Given the wealth of wisdom in every respect of the Sporcle community, I was unsure what my inaugural blog post could possibly be in terms of anything meaningful. Then, a discussion thread about retiring some subcategories popped up, and after weighing in on my current subcategories, caseyw690 asked me for my perspective on whether Scripture was redundant to the others. My comment on that thread is a good springboard for the rest of this post:
“As the curator for Bible, Verse, and Testament (only temporarily substituting for MTWhiz), this is such an interesting thread. When I first started with Bible, the traffic was slow, and it didn’t take me too long to work through the backlog. Fast forward a couple of years, and the pace has picked up such that I have my CPs tentatively scheduled through the end of spring of next year (and that was after I pulled from my own lists to take care of Testament; recently, I have been considering whether one per week per subcategory is enough anymore. Collaborating with MTWhiz, there’s plenty of content to go around. Additionally, I also watch for quizzes from non-Christian religions to come through, though I keep the slimmer pickin’s in mind for elzasezra and pecheneg.
“I can appreciate how there can seem to be overlap, but I will also say that each has developed its own following per different Sporclers’ preferences. Some people prefer story-based quizzes; others prefer wordplay. Some people don’t care a whit about memorization, and for others, it’s the only kind of quiz they care about. I think it’s also encouraged otherwise tentative quiz makers to get their feet wet in a potentially intimidating subject, people who don’t feel they know enough about the Bible but muster up the confidence to make a Verse quiz and take their place in the sun for succeeding at something new or unfamiliar. It’s been really neat to curate with this bird’s-eye view, and though I could see how perhaps in the beginning (see what I did there? I can’t help it, and I’ve got more.), there was not much need for so many subcategories, there arguably is now.”
In further response to earlier comments on that thread, I agree that there is ebb and flow within the subcategory world. Several have voiced a respect for people who keep even seasonal subcategories going strong with much care and enthusiasm. Without singling out any other subcategories, there are those that are trendy by nature, and trends change.
Scripture isn’t one of those.
Secondly, some people have also rightly pointed out that long-vacant curatorships perhaps invite a reevaluation of the subcategory. Since Scripture has been open for applications for only a short while, I don’t think that applies, either, particularly as the reason for its vacancy is a temporary leave of absence. I volunteered to pick up MTWhiz’s other category (Testament) until he returns but simply could not devote the time to a fourth.
Making no presumption that Scripture should be un-curated indefinitely, I do hope that many people apply. It’s a wonderful opportunity that I think has not been explored as much as it could be.
What would I like to see for Scripture? At first glance, it seems synonymous to Verse, not to mention the overlap with Bible and Testament. However, in broadening the scope even beyond Christianity, the historical and academic aspects of sacred texts offers an interesting dimension to the Religion category. The Scripture category could focus on the original texts, the disputed texts, canonical history, the myriad translations, textual criticism, these and more subjects all passionately debated internally within each religious community. The Torah, the Bible, the Apocrypha, the Quran— the intricate stories of their compilation and the resulting doctrines and traditions derived from inclusion or exclusion of this portion or that is not only fascinating but essential to understand before one categorically (look, another one!) accepts or rejects any of them. Blessed only with gusto, I personally just do not have the background to lead the charge in this endeavor, but I’m hopeful that someone does.
Oh, what world it would be to learn such things through researching for and playing Sporcle quizzes!
That’s the long and short of it, I S’porc—um, s’pose.