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Popular Games, Trends, and Information Cascades:

With each style and drinking game, there is a critical turning point decision that must be met by every individual to take part and support it. Take beer pong for example; a universally renown game that simply consists of some plastic cups, some beer, and ping pong balls. How did this game become so much more popular than everything alternative out there? College kids in the 1950’s certainly didn’t play beer pong. Why the trend now? Drinking games are one of the few activities today which remain unaffected by the information and technology age. All variables relating to the game, excluding the fact that the drinking age was 18 at one point, are constant between both time frames. The quick and easy answer: a comprehensible, social, and unique game, giving way to a tremendous information cascade.


Who ever invented beer pong probably did so while inebriated. Funnily enough, the simplistic aspect of the game is probably how and why it has become so popular. One thing we have not discussed thoroughly in class is the effect of activities or substance (i.e. alcohol) on the information cascade effect. Based on an aggregate of first and second hand experiences, the conclusion can be made that under the influence of alcohol, the probability of an information cascade increases significantly. In the end, the rise of beer pong in our culture is a vivid example of an a extremely bold information cascade, propagated on in the very environment in which it was created.


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