“Okay, so one of the games that we play in college is called Druzzles. And, uh, it’s this thing where a bunch of us drink heavily. We have a bunch of shots, get really drunk… and once we are sufficiently inebriated, then you pair up into teams of two and um, everyone busts out a small, one hundred piece puzzle, fifty piece puzzle, something like that, and then you, uh, someone starts, uh, like, a timer or something like that and all of the teams race to see who can finish the puzzle first, which is always an interesting game to see because everyone’s really drunk.”
This drinking game is particularly interesting because, unlike many other drinking games, it requires a lot of forethought. Most other drinking games require little more than some cups, ping-pong balls, or a stack of cards. On the other hand, for Druzzles, you have to go out and buy multiple small puzzles and prepare for the game (unless you’ve played the game several times and already have enough small puzzles.)
Druzzles represents an interesting perversion of a childhood game, but also, in some ways, a reversion to childhood. The informant mentioned that the puzzles they use for the game are very small (50-100 pieces). These types of puzzles tend to be made for children (he also told me that the puzzles they use often have cartoon characters from popular children’s television shows.) On the one hand, Druzzles takes a childhood game and perverts or sullies it by incorporating the aspect of underage drinking. On the other hand, the game sort of represents a method for one to revert to a child-like state of mind. When you are a kid, a 50-100 piece puzzle can be quite challenging and might occupy an hour of playtime with a friend. When you are an adult, such a simple puzzle can be put together in mere minutes, especially with the help of a friend. However, all of the drinking that is involved in this game can make it very difficult for the participants to put together the puzzles.
It’s fitting that the informant learned this game in college. After all, college is a liminal period in one’s life; you’re no longer a kid but you’re not quite a fully formed adult. The game of Druzzles conflates these phases of life by incorporating elements from childhood (the puzzles) and elements of adulthood (drinking.)