Since I started this blog, the most frequent comment I tend to get goes along the lines of “I’m sorry I don’t drink but I still enjoy your blog”. Well first, thank you, but you know the drinking games aren’t mandatory. I won’t get mad at you if you don’t do them. I don’t even do all of them, don’t tell anyone.
See the drinking games aren’t in fact about the drinking. Although I certainly enjoy the occasional libation and I’m happy and not judging if you do too. I also understand that alcohol is just another treat, like chocolate, or shopping or anime, and if it’s not your thing, I’m happy and not judging of that too. I will say however, that my writing will seem to improve drastically with a drink or 10…
So why do I bother? Why do I spend a considerable amount of time finding the perfect cocktail recipe and putting together detailed drinking games for every single review and the occasional essay post. Seems like a lot of work to put into something that’s not necessary and that most people don’t seem to care for all that much. Well the answer is three-fold. I’ve always wanted to use three fold in a sentence. I’m not saying I wrote this entire post just for that purpose but I’m not saying I didn’t.
First and by far least, also most boring, is “branding”. Gawd that sounds pretentious. Basically, it’s a cheap and easy way to give my blog a distinct voice. It tells you that this isn’t a place to take anything too seriously or look for deep inspired meaningful posts. It’s a place for fun, not overly researched, fluffy little posts meant as nothing more than a distraction. It’s also visually striking to end posts with a bullet point list. Told you it was boring. See, I deliver!
Slightly more important is that these games are on some level an extension of my personality. Because of who I am as a person and the way my brain works, I tend to look for patterns even more than the average individual and when I find them, I’m like a dog with a bone. I love nothing more than spending precious brain capital on analyzing and picking apart all those patterns in order to assign them some arbitrary meanings.
When I watch any media, I will naturally tend to pick up on repetitive patterns and try to figure out why the authors would have bothered to put that in. In live action you can always blame an actor’s personal ticks but in animation, someone bothered to actively draw and sometimes voice the same thing over and over again. It must have some significance. I love those little extras. Those parts of storytelling that are left unsaid or up to the interpretation of the viewer. The subtlety of having an otherwise together and even brash character regularly fiddle with their drawstring as the only clue that they may have some anxiety or insecurity left otherwise unacknowledged. These tiny moments tend to elevate a work in my mind. I enjoy them tremendously.
So I use my drinking games to highlight them. If I see a pattern that seems important or interesting but I can’t quite figure out its significance enough to add to my review, I’ll put it in as a prompt. I’ll also use the drinking games as a justifier. For instance, if I call a character inept I might add prompts to drink every time that character loses something, trips and falls, is amazed by something really mundane, is confused… So, even if the dialogue doesn’t acknowledge a particular character’s lack of brains, I can show that someone sure wrote the character that way. Finally I use them to underline a point. I once called a character a jerk to others and put in a prompt to finish your bottle whenever he gives anyone a compliment. It shows the guy never says anything nice, ever. You may not realize this but whenever I can, I try to sort through my drinking cues to choose ones that will give you some idea of the show and the characters, even if you read nothing else of the post. They also tend to betray my inner thoughts. If 90% of the prompts are about a particular character, you can easily tell who I was paying most attention to.
I short, I use the games as an extension of the actual post. I see them as a more free from creative way to share the substance of what a particular story meant to me. So it’s perfectly fine if you never actually drink along, that’s just the box not the actual gift. Wait did I just intimate my writing is a gift. Man, how drunk am I?
Before this gets way out of hand, let me get to the last reason for putting these games together. Whether you actually drink or not, looking out for particular elements in a show, focuses your attention. I don’t know about you but I tend to favour a certain amount of sensory overload. I get music going, some show playing in the background, I might be playing a game or surfing the web or even cooking at the same time. It’s not the best way to truly appreciate a piece of art. I’ve seen a lot of shows but I can safely say I’ve watched considerably less.
Playing drinking games or putting them together, makes me watch out for the details. It gives me a tangible reason to keep my eyes on the screen and pay attention to the dialogue. Of course you shouldn’t get to wrapped up in it either, and end up with a forest for the trees situation, but isn’t it great to discover yet another aspect or hidden gem in a beloved series because you gave it your full attention?
As for the cocktail choice, I do that just for fun. I like cocktails with ridiculous names, I thought you might like them too.
Sadly, no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t come up with an actual drinking game to finish up this post so instead, I am going to leave you with this handy-dandy conversion chart! Of course you can always make virgin version of any of the recommended cocktails or play with juice (tea is often my drug of choice) but if you have something against liquids – here are some alternatives.
Cupcakes (Apples if you must)
- 1 sip = 1 bite
- 1 chug = 1 mouthful
- Finish your glass = Finish your snack
- Down the bottle = Get an actual cake (Apple pie if you must)
- 1 sip = 1 berry
- 1 chug = 3 berries
- Finish your glass = a handful of berries
- Down the bottle = Every berry in the house
- 1 sip = 5 sit ups
- 1 chug = 5 push ups (careful with those)
- Finish your glass = 30 jumping jacks
- Down the bottle = 20 burpees
- 1 sip = Hug the closest thing/animal/person who you love
- 1 chug = Kiss the closest thing/animal/person who you love (why do I put thing first?)
- Finish your glass = Tell them why you love them
- Down the bottle = do something with them instead (watching more anime counts!)
- 1 sip = compliment yourself
- 1 chug = compliment yourself and mean it
- Finish your glass = set a realistic goal for yourself
- Down the bottle = tell someone else what you love about yourself
- 1 sip = any one square
- 1 chug = any two squares
- Finish your glass = any three squares
- Down the bottle = Bingo!
If you actually try any of these, please let me know!