Neknomination, a new social media drinking game, is rapidly gaining popularity and going viral. The extreme drinking game consists of challengers downing alcoholic drinks in bizarre, unique and potentially dangerous ways, and then posting videos of it online, according to Radar Online on Jan. 16. They then nominate the next player to outdo them.
A YouTube video on the dangerous new trend by Australia's "A Current Affair" has racked up over 300,000 views itself as of Thursday morning.
Neknominating seems to have taken off mostly in Australia and the U.K.. The practice involves people filming themselves downing the alcohol before setting a challenge for another person to complete.
One Facebook page dedicated to the latest social media craze reads, "Neck your drink. Nominate another. Don't break the chain, don't be a d**k. The social drinking game for social media! #neknominate. Drink Responsibly".
The dangerous drinking game encourages participants to find creative, shocking and newfangled ways of imbibing alcohol, all under the guise of one-upping the previous participant.
One of the most over-the-top videos show one drinker being held upside down by his legs while he laps up alcohol from a toilet bowl. Another challenger chugs a beer on a garage roof before somersaulting into pool below.
In yet another video, a young man is pelted with objects while drinking. A firework is even tossed at him before his shorts are set on fire.
Professor Michael Farrell of the New South Wales Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, compared the new craze to the rowdy antics made popular by Johnny Knoxville and his "Jackass" cohorts.
Farrell described that type of wild behavior as not necessarily very impressive. And it looks like it could get people into a lot of trouble, with a lot of pressure to drink.
It’s competitive, heavy drinking, and that tends to result in people succumbing to alcohol poisoning. "It isn’t a thing to be encouraged at all", Farrell said.
Dr. Sarah Jarvis, medical adviser to the alcohol education charity Drinkaware, warned that competitions to drink in excess over a short time period can be dangerous, and posting videos of these escapades online could affect people down the line.
"Quite apart from the risk of accident or injury as a result of drinking to excess, there is another aspect to these online drinking games which is the 'cybershame' some young people may experience", Jarvis said according to the Independent.
Drinkaware research indicates almost half of those aged 18-24 years admitted un-tagging drunken photos of themselves that they did not want others to see.
However, it is still possible that these photos may eventually be viewed by universities and prospective employers.
"So while it may seem like a lot of fun at the time, the range of negative consequences are no laughing matter", Jarvis said.