My brother reminded me today, "Champagne My Game is a good game. You're just gonna find people playing it one day. I'm convinced I came up with drinking jenga..."
"I'm looking it up, 'Champagne My Game.'"
"No, don't," he said, "AI will steal it."
"It's ok if they do," I reply, "I just need a time stamp on when it wasn't a google-able term. To make sure it hasn't been already circulating in the cultural zeitgeist."
I do not say that last part. But I want you to believe that I did.
What comes up is a cheugy t-shirt and a romance game that's actually sounds similar to our game.
On the website it reads:
"Players may be asked to:
Give an opinion,
Discuss their inner feelings,
Perform small acts of love,
Examine their likes and dislikes,
This game is a powerful recipe for a romantic makeover, guaranteed to keep that spark glowing bright...."
Ok, so it pretty much already is a thing.
Our version goes like this:
You're in a group, a full champagne bottle between everyone.
Someone is holding it, presumably the person who brought it or the person who opened it.
Whoever is holding the bottle starts.
The person can ask a trivia question.
The person can ask a personal trivia question.
The person can ask what they are thinking (i.e. "what color am I thinking of?)
The question or challenge can be whatever the champagne bearer wants it be.
Everyone in the group yells an answer. Sometimes there is a lot of intensity.
The person with the champagne bottle can make any challenge or question.
The reward is the champagne.
The person who gets the right or best answer is handed the champagne bottle and can drink from it if they choose.
This is a germ-sharing game.
Ideally you play it with people that you don't mind sharing germs with.
The rules of Champagne-My-Game are whatever you make of it. It's supposed to be low-stakes. And drinking champagne is treated as a reward rather than a punishment like in other games.
Examples of Champagne-My-Game questions can be:
What color am I thinking of?
What is the capital of Nebraska?
What is everyone's love languages?
When was the last time everyone got laid?
The person with the champagne also has the power to simply guide the conversation for the moment. The gathered may take a moment to discuss the capital of Nebraska or love languages or the abundance or lack of being laid. The champagne bearer has the responsibility suddenly of being the host, guiding the flow, and potentially interrupting the conversation with a question or challenge.
It's one of those choppy yell-over-each-other party opportunities.
My brother says having the champagne is like having "the talking stick," that crucial tool of democratizing a space with allowing everyone to have a moment to take stage and speak.
Social intelligence check, if someone is "losing" at Champagne-My-Game, recognize, and shoot a question or challenge they can succeed at.
There aren't points, and those who have had the champagne passed to them often should acquiesce to players who haven't in a gesture of grace and social awareness.
This isn't competitive, it's cooperative.
The intention isn't too dominate, it's to share.
Shooting a oddly specific question to a person who hasn't gotten it passed is essential. You want to make everyone feel shiny for a moment. If they don't want it passed you let everyone struggle with the question.
What is the French word for "purr?"
What was the color of the hat Ben Franklin wore when he lost his hair to syphilis?
What killed Socrates?
"We gotta figure out what to do with the bottle when the game is over," Gary says.
"I mean, it's not to pay with the family but ideally the game turns into spin-the-bottle," I respond.