Without the drinking game, you’re just a sad drunk alone in a bar. Maybe you should look up and join the people that are having a blast. The rules are probably simple, and you may look kind of stupid. But, after a few more drinks, you’ll be having the time of your life with new friends.
THIS DRINKING GAME
by Christina Ying
So, it’s okay to look down at your pint and realize that alcohol is meant to be shared because we’ve been doing it since the beginning of time. The drinking game can be chartered back to as early as ancient Greece. Kottabos was a drinking game played at Greek and Etruscan symposias during 5th and 4th centuries BC, in which inebriated party goers take turns pouring wine into a small saucer in a way that would fall onto a larger plate. If the falling saucer made a bell-like sound, then the winner would win sweet and savory food to gorge on. The modern equivalent would be winning a large pizza after a night of boozing, and arguably games of today may have strayed away from such ancient Greek sophistication.
Most of us experience our first drinking game in college, but if you were super cool then perhaps you played some in high school. If your stomach shudders when someone suggests playing Kings, you’ve may have been the unlucky one who lost the game and had to drink a mixed stew of cheap alcohol. It’s a rite of passage to play drinking games with your friends before you can actually afford to drink with class. Whether it be for bragging rights or for camaraderie, there’s a sport in getting yourself as drunk as possible.
American drinking games have certain brutish reputations, especially at a college party, where the age demographic is more concerned with the cheapest six pack and not the fanciest craft beer. Binge drinking is an American pasttime—you don’t need a game to confirm that. If your vital organs managed to make it through college, why not take those drinking skills into adulthood? Globally the drinking game does what’s its always done, which is bring people together and make bad choices. The childishness of it brings a thrill to such an adult occasion. At the root of American drinking games is intense competition mixed with simplicity: If they game is too complicated, it’s no fun.
One of the most simple, but most popular, drinking games worldwide is Beer Pong. Many mourned the death of Robert Hulseman, the inventor of the Solo cup, which is the ultimate symbol of college drinking. The red cup is as iconic as the game itself. Beer Pong started in the eastern part of the United States, supposedly in the fraternity houses of Dartmouth College around the 1950s. Within the decade, the game became the social phenomenon on campus. The game is played by teams of two, with 6 or 10 cups set up in a triangle formation on each side. Each team alternate turns throwing a ping pong ball into the other team’s cups that are filled with beer. If the team lands their ball in one of the cups, the cup is taken away and the opponent has to chug all of the beer, the team that eliminates all of the opponent’s cups is the winner. No matter the winner, everyone is assumably smashed by the end of the game.
In many countries from around the world, the youth is engaging in the same type of drunk hijinks. Unlike the hyper-competitive, fraternity-based, U.S. drinking games, many foreign games really focus on the social engagement and cognitive tests. It could be as simple as keeping track of numbers or tongue twisters that make no sense by the end of the night. Wherever you are, drinking games have the same value all around the world. They help pass the time, make new friends, and test your liver to its limits. Here are games from around the world that will help you engage with the locals during your travels.
Noonchi (Korea): Noonchi is the ability to detect others’ feelings and actions. Each drinker, in no particular order, has to start counting from one. The other drinkers chime in with succeeding numbers without overlapping the previous counter. How do you lose? Thou that overlaps must take a shot.
Jiuling (China): Also known as the “fingers” game, it involves two players, who try to guess how many fingers will be added up between all of the hands. The numbers have to be 0, 5, 10, 15, or 20. While closing and opening your hands after each guess, you count up the fingers quickly and if a player said the correct amount they win. If you don’t guess the right number. Drink up.
Strawpedo (UK): This involves a very important device, which is a bendy straw. With a bendy straw, you can maneuver your bottled drink to lock all of the air in and expunge as much liquid into your mouth as possible. With all of the air trapped in, it relinquishes that chest tightening feeling you get when chugging a keg of beer. Show those Brits your competitive American spirit! Who can out-chug who from across the pond?
Ping Pong Pang (Japan): Time to get your words right. While in a circle the group of participants must complete the phrase, “Ping Pong Pang.” Each person must say it then depending on where you are in the phrase, point to someone random in the circle to throw them off. If you hesitate and mess up the phrase everyone in the circle points at you and says “iki iki iki” and you drink.
Bear Paw (Russia): This is a game that definitely requires an Uber at the end of the night. It starts with filling a stein with beer, taking a sip, and then passing it to the person next to you. However, before you pass it on, you top off the stein with vodka. When the entire beer stein eventually becomes all vodka, you start topping it off with beer, and pass it on. Last person awake or alive “wins.” Hopefully you live long enough to tell the tale.
Kastenlauf (Germany): There’s no better way to make a friend than to be in the outdoors and carrying a crate of beer together. The first team to finish all their beer and cross the finish line wins. Most races are about 10 km or six miles for us Americanos.
Goon of Fortune (Australia): Goon is an Australian slang term for bag or box of wine. A spoof of the television show Wheel of Fortune, you hang the bag of wine on a laundry clothesline that looks like a star-shaped wheel and it can literally be spun around. As you spin it, the bag of wine will eventually land on someone as everyone screams “Goon of Fortune!” The lucky person that the bag lands on is the one that must chug the bag.
Dudo (Latin America): How good are your lying skills when you’re drunk? In Dudo, each player shakes their dice in a cup. After they’re done shaking, everyone goes around saying how many numbers they are showing. You have to take their answers at face value or call out a lie, but if you’re wrong about who’s lying then you have to drink.