It’s the new year, and I feel excited about video games. I am excited about the mountain of games I acquired as presents and with gift cards, as well as games coming out later this year. For as much as I love good games, I am sad over how many of my friends and family just don’t enjoy them the way I do. Whether they lack interest or skill, it’s always difficult to share this part of my life with them. That’s why I’m trying to think of new ways for me to try and share my gaming experience with them.
There are of course the games that are fun to play with a group despite the challenges of the game. Games like New Super Mario Bros. U, Call of Duty, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 are great because, due to their tendency toward bullshit difficulty spikes, the whole group enjoys the accomplishments of even two players finally beating a level. Plus, the shared suffering leads to lively conversation. Other games which have narrative arcs which tend to appeal to those outside of the medium are always fun to pass and play, even if some people are terrible. These games include Alice: Madness Returns, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and Resident Evil 5, and they tend to be just as fun to watch as to play if you are already invested in the subject matter. Hell, some games are such a spectacle that it’s fun to pass and play without any narrative context. Call of Duty and Halo attract droves of casual players who only play in groups. Any of these are fine, but I feel my repertoire lacks a certain “universally appealing” punch. So imagine my delight and excitement as I realize a way to better involve more people in the same games I already love.
Ah, sweet alcohol, how did I not think of you sooner? I can’t think of anything better to supplement people’s interest in games. Whether my friends and family are playing the game with me or just watching me play, I can’t think of a better way to get them invested in the game than layering a drinking game on top of the video game. I can get certain friends to take the leap into gaming if I ask them to come over for a certain game that I tell them will be fun in a group, but others couldn’t be less interested when I ask them. Most of them would be interested, however, if I asked them to come over and enjoy good booze, food, and people while we all play a low-pressure drinking game. Drinking games are, after all, something most people are familiar with and know how to enjoy. It certainly sounds strange; I’m suggesting we play a game that revolves around playing a game. But the important thing is that it gets people who are normally completely uninterested invested in the games that are important to me. Whether we drink based on plot, character actions, or aspects of play, others will be getting into the experience.
After a cursory search of the web, I’ve found numerous drinking games for some of my favorite video games. Also, there is the absolutely amazing website TheDrunkenMoogle.com which I am insanely pissed I’ve only just learned about. The Portal 2 shots pictured above are from there. Elsewhere on the web, I found an excellent drinking game for Dark Souls at PreparetoDrink.com. This Assassin’s Creed game seems like it may be a little harsh, so maybe make your own modifications and know that I don’t advocate drinking until you are of legal drinking age. The community came through with a pretty fantastic Mass Effect 3 drinking game; you have to love when fans come together to do great things. The Metamart made this Borderlands 2 drinking game for an event they did back in September to celebrate its release, and 8-Bit Alliance posted this fun little game to go along with The Binding of Isaac.
I couldn’t find rules for all of my favorite games, and I’m certain I will nail down more specific rules as the night for my first video game drinking party approaches. Still, here are my ideas for some basic rules for all games if there isn’t already a drinking game:
1) If somebody says “fuck [blank],” then they must drink.
2) Somebody says that they can do something in the game with no problem. If they accomplish it in one try, then everyone who calls bullshit must drink. If they fail, then they must drink.
3) Any time somebody needs to take cover to heal, they must drink.
4) If a specific computer player or character becomes a real pain, then everyone must drink any time somebody is beaten by that player or character.
5) If somebody confuses or distracts another player and causes them to lose, then the offender must drink.
6) After any death, the dead player must drink and pass the controller.
7) If anybody spoils the plot for somebody else, then whoever spoiled it must drink. However, if they were only guessing, then whoever calls them out and confirms that the plot is spoiled must instead drink.
8) If somebody advocates turning up the difficulty, and the difficulty increase results in death for everybody without any progress being made, then that person must drink and bring food to the room for everybody else.
This is by no means a thorough or complete list of rules for a game, but I think it’s a good start. At the very least, it gets the mind thinking in the right direction. I look forward to several nights this year with good food, close friends, and potent drink as we hopefully share new gaming experiences together.
Here are all of the links to games I included above complete with credits, and I encourage everybody to search for their own favorite games or make up rules of their own. I wish you all good gaming, safe drinking, and happy New Year.
Assassin’s Creed—Thank you to blighted-angel who posted this on her tumblr
The Binding of Isaac—Thank you to DrunkenGamer at 8-Bit Alliance
Borderlands 2—Thank you to everybody at Metamart who put this together
Dark Souls—Thank you to those who put this game and website together