If you’re wandering around the Jersey Shore or any other popular destination for college students this summer, you will likely see many people (mostly men) carrying around a bottle of Smirnoff Ice. That bottle will be attached to the back of their pants or in their pocket. Why? There’s a new viral drinking game gaining traction around the country and it’s basically the alcoholic version of Assassin.
The premise of the game is simple: hand a friend a sugary Smirnoff Ice malt beverage and he (most participants have been men) has to drink it on one knee, all at once — unless he is carrying a bottle himself, in which case the attacker must drink both bottles of what Mr. Rospos described as a “pretty terrible” drink.
There are already numerous blogs and websites devoted to ‘icing’ set up. For example, Bros Icing Bros has more than 14,000 Facebook Fans at this point. These sites allow people to basically share with others some of the more creative ways people are ‘icing’ others. Some sneak up on unsuspecting victims, others deposit Smirnoff Ice bottles in bank machines, and others using fishing lines.
The speed with which these websites and students from high school to college have adopted the game mirrors the rapid spread of ‘icing’ from the Web to backyards, living rooms and cubicles around the country, exploding from obscurity in May into a bizarre pastime of college students, young professionals and minor celebrities that counts among its targets the rapper Coolio, the actor Dustin Diamond and members of the rock band The National. A campaign online aims to ice Ashton Kutcher, who often serves as a kind of Kevin Bacon of Web memes, linking disparate areas of the Internet in fewer than six degrees.
“Guys who would never buy Smirnoff before are even buying it now to shield against attacks,” said Kevin Wolkenfeld, a junior at the University of Central Florida in Orlando who documented the phenomenon for the school paper. (According to the rules, the only way to block an attack — besides simply refusing to participate — is by carrying a bottle.) Most players — a widening swath of the campus, he said — would probably stop “if it turns out they’re being used to market a drink they really don’t like.” -The New York Times
Teachers, students, and higher ed administrators; consider this your warning. There’s a new meme sweeping the nation and it’s not particularly healthy. You can read more about Smirnoff’s reaction on the NYT article here.