In this final installment on my thoughts on game show questions, I decided it'd be better to take a more thorough approach: Whether questions should be categorized or not.
Non-categorized: On certain game shows, such as "Cash Cab", you don't know what category the questions come in. So you have to be ready for whatever questions get thrown away. This is the downside here of having these kinds of questions. The only upside is showing how broad a knowledge you've got. But another downside is that you end up with questions in categories you know very little about.
Categorized: This is the better choice, IMO. When questions are grouped into categories, you can choose which one you think you have the best knowledge of. Examples of this include "Jeopardy!", "Hollywood Showdown", "The Joker's Wild", "Tic Tac Dough", and "Bullseye". The last remaining B&E show, "Hot Potato", only uses a category in its bonus game...and you are stuck with that category for the 5 questions that could lead you to well over $5,000; whether you like the category or not, and whether you know the category or not. Even the Million-Dollar game shows had categories: The 2000 revival of "Twenty-One" played just like the original, ensuring all the questions were categorized. Even its True-False bonus game, where champs could add a whopping $210,000 to their total winnings, had a category. And like "Hot Potato", you were stuck with the category whether you liked it or not and whether you knew it or not; however, you always had a chance to stop and take the money if you were uncomfortable with the category. On "Greed", after the $25,000-$100,000 questions, the $200,000-$2,000,000 ($4,000,000 on "Super Greed") all had 4 correct answers each, and to help the Captain decide whether to go on to those questions, they were given the category for each one. If they were confident in the category they could go on..but more often than not, they looked at how much money they had before going on, rather than the knowledge of the category, as a wrong answer on any question cost the team everything (except the $10,000 or more from Terminators). From Seasons 7-12, as well as the 2009 primetime run, all the questions had categories, but unfortunately, there was one category tied to each question. So you didn't get to pick which category you wanted to go with each question. On "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" each of the 5 grade levels had 2 categories per level (or "school subjects" in keeping with the show's theme), and on the daytime show, the amount of money was appropriately tied with each grade level; but on the nighttime show, whenever you picked a subject, the higher up the ladder you went, the more difficult the questions became, so the producers would come re-word the questions as the game went along.