Random & Incoherent
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
  It's all fun and games until you wake up with a hangover, then it's just fun
Beer Pong, a somewhat popular drinking game, is now being marketed by companies such as Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing.

Read the article here: As Young Adults Drink to Win, Marketers Join In

"It's awesome," said Chris Shannon, 22, a senior at Drexel University here. "If you win, you win. If you lose, you drink. There's no negative."

No kidding. This is exactly what college age kids want to do for fun. It combines 2 great things: beer and games. But holding these types of games at a bar means you have to pay for the overpriced brew. Do this at your house and you cut the cost by using natty lite AND you don't have to worry about driving.

Drinking games have been around since Dionysus. But a whole new industry has taken off around them, making the games more popular, more intense and more dangerous, according to college administrators who say the games are just thin cover for binge drinking.

No such thing as a "thin cover for binge drinking". That's exactly what it is: binge drinking. The only difference is your playing a game WHILE binge drinking, which makes it more entertaining. And anyone who tells you something different is not only lying to you, they're lying to themselves.

This past summer, Anheuser-Busch unveiled a game it calls Bud Pong. The company, which makes Budweiser, is promoting Bud Pong tournaments and providing Bud Pong tables, balls and glasses to distributors in 47 markets, including college towns like Oswego, N.Y., and Clemson, S.C.
"It's catching on like wildfire," said Francine Katz, a spokeswoman for Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. "We created it as an icebreaker for young adults to meet each other."

Bullshit. A-B did not create "Bud Pong" as an icebreaker for young adults. The game already existed. A-B wanted to cash in. They created "Bud Pong" tables, balls and glasses to further ingrain their logo across America. This is all very interesting. A company that has promoted "responsible drinking" as company philosophy is now marketing a game that is directly correlated with binge drinking. How responsible is that? The best part of the whole thing is this:
But Ms. Katz said Bud Pong was not intended for underage drinkers because promotions were held in bars, not on campuses. And it does not promote binge drinking, she said, because official rules call for water to be used, not beer. The hope is that those on the sidelines enjoy a Bud.

Water? Are you shitting me? You're marketing a game with "beer" in the title, and it's held at a bar. Who goes into a bar (especially a college bar) and orders water? Nobody, that's who.

In many games, the more you lose, the more you drink, which leads to losing more and drinking more, a cycle that can spiral out of control.

Which is exactly why you shouldn't lose in the first place. But then again, a nice downward spiral can be an interesting way to spend an evening.

"When you play drinking games, you're not really in charge of how much you drink," said Brian Borsari, a psychologist at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University. "Your drinking is at the whim of other players, which can be very dangerous, especially if you're trying to fit in."

That's why you drink to get drunk, not to fit in. Too much social pressure to "fit in". Once everybody's drunk, everybody fits in.

Please be sure and check out more of the contradictions between responsible drinking and mass marketing in this story

Story submitted by JEH
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