Saturday, 18 December 2010

Gaming Drinks: What Geeks Do At Parties (by Ben Winterton)

I am not cool. I know this. Sometimes people think I am cool. Then they talk to me. They discover they are wrong. This is because I am a geek.

But we all know this to be true. In fact, your reading this means you are probably pretty geeky yourself. Fair play. But there are a couple of things I like to do in place of the standard “party” activities that often distinguish me from the normal geek, though I suspect the phrase “normal geek” is something of an oxymoron. Oh and before I forget, for the benefit of the super-hardcore geeks out there, a 'party' is defined as a gathering of people for the sole purpose of socialising. 

Nintendo Super Mario Bros Power Up Energy Drink

One thing a lot of people like to do at parties is drink alcohol, and sometimes this evolves into the form of a drinking game, the aim of which is to find a “fun” way of getting as much alcohol into its participants as possible (I’m not sure what it says about people who drink but don’t find it fun); examples include “Ring of Fire” and...others. If you don’t know what a drinking game is, Google it. If you don’t know what Google is...well, let’s be honest, you just do.

What I like to do at parties is initiate gaming drinking games. This combines the competitive nature of gaming with the dangers of mass alcohol intake. For instance, you pick an “elimination” game, where one drinks when one is eliminated. Games that serve well for this are the Smash Bros. Series, “Hot Rope Jump” in Mario Party, or any kind of endurance game.

Mario Party 2

You can also just take any game where your co-ordination directly affects your ability to play, and introduce alcohol as a penalty for success and/or failure. The perfect example would be Super Mario World; have the rule that your drink every time you die, finish a level, or gain an extra life. The beauty is that the better players will initially finish several levels and get lots of lives, but then get smashed quicker and start dying more. What are we left with? Some intoxicated nerds laughing at the words “Choco Mountain”. A clear sign of a good time.

The more extreme Variant Party Activity, or V.P.A., is the gameathon, or gaming marathon. This is pretty much what you think it is, but has actually happened, and will happen again. You choose a set amount of time (I’d personally recommend 24 hours) and play video games non-stop. You can pick a theme, say personal all-time favourites, or Zelda games, and then you play them through. And, just to clarify, this isn’t a kooky internet ramble, me and my friends (you know who you are) have done this. We played for 24 hours. I personally ran “Ocarina of Time”, “Lylat Wars”, “Timesplitters 3” and “Mystical Ninja: Starring Goemon”. I didn’t sleep.

Time Splitters: Future Perfect

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, it is an awesome idea and it does make me very attractive to both sexes. But there is a minority of people in the world who may be asking; what’s the point? And of course the answer is that there isn’t one. But then there is no “point” to going out to a club and singing along to “Walk This Way”, other than that both are fun. If anything, the former has more benefit, as going clubbing has never increased anyone’s Gamerscore.

Now, I am soon to reach the ripe old age of 22, and I am looking back on my life, wondering if I could have done more. Could I have learned another language, got married, founded a charity, listened to The Beatles, run a marathon or joined a band?

Yes, I could of. I could also have finished all 3 “Ninja Gaidens” in one sitting. And I know which one I plan to do before the age of 23.