Professors and Drinking Games


For our project, we collected and attempted to analyze drinking games and rituals from Dartmouth faculty. We believe that the professors within Dartmouth’s campus have a variety of backgrounds that are unique and diverse enough to give yield interesting results pertaining to this type of folklore. Most of the collected folklore stems from America, but we were able to find one informant who shared drinking games from Germany.

In our collection, we initially wanted to focus on the dynamics of the game as well as the informant’s interpretation of the experience. Ultimately, this led to the development of two game categories. The first category is drinking games/rituals that exist predominantly to enable one to get drunk/intoxicated. Clear examples of this category are Booting & Rallying, Komasaufen, and Shotgunning. The second category is drinking games that exist more to facilitate the social aspect of drinking – simply having a good time. Examples in this category are games such as Cornhole, Power Hour, and Fingerhakeln. Other games, such as Quarters, Beer Pong, and Slap Cup, have elements of both categories and can not be neatly categorized into one or the other.

Another key takeaway from this collection is that many informants felt that drinking games exist to validate drinking habits. This is true for both game categories; The “drinking category” is clearly about drinking, and the “social category,” while not primarily about drinking, uses the games to justify drinking alcohol. Perhaps this need for validation comes from a social stigma against drinking alcohol, leading to the creation of these games, which make drinking more socially acceptable  (e.g. I’m only drinking because I need to for this game).






  • Michael Steel
  • Kyle Carlos


  • Drinking Games. Professor Folklore. Professors. Drinking. Rituals.