On Your Marks, Get Set….DOWN IT!

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According to the NHS, over 20,000 people were admitted to hospital last year with alcohol poisoning, but were drinking games the cause? After all that Olympic hype, let us not forget the games that happen every night of the week, where anyone can be an Olympian. The drinking games. Drive, perseverance, ambition, stamina…these are all necessary traits to be successful in your next round of Twenty-One.

As thousands of new students flood into halls, there’s no denying that drinking games will be the perfect way to break the ice.  With hundreds of different ones to choose from, usually involving particularly pointless and wacky rules, you’re bound to find one that will get you talking to those people you may not have spoken to before, even if it is just shouting ‘EAT IT!’ at them as they down some Sainsburys Value cider from a mug.  

So what do you get if you mix together a pack of novelty playing cards, dice and a bottle of cheap, headache-inducing vodka? A nightly forecast indicating a 90% chance of passing out, with a hint of embarrassment. The peer pressure that inevitably goes along with drinking games can mean things get out of hand before you even go out the door.

In 2012, the UK is well and truly living up to the tabloid inspired nickname ‘binge-drink Britain’, but are these drinking games playing their part? You’ve got to wonder why they didn’t include hundreds of dancers stumbling around in a beautifully choreographed game of Ring of Fire in the Olympic opening ceremony that was supposed to show the world what the United Kingdom is all about.

Does this scenario sound familiar? – Sitting around a table stained with spilt beers and humiliation, your friend picks out the seven of hearts, everyone shoots a hand up in the air but you’re too slow. You drain your glass. Someone picks up the seven of diamonds, you’re too late again. You have to down another drink. And so it continues in a vicious circle of peer pressure, so that as the games continue, your reflexes slacken, you have to drink more, and before you know it your vodka’s gone and so are your wits. Thus inevitably there is always one person who ends up falling into a bin at the 24 hour KFC, throwing up on the dance floor  or in prison for stealing a bike, simply because they didn’t put their hand up fast enough.

Drinking games can certainly save you a fortune in buying drinks when you’re out and they break the ice faster than global warming. However things can very quickly spiral out of control; games like Ring of Fire can be a laugh, but if you have reflexes about as fast as a koala in a rowing boat, step away from the cards! Take away the pressure to drink more than your own body weight in vodka in the name of being a Lad and you’re left with a hilarious few hours of pre-drinks where everyone stays just sober enough to be able to get in the taxi without falling out the other side. Let the games begin!

Philippa Barnes

Aspiring journalist for BounceSin, currently stumbling through life in Leeds. Likes reading, dancing and sangria - but not the hangover.

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