games within the United States. While in fact, I got just as hooked as the rest of them. The obvious benefit is that I now know where Mauritius is.

Quick: Don’t think, just throw out a number. How many countries are there in the world? If you answered 125, and yes that’s a lot of countries, you’re a tad off the mark. There are actually close to 200 countries. Specifically, Sporcle’s timed quiz tests your knowledge of 197 places. Yes, these countries include Italy, France, Spain, and the United States. They also include Sao Tome & Principe, Kiribati, Suriname, and in Europe, the huge metropolis of Liechtenstein (population 38,254). The good news is that after you’re introduced to this Sporcle quiz, you’ll come to know all of the countries within a few plays. The caveat is that you may never be able to stop playing this game, as I learned the hard way.

The game is fairly simple. A large map of the world is displayed in front of you, tiny question marks resting over every country. Once you click play and the countdown begins, you’ve got exactly fifteen minutes to complete the map. And if you play this game as often as I have, you’ll develop your own strategy for the order in which you make your way from continent to continent.

When I first discovered this quiz, it was in the rush of AP season (May) and it’s safe to say I was stressed and in need of a good distraction. Though I thought this would show up in the form of a binge-worthy TV show or a lengthy page-turner, it actually presented itself to me as a trivia quiz about the countries of the world – though I’m not complaining. At first, I couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t even come close. It seemed implausible that I’d ever be able to name all of the countries in the world, let alone know how to correctly spell them and type them in fifteen minutes or less. However, I began to play the quiz so routinely and so frequently that I was suddenly able to correctly type every country. Not only that, but I was also able to decrease my time minute by minute until I was practically unbeatable (or so I like to let myself believe). And to make matters worse, I competed against my dad who prides himself on being a geography buff – though eventually, I was able to smoke him every time.

In short, I highly recommend Sporcle’s world countries quiz if you need to improve your geographical progress. On the other hand, just know that once you start, you very well might not be able to stop. Needless to say, I’m avoiding Sporcle’s world capitals quiz at this point. Respectfully, no way.