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Why on most radio/television quiz shows the contestant interact with the game (answering questions, activating lifelines) by speaking instead of pressing buttons?

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It's more interesting for the viewers to watch a personality, than to see people press buttons. Interacting with the host builds rapport between contestant and host, which makes the host someone the viewers can trust, and when that happens, it's easier to sell the advertisers products.

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Also remember that a button interface has the possibility of bypass raising the possibility of cheating. Spoken words ascertain delivery of the answer, whether correct or incorrect, by the contestant, rather than a disputable interface. –  wbogacz Nov 5 '13 at 17:21
    
good point. Although, the button interface is used in some instances for voting (America's Funniest Home Videos - where the entire studio audience votes...), and buzzing in (Jeopardy et. al). –  Ben Plont Nov 5 '13 at 17:25
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