Saturday, January 15, 2011

Karma-beer, a game IRL

Before I started this blog I made plans to only give constructive ideas and positive reviews about old, obscure games. Constructive ideas are not a big problem, but I am not the biggest authority on gamedesign (yet), which will make my ideas only look retarded if I try to flesh them out too much. Yes, this is indirectly stating that my hypothesis of three weeks ago was not as good as I hoped. The other problem is that there are not as much good, old, obscure games as I hoped to be out there. A couple of weeks ago I went to an outlet store with a lot of old junk. I spend more money than I'd like to admit whilst entertaining my friends with the rediculous sight of me walking out with an insane pile of cardboard PCgame boxes. In that pile of games I found 1 really noteworthy game and the rest was just mediocre or at least not recommendable. Then there's the problem that I am a huge fan of arcade(y) racing games and that this place is called "video game legacy" and not "racing game legacy".

The biggest problem, however, is that I want to have played a game to its fullest before recommending it. If a game is too long or repetitive halfway through, I'd like to be able to tell that. This shouldn't be a problem, but I also have a life which I'd like to maintain. If I want to be recommending games every week, then I have to finish a game every week. Since the trend is that modern games are getting shorter, you should be able to imagine that I have to put more time in these old games, which makes me conclude that if I want to maintain this blog on its original idea, I have to start playing old games 24/7. This. I. Refuse.

So, to lengthen the life of this blog, I hereby broaden the scope of this blog to individual experiences in/with games and some real-life happenings as a gamer/soon-to-be-gamedesigner. The best way to do this is to make this post a cross-over between every category of this blog: a recommended real life game I experienced as a soon-to-be gamedesigner.

The pitcher, your most valuable tool
You will need:
- 2 or 3 talkative friends which you haven't spoken for a while or a couple of days
- just a bit of money
- a place to go where they have beer and you have some loose contacts, like your favourite pub or bar.
Make sure your place has different sizes of glasses for serving normal beer.Where I went you had the normal glass, the bigger glass, the pint-sized mug and the pourable one litre pitcher.

Go to your place with your friends and buy all of them, including you, a pint-sized beer. Whilst starting on the pints, buy 1 pitcher as a supply for the group. Now start talking about everything that could be interesting, like what happened on vacation or where you got that scar from.

Your story should be luring people in by now. Keep the circle a bit open and make sure you are on a spot where a lot of people walk by. When they have a seat to listen to your story, give them a small glass and pour them a beer from the pitcher. Congratulations! They can't walk away now.

After 2 or 3 people are lured in, the pitcher is probably empty and its time to use the trick of hospitality. You gave them beer, so they are now obliged to buy the next pitcher. Let them pour more beer in your pint and reward them with more awesome stories. As karma goes, more people will be lured in by the stories and beer and as it went before, they too are now obliged to buy a new pitcher for the whole group. There is a big chance your vague contacts were to meet with their friends, so they too will join the group buying beer. After a while, you don't even have to tell stories anymore and just wait until the next new guy buys a new pitcher.

Warning! Try this at home, but, for the love of your mom, KNOW TO FEEL YOUR LIMIT! You possibly can't count your beers.

Like taps to world peace. ;)
So, how did I play it? Even more: how does one come up with this? In that order: very well and by chance. The night we came up with this, we were already at the second round of a new guy buying a pitcher. Because we had large glasses and the rest didn't, our beers were refilled before we even had the opportunity to finish them. We just saw a loophole unfold before our eyes and by the second pitcher the group had already achieved a self-sustaining cycle. We all got wasted while we still had our first glass in our hands. I stayed way longer than I initially planned, just to see how far the group would grow. At its maximum it had like 30 to 40 people in it. They were all enjoying themselves, telling whatever happened to them and every time when the pitcher was empty, the new kid established him/herself by buying a new one (or later on even two). Most people barely even knew one another, yet they shared their life and beer. It was simple and yet heart-touching.

There was also the fact that everyone was drunk. That was bloody hilarious.

My friends refer to this game as "that night we have to try again sometime". I call this game: Karma-beer. I recommend you play it.

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