Buzzed Gaming

There are no two ways around it:  I’m simply not as smart after I’ve had a drink as I am before.  It’s more difficult for me to track details, to follow processes, remember small things and to be creative.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good beer and some bourbon as much (and maybe more) than the next guy.  However, the facts are irrefutable at this point.

I noticed it most during a game of Robo Rally (a wonderful board game that you should play) last month.  Normally, I’m pretty good at this game.  My mind tends to compartmentalize information easily, and I can usually think pretty fast.  Early in the game, I rushed out to an early, dominant appearing lead.  Then I drank a beer.  My little robot started rolling in random directions, and my lead dwindled to almost nothing.

Then the buzz wore off, my mind cleared and I won handily.

I am acutely aware of this limitation when running a Dungeons and Dragons game.  Since I only DM about once a month, I don’t really have much experience, and there’s simply too much to track.  I need to stay sharp.  Normally, adding  a drink makes almost every good thing a little better, but that isn’t true when I’m running a D&D game.

I usually ride my motorcycle to my weekly game, and I have a strict, self imposed, zero drinking and biking rule, so I don’t know if that applies as a D&D player.  I do know that a cocktail or two goes just fine with most other board and card games.  Flux and Munchkin are casual enough that a buzz doesn’t hurt game play, as is Ticket to Ride.

What do you think?  When does alcohol add to your gaming experience, and when does it take something away?

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3 Comments

Filed under 4e D&D, Culture, Group dynamics, life meets game

3 responses to “Buzzed Gaming

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Buzzed Gaming « Continuing Clockwise -- Topsy.com

  2. I remember at a younger age we use to grab a twenty pack and roleplay after work as a way to relax. Now I really only partake while playing Rock Band because really what’s better then drunken Rock Band on hard?

    Actually my wife has a glass of wine or two when we play. This helps her relax enough and get into character. I think it helps her as she as only just begun playing so drops some of that anxiety down.

  3. Etherrider

    I have never really enjoyed a whole lot of drinking at my gaming table and I can’t remember a time when I gamed while drinking (talking RPGs here….boardgames not so much:D ). That being said what I noticed from the few players that brought something to drink is that they soon became the first to give up and turn into Conan (ala Conan: The Destroyer…”enough talk” ). It always seemed like 1 may loosen them up or relax them, but the next 2 or 3 or more showed some level of degeneration.
    I have never turned anyone away for wanting an adult beverage at the table, but I have made it clear that I thought it was not a good thing…..drinking to escape reality in a game you play to escape reality? To some degree that may be true…but certainly not enough to make me think of those who drink as chaotic-evil and should be vanquished. :)

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