independent

Friday 18 April 2014

MEAS concern as 'Neck Nominations' Facebook game reaches Ireland

Hail to the ale: Teen drinking can only be tackled if we look at our attitude as adults and our free and easy approach to alcohol

A game which requires participants to 'neck' a pint on camera has drawn criticism from MEAS.

The 'game' begins when one person takes a video of themselves drinking a pint in one go. The video is then posted on Facebook, where two people are 'tagged' to complete the challenge next.

The people 'tagged' then have 24 hours to complete the challenge.

What started as a joke in private Facebook groups has now spread across the site, with the trend coming to Ireland in recent weeks.

Fionnuala Sheehan, chief executive of the Mature Enjoyment of Alcohol in Society (MEAS) confirmed to Independent.ie that the body is "very concerned" about the "game".

'It's a practice that we are very concerned about. Irish people have a propensity to drink a lot and very quickly - and we are worried that this game could exacerbate this. In particular, it's a concern that the posting of the images could appeal to and be taken up by vulnerable younger drinkers."

Several Facebook pages for the game have popped up around the site, ranging from hundreds to thousands of 'likes'. The first page was created in April 2013 but the first posts appeared last December.

These pages often repost videos of participants publicly, removing the 'privacy' protections participants believe they benefit from by playing the game on Facebook.

The page claiming to be the original creator of the game, set up in December 2013, have created a Twitter account in an attempt to migrate the game across platforms but videos have already sprung up across YouTube, Instagram and Vine. One Instagram video even shows a male participant 'downing' a full bottle of wine as his 'NeckNominate' contribution.

Irish 'players' complete the challenge in it's most basic form, whereas some American participants have included rules relating to 'creativity'. Several YouTube videos have been posted, which range from participants creating concoctions involving alcohol and spices in an effort to outdo other players to male players 'necking' a pint while a female partygoer grinds on them.

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