The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Facebook drinking sensation, NekNomination takes five lives

Antony Marchiando
Photo Illustration

Move over Edward Fortyhands, beer pong and keg stands—there’s a new drinking game in town that is associated with five deaths.

A YouTube search of NekNominate or NekNomination, turns up a wealth of bizarre videos. Drinking out of a toilet bowl, mixing alcohol with urine, backflips off a bridge and lighting a person on fire before downing drinks has become the new standard of this game.

College students, including those underage, have participate in the nominations.

“I saw a guy on Del Playa Drive at a party chugging Fireball and kids were throwing eggs at him,” said Spencer Holmes, business major who lives in Isla Vista. “Someone told me he was doing a NekNomination.”

Story continues below advertisement

According to CNN, NekNominate is associated with five male deaths under the age of 30. Some deaths were caused after contestants decided to switch from beer to hard liquor. Others died after they performed the outrageous stunts.

“There’s always those people who take drinking too far. It’s going to get out of hand,” Holmes said. “Some people take 15 shots in one video and people can die because of that.”

In Ireland, Johnny Byrne, 19, died trying to complete his nomination dare. According to BBC News, he chugged three different types of alcohol then jumped into a river. Byrne drowned and his body was found the next day.

The anticipation of getting nominated is a game itself. The American College Health Association and National College Health Assessment states 43 percent of City College students consumed alcohol in the past one to nine days.

“I think the dangers of drinking games is that people get excited and tend to drink more when participating,” said Ben Murphy, Substance Abuse Counselor. “This particular game is publicly romanticizing drinking and making it a sport. I think people should be excited about the college experience in a healthy way.”

Murphy said having peers cheer on participants often lends to the negative results of binge drinking.

“The more you drink, it seems like you’re reinforced for it,” Murphy said. “There is plenty of games that encourage drinking. For most people it’s not too serious, but sometimes there’s serious consequences.”

Murphy suggests there are better activities to do with spare time than videotaping oneself consuming alcohol.

Ron Taylor, 21, international business major, shared from his Facebook a video of himself chugging a Coors in five-seconds. He eventually deleted his NekNomination video.

Taylor said people over the legal drinking age should do as they please but everyone must keep responsible drinking in mind.

“This is more a game of tag with alcohol,” Taylor said. “It’s a whole new game all together. You need to know your limits.”

Here’s how it works—people are nominated by a peer to film themselves chugging or ‘necking’ an alcoholic drink, usually a beer, in strange ways. The participant posts the footage on Facebook or Twitter then nominates three friends to follow suit.

The rules declare the nominated person has 24 hours to upload their video. NekNominees must upstage the original video by downing more than one alcoholic drink or engaging in outrageous stunts during or after the dare.

“It becomes a competition because you are trying to top someone else,” Holmes said. “I think why it has caught on is because it’s exciting to get a notification that you are nominated and have a time limit to think of something.”

A rival is ridiculed on social networking sites for not participating in the challenge. If the task is incomplete the friend must buy their original nominator a 30-rack of beer.

Created in Australia earlier this year, the game has crossed the water and has taken American’s social media pages by storm. Because the game is less than three months old, there is no official statistic report of its popularity.

“Honestly it has blown up. I see at least 50 different NekNominations a day online,” Holmes said. “I’ve seen probably every one of my friends do it.”

The new era of technology demands risk takers for this game.

“One of my friends did a keg stand then walked over did another keg stand and he got smashed in the video. He was doing it to try to impress,” Holmes said. “Some people go really crazy with it and I didn’t. I just drank a beer on the beach.”

While one beer on the beach may be relatively harmless, other NekNominations have proved dangerous. The game is making global headlines because of reported deaths.

More to Discover