Metal Mental Meltdown: Not So Trivial A Pursuit
by Martin Popoff

If you haven't heard yet, Calgary metal historian Josh Wood and an army of associates have put together what is essentially a Q&A quiz game thing called Metal Mental Meltdown, available now after three years of sweat and toil. Setting themselves up formally, with a board of directors, accountants, lawyers, outside investors, the parent company fashioned around the game, JPW Enterprises mean business, with more in mind than just this first metal trivia game ever devised. But more on that later. What's the scoop on the game?

Josh explains. "Well, it's a very simple game, for two to five players or more if you want to play in teams. Each person takes a turn answering a question and if you get the question right, then you go again and get a certain number of points. If you get it wrong, you lose your turn and then the next person goes. Each question is designated with a degree of difficulty, based on the level of difficulty of the question. For example, the easy questions get you three points, the medium ones are five, the hard ones are seven, and the really tough ones are ten. And you can choose to go any way you want around the pentagram. You can go any direction and end up on the easy, medium or hard, whichever you think you are up too. Plus there are little games. There is a double or nothing. If you roll the skull, you can choose to go double or nothing. If you thinks you can get the answer, you can get double, but if you lose, you lose double. The first player to 666 points wins. In total, there are 2664 questions on 666 double-sided cards."

The game has been carefully designed to balance the levels of expertise are out there. Josh indicates that the team spent a lot of time working on that. "It was tough designing the questions. We didn't want to make it too easy that people would just play the game once and know all the answers, because that would be a waste of money. But we didn't want to make it so hard that people wouldn't get any of the questions. So that's why 40 percent of the questions are in the easy category and 30 percent are in the medium category. So I would say that 70 percent of the questions, the average metal fans could possibly answer, you know, popular bands, popular performers. And we designed the really difficult ones based on the really diehard fans of obscure bands."

Any cool press stuff happening yet? "I did a mini promotional tour in Vancouver, where I did four radio interviews and I had a reporter from CBC follow me around all day which was really fun. They're possibly putting something together for their TV show Venture. But they're going to contact me. They said they are going to wait because they've stopped production for a few months around the new year. They've also said that they've done a lot of board games lately so they are humming and hawing, but at least I am in touch with those folks. But we've had press in most of the metal magazines, or at least it's coming up, plus we're currently working with about 85 radio stations. I've probably done like 30 interviews, which amazes me. That's the fun part. Retail-wise, we're in a number of HMV's in Canada and a number of independents in the states, but at this early stage, most are being sold through our website."

Metal Mental Meltdown Story Page 2