Saturday, October 15, 2005

EXCLUSIVE - College Kids Engage in Drinking Games

As a one-time member of a beer pong championship team at a weekend-long bachelor party, as well as being on the losing end (which is a relative term in drinking games, of course) many other times, I was elated to see beer pong featured prominently on the front page of the NY Times (web edition). Much to my surprise, it seems that many college kids are playing drinking games like beer pong and another personal favorite, flip cup (to which we gave the moniker of "Tippy Cup"). These games are even drawing in big business as beer companies and others try to get in on the act. Which of course, leads to the inevitable hand-wringing about the encouragement of binge drinking on college campuses and front-page articles in the NY Times. The appeal of drinking games is summed up ver well in the story by a senior at Drexel:

"If you win, you win. If you lose, you drink. There's no negative."

Well said.

However, many feel that drinking games are a big concern. For example:

"When you play drinking games, you're not really in charge of how much you drink," said Brian Borsari, a psychologist at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University. "Your drinking is at the whim of other players, which can be very dangerous, especially if you're trying to fit in."

Which of course avoids the fact that generally people who play drinking games choose to play them and fully understand the consequences of losing. In fact, those consequnces are precisely why people want to play drinking games in the first place.

Sure, there are bound to be occasional problems when anyone is drinking excessively. But people drink themselves into stupidty without drinking games, and they'll do it with the games, too. And if you try and ban certain drinking games (as some universities have tried to do), students will just create new, innovative ways to make drinking more enjoyable. We came up with The Barnyard Game, which is as stupid (and fun) as any drinking game out there. And as for encouraging binge drinking, the rediculous drinking age regulations in this country do far more to assist in that problem than drinking games ever will. Play on!


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