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Addict Behav. 2013 May;38(5):2133-9. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2012.12.002. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Are they all the same? An exploratory, categorical analysis of drinking game types.

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Department of Psychology, Loyola Marymount University, 1 LMU Drive, Suite 4700, Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA.


Drinking games have become a ubiquitous part of the college student drinking culture and are associated with drinking to intoxication and increased alcohol consequences. Contemporary research commonly considers drinking games holistically, with little to no consideration to the different drinking game types. The current study describes the creation of a novel DG categorization scheme and reports differences between DG categories. Participants were 3421 college students (58% female) who completed online surveys. Based on participant responses, 100 distinct drinking games were identified and defined. Two student focus groups were conducted in which drinking game definitions and rules were verified by students. Drinking games were then categorized into five mutually exclusive categories: Targeted and Skill games, Communal games, Chance games, Extreme Consumption games, and Even Competition games. Finally, the frequency of games played in each category and typical player profiles were reported. Differences in peak drinks and frequency of specific alcohol consequences were documented according to game categories. The findings provide a novel drinking game categorization scheme and an exploratory analysis of basic differences between game categories.

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