Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures
One Button, One Scotch, One Beer

L.B. Jeffries | 16 Dec 2008 12:56
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Nintendo isn't the only developer to innovate in this field of intoxicated gaming. Valve created an excellent alternative for the drunk gamer with the Medic in Team Fortress 2. All you have to do is run around loosely aiming at people with the health gun and you're doing a great job. Warhawk for the PlayStation 3 is another great example because of the huge diversity of options to the player. If you're feeling particularly inebriated, many weapons and turrets feature a locking design. You just hold down the button, aim in someone's general direction and start firing missiles. You're not going to top the leaderboards, but you can still walk away feeling satisfied. Other games like the You Don't Know Jack trivia series or the Singstar karaoke games also facilitate a quality drunk gaming experience.

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While conducting research for this article, I found myself both worried about the scope of my knowledge of drunk activities and seriously needing a whiskey. So I went to my favorite dive bar on King Street and ordered the usual. Looking around, I saw people playing all the typical bar games: Some folks were playing darts in the backroom, some partook in a game of trivia and everyone chatted while they played. I noticed an old arcade version of Pac-Man collecting dust in the corner, and I asked the bartender why no one played it. "Someone spilled a beer on it or something. I've never seen it work and I've been here for three years," she commented dryly. I asked a couple of people what their favorite game to play was while drunk and they all looked at me blankly. One guy finally muttered, "Whatever's around, man. When you're drunk, you don't really care that much. It's just something to do."

Perhaps this is the greatest dilemma with producing a drunk game: It's hard to maintain an enthusiastic fan base when they're only there for the booze anyway. A successful drunk game doesn't make too many demands on the player's attention; it's just something to do to pass the time. I asked the bartender what her favorite game to play while drunk was. She paused for a minute before answering, "Mind games, sugar. You need another beer?"

L.B. Jeffries is a law student from South Carolina who spends too much time playing videogames or screwing around on The Escapist forums instead of studying. He writes reviews, articles and a weekly blog for the videogames section of PopMatters.

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