Life’s greatest creation is the weekend, which provides stressed and tired students with a much needed 48-hour reprieve from the grind of a Gonzaga academic week. Many Zags will use this time to take a hike or visit downtown Spokane.  

Inevitably, there are the 21 year old GU students that will choose to drink alcohol and socialize, often leading to the playing of drinking games. Yet, the beloved beer die has ascended above the label of drinking game and could be considered a full-fledged hobby among upperclassmen. 

While simple in nature, the game provides of age students with the opportunity to spend some quality time outdoors with friends and catch up. Games last around 15 minutes and usually players run upward of three games per afternoon. 

Beer die possesses lots of attractive qualities. Players enjoy the game’s inherent competitiveness, the quality time outside, the camaraderie or players and the opportunity to spend time with friends while listening to great music. It’s a stress-free environment that allows participants to just chill out and not stress about the demands of school or work.

In terms of the game itself, the dynamic nature of die elevates it above other games as it requires coordination, accuracy and quick reflexes out of its participants. Players cut, jump and dive around grassy backyards and paved patios in hopes of preventing opponent scores. Offensively, each players toss is like a snowflake as in no two are the same. Some folks hunt for the cups, while others hope spin can fool the opponent.  

As a former high school athlete, I feel that die’s physical demands help the excess carbs and calories hit the stomach a little lighter. You’re doing just enough to feel athletic. The static or seated nature of other popular games creates an unengaging environment.  

Also, good players must be multidimensional. Scoring each turn means nothing if you drop each die that comes your way. Close to my heart as a former soccer player is the opportunity to score easy points off FIFA’s, when a defensive player kicks an errant toss to their partner for a point. 

Plus, thanks to the 4-foot by 8-foot plywood table necessary to play, the game offers a relatively COVID-19 friendly outdoor activity for small groups to enjoy. These tables also serve as a blank canvas for off-campus students, with many sleek and humorous tables residing in Logan Neighborhood backyards.

Personally, beer die is something I look forward to on Friday afternoons. All for the low price of your preferred light beer or hard seltzer, beer die allows me to see friends I don’t have the pleasure of sharing classes with during the week. It’s a difficult transition to no longer share a hallway with your best friends but beer die is a way we maintain our relationships and keep it touch. 

GU students love beer die not because of the game, because of the experience. It’s a breath of informality during otherwise busy schedules. Obviously prior to COVID-19, it allowed Zags to gather with their friends they were unable to see during the week. As students draw nearer to entering the real world, beer die offers a perfect opportunity to be a college kid for an afternoon.

Zach Walls is a staff writer. Follow him on Twitter at @ZachWallsTV. 

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