Surviving the World

A Photocomic Education by Dante Shepherd

Lesson #459 - Drinking Games, Part II

It's amazing how openly and freely you can hear 'adults' or 'figures of authority' discussing drinking games out in the open - I've heard mainstream media on both television and radio joke about playing various political drinking games, I've been in bars and watched 50 year old men play drinking games, and I've even read a column by an award winning sportswriter seriously pushing for beer pong to replace gymnastic events in the Summer Olympics. Basically, there's open acceptance of drinking games if you're over the age of 30. But if even a sniff of drinking games gets brought up in reference to college students, and the public flies into an uproar.

The problem is once you get beyond the obvious hypocrisy, there's a completely different aspect to the public's attitude. Look at the motives behind a lot of the over-30 crowd's reasons for playing drinking games, and it's pretty apparent they're doing it to get wasted, and might just happen to do it the presence of others. Meanwhile, do a random survey of college students on their motives for playing drinking games, and you'll find that much more often the students play because they have been raised to be insanely competitive in all games, athletic or video or board, or because they enjoy the company of their friends when they're playing. It's a completely different attitude, something that the public perception in no way connects with.

Yes, there are college students who play drinking games with the goal of becoming completely sloshed, but focusing on them is playing into the negative Greek stereotype which fails to match up with reality. So it's a false comparison that we'd really do best to move beyond.

And here, on the first day of the baseball playoffs (and what a hell of a game that was last night between Minnesota and Detroit), I'll share with you just an example of what I mean about drinking games being more about competition and comradery: a baseball drinking game I invented with a few friends back when I was an undergraduate. It doesn't involve heavy drinking; it just involves teamwork and fun. For those interested in playing, enjoy; for those not interested in playing, take a second to appreciate the example.