'Possum' drinking game goes global

Last updated 09:25 04/05/2012

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Dunedin students getting drunk in trees to the point of falling out have made international headlines.

A drinking game called "possum" - in which a group of people drink beer in a tree until they fall out from drunkenness - has been causing problems in Dunedin's Botanic Gardens.

People playing the game, presumed to be students, had been leaving behind a mess of glass, cans, food and vomit in the gardens.

International news outlets including The Guardian and The Sun, in the United Kingdom, The Bangkok Post, in Thailand, Le Point, in France, and News24, in South Africa have all picked up the story.

"Authorities in New Zealand raised concerns Thursday about a student drinking game called "possum", in which participants sit in trees downing alcohol until they fall to the ground in a drunken stupor," reported the Bangkok Post.

Some commentators expressed interest in playing the game in their own countries.

"I'll be p****d if this game doesn't make it to the states," one person wrote on The Guardian's website.

Another reader, from South Africa, said: "This is the most fantastic game I have ever heard of! I am going to try it in Johannesburg soon!"

However, others were less impressed with the New Zealand drinking culture.

Comments on The Sun's website expressed their concern over the safety of drinking in trees.

"How silly are they. Their lives could be ruined by this broken backs, necks or anything," one person wrote.

While Dunedin has been the focus of the news, it appears the game has been played around the country with readers saying they've taken part in trees in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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