How to not sound like a jerk!
First off, so you don't think I'm someone completely bad at this game, let me lay it down for you. The first time I discovered this game I won. I then played my card as Nameless Race and, although there were no wasted guesses, I won when on the 20th question it was narrowed down to two cards and the last guesser guessed the wrong card.
I'm 19 years old, had my own car, job, and apartment at 17. My job involves a lot of problem solving in many categories and managing over a moderately large group of individuals who don't necessarily know what they're doing all of the time.
I've been playing Magic since around the Tempest days and, although I don't know everything about every card, I do know more about it all than the average player. That being said, I'm not a super-genius with an IQ of 125 and I don't always rock at every game I try.
I like to break this
down into three parts; obvious, under your nose, and duhh categories.
First off, we get the obvious. As you know, Magic: the Gathering is a game. Granted, it is a collectible card game with a huge money pool and large following of dedicated players, but a game nonetheless. A game created with the idea of fun and entertainment in mind. Within the same respect, the 20 questions game was a game created to be based off of the vast collection of cards available in the previously mentioned game. It is a gaming perfect square, if you will. Don't take it too seriously. The world's not going to end if someone does something stupid. Your wife/boyfriend/whatever isn't going to leave you just because you guessed a less-than-optimal question. It's intended for fun, and stressing and obsessing about something out of your control is ruining the fun aspect of it for me and I'm sure others. I've seen you post in the thread multiple times complaining about exactly that and it just ruined the flow. Let us play how we want to play and revel in the chance of stupidity to come out on top once again instead of getting irritated that we're not all up to your level.
Right under your nose, you have, at many different locations on this site, the disclaimer that children browse these forums also. Children means usually, though not always, immaturity and less-than-adult-level-intelligence. That should make it perfectly obvious that some of the players don't know any better than guessing what they guess. Although you may not like it, you learn through doing much better than you can ever learn through listening (or, in this case, reading). If it's already been asked that it's a permanent, then they ask if it's an instant, then they can come back and see either 1: "Ooh, sweet, I was right! It IS an instant!" or, more than likely 2: "Ooh, it's a permanent, so it can't be an instant regardless.... Well
, now I know." (In not so many words, necessarily.) You also have to accept the fact that if the people aren't going to be foresighted enough to ask the more well
though out questions, that they probably aren't going to read this and take your advice either. Which brings me back to the "it's a game, just let them play how they want to play" topic.
Finally, we have the Durr category. I shouldn't even have to say this, but I will just in case. This category is just a miscellaneous list of things that should be obvious at this point. First off, we have the fact that with great risk comes great opportunity. If it's already been established that it's a creature, then someone asks if it's a land, 99 times out of 100 it's going to be a facepalm moment. But on that momentous occasion that the answer is yes, then congratulations, it is Dryad Arbor 13 questions earlier than we would have figured it out earlier. Also consider that people are creatures of habit. If the card-chooser is someone who has publicly admitted that they are a new player and don't know any cards older than the Alara block, then you can pretty much already eliminate anything much older. Thus, asking "is it standard legal" will eliminate half of the card pool we're working with and give us much better odds. There is the fact that there were no colorless spells prior to future sight's Ghostfire or colored artifacts prior to the Alara block. If we've established it's older than that and not an artifact, then we've eliminated colorless as a choice, and it's an artifact, then we've eliminated all other colors already. You should know than one totally unrelated question can eliminate possibilities on multiple fronts and therefor even a question that looks wasteful on the surface (like Abyssal Persecutor looks bad but is awesome) isn't necessarily. Don't just use a precisely calculated process of elimination, but use common sense and all resources available to you to get the job done and get it done quickly and efficiently.
All that being said, I completely agree. Sometimes people make completely useless guesses, but given the same respect, the card-choosers have been known to be just as bad, answering wrongly to questions and even skipping some on accident. I've also seen older players, without knowing some of the new errata and judges rulings, answer as it would have been instead of how it is. Unless you're going to start with a perfect system, then fixing the inputs is still only going to create incorrect outputs. Just play the game to the best of your ability and enjoy it how it is.
PS: Sorry if that seemed like a jerkish response. But that was kind of the point; to show you how off putting something such as this could seem if read through the intended audiences' eyes.
No hard feelings, and keep up the good work.