Booze and Boards
Sam Schirmer - 06/29/2015

"I drink for the flavor, not to get drunk."

Being heavily into craft beer, I hear the above quote often. While I can sympathize with the sentiment, those are not words I live by... especially while gaming. For me personally, the best gaming experiences are achieved while enjoying a drink or six. And while I enjoy craft beers, I never turn down a Stag, a Hamm's, or a $13 bottle of rye. Here's a few reasons why I do what I do:

1. Losing is way easier.

So when I say "easier", I mean it in every sense of the word. Yes, you will lose more often, especially if you're playing a more strategic game, but you just don't care. This is good for morale, both for yourself and others in the room (sometimes), and it actually leads into the next point...

2. It can actually help you win.

One of my favorite gaming memories is a particularly long play of Game of Thrones. I was several drinks deep, and I was having fun. I didn't care if I lost or not, even though I'd already invested 4+ hours into the game. I had more fun conspiring with people and ruining others' days. This is what made me dangerous. I went for a Hail Mary play, planning out about 3 nonsensical moves in advance, and no one took me seriously. I ended up winning in the final round of the game, much to everyone's surprise. Alcohol makes you unpredictable, and causes others to take you lightly. Use that to your advantage.

3. Social lubrication can be a good thing.

So this point is where I need to post a disclaimer: if you're an angry drunk, or you don't hold your liquor well, you should probably be one of those, "I drink for the taste," guys. No one wants someone that comes over, drinks too much, then starts insulting everyone, breaking things, or puking. That said, if you're a happy/talkative drunk, a few beers can work wonders at gaming events.

Ever been in a situation when you want to join in on a game, but either you don't see a way to introduce yourself, or you're just too nervous to walk up to them? This is the reason I bring a bottle of whiskey to conventions. I generally don't like to talk to people unnecessarily, which isn't a good trait when you're trying to advertise a game you're developing. Once I get some liquid courage, however, I'll walk up to almost anyone and just start a conversation.

4. It's a conversation starter on its own.

I've made friends simply because of the brand of whiskey I was carrying around. I've also had strangers walk up to me and give me that sly look that means, "hey, pass it over here." This brings up another point: the more the merrier. That said, bring something cheap. I'm talking Old Overholt rye cheap. I bring Stag or Hamm's or something similar to game nights because I don't want to second guess sharing with anyone that walks through the door. Friend or foe, if you want a drink, I've got you covered.

5. Don't be stupid.

Alcohol is a vice, and with it comes the risks of any other vice. Don't drive around drunk like an idiot. Don't drink too much. Just don't be stupid. You're an adult, so act like one. This blog post is meant to be a lighthearted look into two hobbies that tend to work well together, so don't take anything in here too seriously. Just be cool, be safe, and pass the whiskey.