For hipsters, the formula for having fun is simple, yet elegant: Take an aspect of the '80s-baby childhood experience, add Pabst Blue Ribbon and take it really seriously -- that's pretty much the logic behind every kickball league, Portlandia's recent and disconcertingly accurate sendup of competitive hide-and-seek and (though it is for a good cause) tonight's Connect Four tournament, hosted by the Benevolent Citizen's project. But whatever the psychology (Freudian regression?) behind the games hipsters play, there's no denying it's a pretty good formula -- so in that nostalgic spirit, here are five more for the bar.
5. Operation I actually played this game once at a bar -- some sad, forgotten bar on the outskirts of downtown where my friend and I were the only patrons all afternoon (whatever that says about us) -- and I can tell you it's an excellent game for drinking. Your hand actually gets a little steadier with a couple of drinks, but even when you're far beyond that point and trying to pick out Cavity Sam's "wishbone" with one eye shut, it never stops being entertaining. This should be a mainstay at every hipster bar -- or every bar, for that matter. 4. Tetherball Hipsters have already glommed kickball and dodgeball, so it's kind of a mystery why tetherball hasn't been co-opted by the hipster hive mind -- perhaps because kickball and dodgeball only require somebody to buy a ball, whereas tetherball calls for more involved equipment, thus making it bourgeois. Whatever the case, it's a shame, because there's a certain mindless pleasure in batting a ball on a string back and forth, and it's one that pairs well with drunkenness -- plus, think of the memories. 3. Candy Land When you're pounding back cheap American lagers and listening to some rare bootlegged demo cuts by the guy from Girl Talk before he even started sampling stuff, the last thing you want to do is be thinking too hard; that's at least part of the appeal of Candyland, a game that, as Wikipedia describes it, "requires no reading and minimal counting skills." Which is not to say there isn't drama or competition involved in the gameplay -- if you land on a piece of gum, man, you are fucked. 2. Girl Talk: Truth or Dare Speaking of Girl Talk, most of the games on this list so far are here because they're childhood mainstays and they're fun -- but what would a list involving hipsters be without irony? Not a very thorough one, is what. And as far as playing games while drinking goes, it probably doesn't get more ironic than Girl Talk: Truth or Dare, a soulless game conceived entirely for the purpose of capitalizing on what teen girls were gaga for in 1988 -- things like boys and talking on phones that weren't even cell phones! Bonus: You can use the "truth" component of the game to finally find out who gave you chlamydia. 1. Hungry Hungry Hippos You know why: This game is awesome. Plus, just as you and your siblings annoyed your parents with the noise of ceaselessly pounding on the lever that opens the hippo's mouth, so too shall you annoy everyone in the bar. And isn't that what being a hipster is all about?
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.