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?



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 --

  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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