Author Archives: Dalton Chancellor

Don’t Drink and Drive


This drinking game is played using any game from the Mario Kart franchise. A race is setup that contains only human players, no computer players. All players begin with a full drink (most frequently a glass bottle of beer). Before a player crosses the finish line of the race, their drink must be completely finished. The main obstacle to this, however, is that players may only drink while they are pulled over to the side of the road and completely stopped-in-place.


The informant has played this game with friends in the past. He says that there are two main strategies that people tend to employ, either chugging the entire drink at the beginning of the race, or chugging the entire drink at the end of the race. He believes that stopping to drink more than once during a race would lead to too much wasted time over the course of the entire race.


Mario Kart has been a staple of Nintendo game consoles for decades, and it makes sense that college kids would mix a party game they grew up with and had a “muscle-memory” sort of ability to play it with alcohol. The colorful graphics and clear iconography of Mario Kart are pleasant and readable, which are also highly important to someone who is more-than-buzzed. Because Mario Kart also famously “rubberbands” players who are falling behind by giving them powerful items, the game is rewarding and fun to players who are playing poorly as well as players who are playing well.

Drunkey Ball


This is a drinking game that is played at parties around USC utilizing a gamecube game, Super Monkeyball 2. All players take an individual turn trying to complete a level (Super Monkeyball 2 is a game about a monkey inside of a perfectly spherical ball rolling across perilous surfaces with the constant risk of falling off. It is up to the player to rotate the stage, causing the Monkey to move). If a player falls off the stage, they are required to take a “small drink”. If someone completes a stage with more than half of the time remaining (this normally means 30 seconds remaining of an original 60 seconds) then all other players have to take a “large drink”. The game can theoretically continue on until all players complete the final stage, but more frequently the players sooner run out of alcohol or become too drunk to continue.


The game is played and taught by the informant, though it is unclear who originally started it. The informant played Super Monkeyball 2, along with other multiplayer gamecube games, with his sisters while growing up, and as such is quite skilled at the game even while drunk. He brought the game to at least two parties in order to play Drunkey Ball with friends who are as equally enthusiastic about it as he is.


It makes a lot of sense to me for this fast-paced multiplayer game, especially with its emphasis on turn-based play and reaction-based challenges, for Super Monkeyball 2 to be adapted into a drinking game. It also makes particular sense in the context of the parties that they are played at, often hosted by IMGD (Interactive Media Game Development) students in USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. This group of people tends to promote weird, old games like these, and supports their being played at parties.



Every year at the informant’s summer camp:

Alawatchakeema and his family would supposedly travel all the way across the great lakes to New York. There was a big ceremony, a fire was lit in the center of the camp. People would come out of the forest representing the spirits of the earth, fire, wind, and water. One would zipline down from the trees to create the illusion that he was flying.

To figure out where Big Al was, the whole camp would have to chant his full name in a low rumble. The head of camp would then tell you where Big Al was spotted.

Once Alawatchakeema got there, he selected kids for challenges. The challenges were: no talking, no eating, sleeping under the stars, and the triple whammy (all three).

Each of the challenges lasted for 1 Day.


The informant was inducted into this tradition at one of his childhood summer camps, and one year was chosen for the “sleeping under the stars” challenge, which he expressed was meant for “kids who spent a lot of time inside”. He went on to inform me that the tradition is no longer being practiced because of the realization that it was insensitive towards Native American cultures.


This sounds to me like a high-energy event which the entire camp could participate in, either as an actor or a viewer, and build a community around. The challenges are very interesting to me because they are both a rite of passage (the informant expressed that he looks back very fondly on his experience of Sleeping Under the Stars) and a call-out of any negative behavior that the camper may be displaying.

Pocono Devil


There was a kid in the mountains whose mom buried him alive. He came back to life as a demon, the Pocono Devil, with glowing red eyes. If you are out at night and see the Pocono Devil, you can’t break eye contact or else he’ll drag you into the woods and bury you alive. You have to maintain eye contact and back away from it.


At the informant’s summer-camp was a tree known as “The Ten-Year Tree”. After attending the camp for 10 years (a combined time as both camper and counselor) you would get your name etched onto a small brass plate and have that affixed onto the tree. There was one such plate, a small rusted one, that said “The Pocono Devil”.

He was told that the house of the child who had become the Pocono Devil was about a mile away from camp so he now haunts those woods and the camp.


This seems like a highly-effective tool to keep young campers from sneaking around during the night, when there may be dangerous animals lurking around. The Pocono Devil also gives the campers a piece of common lore to build a community around.



For over a decade at the Informant’s Vancouver Island high-school, a folk game would be organized known as “Gotcha”. It is highly similar to the widely-played game “Assassin” where all players are given a “target” which they must discreetly tag with a clothes pin. In order to sign up for Gotcha, a player must pay $20 into a communal pot. The winner at the end of the game gets to keep the money from the pot, resulting in a not-small chunk of change.

The Informant stated that the rules of the game would be updated every year, as someone new was typically organizing it. After he graduated, he said that the rules were updated to include “If you are tagged, you can strip naked in order to save yourself”. After successfully tagging your target, they are removed from the game and you inherit their target.


The Informant played Gotcha as a Grade 12 and the experience was generally not unusual compared to previous years. He was, however, informed about the stripping-based rules that were added after his graduation, and was able to speak to some of the issues surrounding it. The parents and school systems, he said, had been highly concerned over the possibility of students taking pictures of the stripped-nude students and sharing the pictures on social media. The Informant also implied that students get very serious about this game, to the point that “some people don’t even leave their house for like a week”.


The monetary incentive of the game is huge, especially for children who are still in high school, and the original game of Assassin is often played without any incentive besides the game’s inherent fun. Upon combining these two things, I think that the students who participate in Gotcha are willfully entering into a hyper-immersive game with the potential to turn $20 into substantially more (a feeling akin to gambling, but where the outcome has a positive correlation to your own skill and strategic proficiency). The addition of stripping as a sort of “do-over” could be taken to mean that the game designers wanted the players to have more chances to claim the pot if they were serious enough to do it, or it could also be viewed as an excuse to get classmates to willingly strip.


This article states that the pot for a game of Gotcha can get up to $2,000. In addition, it appears that students may also pay $20 instead of stripping nude, and can only re-enter the game twice.