NEKNOMINATION is an online drinking game that has gained momentum in recent weeks in Ireland. The aim of the game is to down a pint of alcohol and then nominate someone else to do the same, giving them a window of 24 hours to do so. Most people who take part make a video of themselves carrying it out, and post it on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.
The concept of the game has been described as: "Neck your drink. Nominate another. Don't break the chain, don't be a d***. The social drinking game for social media! #neknominate. Drink Responsible". Some try to take Neknomination to extremes, downing disgusting cocktails or aiming to be ever-more flamboyant or outrageous, sometimes with dangerous results.
The deaths of two young people this weekend have been linked to the game, causing concerns as to the impact the trend is having on young people and drinking habits.
President of the Union of Students in Ireland Joe O'Connor, below, said: "I know from my own Facebook feed how quickly the game has taken off. Last week most people hadn't heard of it and now videos of 'neknominations' are all over the internet." The students' union has noticed a trend in the Irish abroad taking part in the game and nominating their friends back home. "The trend has become really popular among those who've emigrated," Mr O'Connor said. "I suppose many people get a kick out of seeing their friends back home, some of whom they might not have seen in a while, take part."
Many agencies for young people have raised concerns about the competitive nature of the game and its potential for cyber-bullying. Some people who refuse to take part are ridiculed online. The trend is thought to have started in London or Australia last year and caught on among Irish emigrants who have, in turn, passed the trend on to friends back home.