Moderating Games

If you are reading this, then thank you very much for helping us out by signing up to moderate a game. We believe that reading a MIMIR game can be just as fun as playing, because it’s a great way to see quizzers from around the world in action. We want as many people as possible to have that experience, so we’ve produced this guide to help new readers get in on the action with minimal anxiety.

Before the Match

Videoconferencing Platform

First of all, as the moderator you will need to establish how you will be reading to the players. As mentioned elsewhere on the site, we recommend Zoom for ease of use, but other software, such as Google Meet, is fine too.

One advantage of Zoom is that it enables the user to generate the link to the game room ahead of time. We recommend that you create this link and share it with the players as soon as possible. That way, the players know they have a reader who is prepared.

Scoring Platform

Second, you will want to set up the scoring app. We use the WhoHe web-app developed by hero of quiz labour Will Jones, who also brought WikiQuiz into the world. For Mimir's Well Quiz League Games, the scheduled fixtures spreadsheet has a link to automatically generate a complete scoresheet in Column L of the row for a given game.

Rules for Reading

As the moderator of the game, you should share your screen with the players so that they can follow the scores and bonus attempts. Zoom enables you to share just the window with the scoring app, so we recommend that you do that. If you share only the window with the scorer, you can keep the questions open elsewhere on your screen without worrying that the players will see the answers.

Many are intimidated by the idea of reading, scoring and timing all at once. However, you need not be. Thanks to this app, it is very easy to do all of this simultaneously -- in fact it is probably easier than dividing the labour between people. The actions are simple, and help to keep the reader focussed.

As you can see, the main page on the scoring app makes the order of precedence for guesses accessible and clear through use of the “>” symbols, and gives everyone clear sight of a timer at the top-right of the page.

The function of the main buttons is apparent. If a player answers a question correctly, you simply click “Correct”, if they pass click “Pass”, and if they get it wrong, you click “Wrong”. You should not use the Kill button, but in essence it just automatically passes 4 times. The "undo" button allows you to cancel the most recent input, which is useful if you accidentally click "Wrong" instead of "Pass", for example.

It is important to distinguish passes from wrong answers, since only the latter counts towards a player’s bonus attempts.

The player whose directed question it is has 30 seconds to answer, and they may ask for a repeat at any point in that time. Other players can only ask for a question to be repeated if they do so immediately. Please give people a warning 10 seconds before their 30 seconds is up. Full details on repeats are available here.

For bonus attempts, players get “a beat” or so to answer, which in the online context can be understood as three seconds. If they don’t answer within that time, simply say “next” and the name of the next player in the order.

At the end of each round, please announce the scores and bonus attempts to all the players. While they can see them live if you are sharing the screen, this pause between rounds allows everyone to get ready and think about strategy.


If you have any ties, please break them at the end of the game using tiebreakers. Tiebreakers are easy to run, and tiebreaker questions are provided with each set. To carry out a tiebreaker, simply read the same tiebreaker questions to each player in turn, while making sure that the other players in the tie are not in the room at the time. Invite each player back to the room until all the relevant players have heard the tiebreaker questions. Repeat with the second tiebreaker set and numerical tiebreaker as needed. With the numerical tiebreaker the winner is the player who is closest to the correct answer. The difference from nearest the bull tiebreakers should be calculated using subtraction rather than as a % of the correct answer.

At the end of the game

First of all, congratulate all the players for a good match well played. Second, copy the URL of the whole scoring page and email it to so that we can update the results page. Please include details of any tiebreakers in the box on the scoresheet and in the text of the email.

Dealing with incorrect answers

If a player gives an incorrect answer, just say “wrong” or "incorrect” and move to the next player. Saying anything else, such as “close” or “not quite” gives unfair information to the following players.

Similarly, if a player offers an answer you are unsure of, just say “wrong” and move on to the next player. You can adjudicate the answer

Disputes and Errors

If one of the players “protests” a question, please contact us as soon as you can, via email or Facebook, and we will provide advice on resolving the issue. If you can do this during the game, it may pause the game for a second but does mean that we may be able to resolve any issues before players leave the online meeting.

If we are not available, please use the protest form found here, and we will resolve the issue as soon as we can after the game:

Equally, if a reading mistake is made, please pause the game and contact us as soon as possible-the solution may depend on the game situation and we can assess this rapidly.


It is hard to delineate a perfect set of guidelines for prompting, but this section will try to provide a general framework through examples.

First, if there are instructions in the answerline, always follow them. If we predicted a certain answer would be offered, then usually there will be an instruction saying “prompt on X” or “do not prompt on X”.

Second, do not prompt on partials titles of works or first names  of people (unless the answerline says otherwise). So, do not prompt “Yukio” if given for “Yukio Mishima”, and do not prompt on “Assassination of Jesse James” in a question with the answer reads “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”.

You should prompt if there is someone known by an epithet or regnal number but only the given name is offered. E.g. if “John” is offered for answers such as “Pope John XXII” or “John the Hairy”.

You should prompt if a player gives a general category and the answer is something specific within that category. E.g. “Romain Cannone is an Olympic champion in a sport using what specific weapon?” here you would prompt on an offer of “sword"“ since the answer is “epée”.

This should cover the most common situations. Again, if there is a specific debate about whether an offered answer ought to have been prompted, please contact us or use the protest form.

Accommodating ESL players

Mimir's Well competitions have players from dozens of different countries, many of whom do not have English as a first language. We do not want to put these players at a disadvantage, so we have adopted the following system.

Since it is challenging to compile a comprehensive list of all possible alternative-language answers to every question on a weekly basis, we request that players respond in English when possible. However, players are welcome to answer in their native language. In these instances, the player should indicate that they are providing a non-English answer so that the reader is prepared. If, at this point, the answer is not "obviously" correct, we recommend that the reader marks it as wrong and continues the question with the remaining players. Subsequently, the reader should use Google Translate or Wikipedia to verify whether the non-English answer was correct. If it was, you should "undo" back to the player who gave the answer and award them the point.

Question Display Extension

To improve accessibility for players, we require the use of a Chrome extension to display questions in the browser. This allows players to read along, and so reduces any potential issues from poor microphone quality or unfamiliar accents.

The extension can be found here:

Once installed, it should be accessible by clicking the “puzzle piece” icon in your Chrome toolbar.

To use the extension, first open the scorer app. Then click the puzzle piece icon, and select “FLQL display questions”. This should bring up a window saying “Choose file”. At this point, you simply browse to the correct .tsv question file for the week an select “open”. Now, when you start the game, the bottom of the scorer should have a large button saying “show current question”. Simply display each question as you start reading it.

We should soon have access to another scorer that should work with all browsers and operating systems, but this is the leading option for the moment.

Guidelines and Suggestions

This section includes some guidelines and suggestions for how to ensure you are a smooth and efficient reader. These are not strict rules, but following the points here will improve your reading skills and help you navigate games more quickly.

Quizzers are busy people, and scheduling a Mimir’s Well game can be challenging, so it is essential to be able to play a game quickly. An efficient reader can finish a MIMIR-format match in under 35 minutes if it does not go to tiebreakers.

First, make sure to adhere to the timing rules. It can be tempting to give players extra time if they seem close to finding the answer, but sticking to the timer will ensure fairness and efficiency. Once a player has had their 30 seconds, mark "pass" and move to the next player immediately.

Second, minimise chit-chat during the game. Players will appreciate the opportunity to focus on the quiz itself. While it's perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged, to chat and get to know each other before and after the quiz, during the game, it's best to keep distractions to a minimum.

Third, minimize "commentary" on questions. As a reader, it might be tempting to share your performance on the quiz or express your thoughts on the questions as they are played, but this should be avoided. Question discussion after the quiz is welcome, and we host weekly threads in the Facebook group for this purpose. However, during the quiz itself, such commentary can be distracting and a time sink.

Fourth, move smoothly between questions and rounds. There is no need to read out every alternative answer or linger between questions. Keep the pace steady for a more efficient game experience.

We use cookies to improve your experience and to help us understand how you use our site. Please refer to our cookie notice and privacy statement for more information regarding cookies and other third-party tracking that may be enabled.