Party Game History: Shindig Activities from 1920-2020

Although house parties are a relatively new invention, human beings have actually been partying it up for centuries! Whether in homes, taverns, castles, or halls, our ancestors rarely missed an opportunity to get rowdy with their friends. 

In the Middle Ages, parties and feasts were usually political affairs. Kings and nobles would often host parties as a way to build and reinforce their alliances with other kingdoms. As common people got richer over time, parties became less formal events that could be hosted by anyone – not just royal monarchs. Then, at the turn of the 1900s, parties really started taking off! Music got more accessible, culture exploded, and the modern house party was born. 

If you’re planning on hosting a party in the near future, you’re probably looking for some inspiration in terms of the theme, decorations, and entertainment you’ll offer. At AUXGOD, our team is full of party fanatics. So we decided to use this blog as a chance to take a look at how party games have evolved over the past century. Whether you’re a history buff or a host searching for last-minute inspiration, here’s a look at how people have partied over the years!

1920s: Jazz, Flappers, and Speakeasies

With the First World War over, the people were tired of conflict. They wanted nothing more than to hang out with friends, celebrate the peace, and party it up. Unfortunately, the government had a different idea. When the prohibition on alcohol came into effect in 1920, parties went underground, and so did the games. During this period, card games and gambling like blackjack and poker became all the rage!

1930s: The Great Depression

In the early 1930s, the world got hit by a crippling economic depression. As money lost value and people lost jobs, the extravagant lifestyles of the 1920s disappeared. Instead, people who wanted to party needed games that required minimal equipment and investment. Simplicity was the name of the game. At this time, Charades got picked up as a game that party guests could play without needing anything except their own bodies and a creative attitude!

1940s: Wartime Memories

With the dawn of World War II, people once again found themselves in the midst of a global conflict. As hundreds of thousands of soldiers got shipped off to fight in Europe, Asia, and Africa, families got separated for years at a time. With troops deployed overseas, the soldiers needed a way to remember their families and look forward to coming home. As such, trivia games about popular culture, music, and film became commonplace at parties both in North America and overseas!

1950s: Cold War Competitions

The bad guys were defeated, but the Cold War had begun. As the United States and Soviet Russia became sworn enemies, they needed ways to compete against each other that didn’t involve guns. During this time, strategic games like chess and checkers became a mainstay of society – with both countries trying to produce the smartest and most tactical players. Eventually, chess made its way into the party scene as everyday folks wanted to test their skills and challenge their friends. 

1960s: Hipster Culture

In the 1960s, culture loosened up as people grew weary of constant international conflict. With the anti-war and hipster movement gaining momentum, people just wanted to chill out and listen to some music. The 1960s also saw the dawn of the Mad Libs game, where players filled in the blanks and had some good laughs with their friends.

1970s: The Rise of Video Games

In the 1970s, a new form of entertainment became accessible to the masses: video games. For the first time, party people could get their party entertainment from a screen. Although the games of the 1970s were primitive by today’s standards, they weren’t any less prevalent. Video games became a permanent aspect of parties, along with some other popular party games like spin the bottle and Twister.

1980s: Disco Revolution

The 1980s are perhaps the most recognizable era in the history of music. With artists and bands like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Prince, and Queen taking over the radio, parties became all about showing off your musical taste. Dance battles became big in the 80s – both at discos and in people’s houses.

1990s: Hip-Hop’s Golden Era

The 1990s were hip-hop’s golden era. As hip-hop superstars like Tupac, Snoop Dogg, and Ice Cube dominated the airwaves, it’s no surprise that everyday people wanted to be like their favorite rappers. Party guests wanted to see who had the best and fastest rhymes – bringing about the dawn of the infamous rap battle!

2000-2010s: Video Game Mania

Although video games entered the party scene in the 1970s, it’s the 2000s and 2010s when they blew up to the level they are at today! As video games became more sophisticated and game systems let more players compete at once, party games went digital. This trend continues today, although party people are starting to get tired of staring at screens all day long.

2020s: The Age of AUXGOD

Although shindigs have made some serious progress since the 1920s, no party game comes close to AUXGOD. AUXGOD is our new music card game that you can use to make your next celebration an evening to remember! It involves three teams of guests facing off and putting their music tastes to the test – finding out who has the best playlist once and for all. This is a game that’s guaranteed to bring life to your party and get your guests moving. If you want to make some new memories with your friends and family this decade, there’s no better way than with an AUXGOD card deck! 

Ready to get started? Click here to visit our shop and order your AUXGOD deck today!

Still a little skeptical? That’s fine – we expected that. If you’re on the fence, you can visit our website’s home page and download 20 free cards to print out and try before investing in a full AUXGOD card deck!

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