The annual Predict the Oscars contest has seen participation by strangers since its very first year in 2000 and especially starting in 2004, but the trend accelerates in the late 2010s. In 2020, when the Korean film Parasite wins Best Picture, over 70 people participate in the contest, and only five of those are either a Funeratic member or a friend of Scott. Despite the seeming appropriateness of the term "parasite," Scott is in fact happy to host the game for most of these strangers, since the few that talk to him are polite. But a few people create fake accounts to enter multiple times and boost their odds, requiring Scott to build an admin tool to find and eliminate duplicate accounts quickly, since so many of them appear on the evening of the Oscars ceremony. It's hard to tell for certain exactly how many real people enter, but it's definitely a lot, perennially making Oscar night Funeratic's most active night of the year.
Just as COVID-19 takes over the world in 2020, so too does it dominate Tragic Comedy. There are several discussions inspired by the coronavirus, but the main one dwarfs most other TC discussions, becoming the site's most active conversation in four years. And just as the year is full of anxiety, depression, and rage at the news, the conversation is among the most negative (albeit cathartic) that the authors have had in a long time, registering their fear and anger when they and their loved ones are exposed to the deadly disease. In a difficult year for everyone, the authors find comfort in each other's contact through the forum.
Chris Lemler has a suggestion to cheer up Funeratic members during the awful year that is 2020: Meeting online using a video conferencing service. Initially via Zoom on May 20 and later several times via Google Meet, members meet on several weeknights over the course of the summer and fall to chat, commisserate, share good news, and (inevitably for Funeratic) play a series of trivia games. Brenda West, Chris Lemler, Denise Sawicki, Erik Bates, Jason Lemler, Kelly Lee, LaVonne Lemler, Lori Lancaster, Matthew Preston, Pam Bates, Samir Mehta, Scott Hardie, and Steve West all participate at one point or another. The trivia games are such a hit that several authors take turns running them. When Scott runs a game of rebuses that spell out the names of classic rock artists, he copies the game to TC and expands upon it, giving players online who missed it more opportunities to play.
June 14, 2005: Competition in the now-daily goo game becomes so intense that victory seems a privilege reserved for a few dedicated experts, especially Mike Eberhart, Russ Wilhelm, Megan Baxter, Jerry Mathis, Elliot Farney, Denise Sawicki, Todd Brotsch, and Steve West. Read more...
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