Just when you start to believe in humanity again, you learn about the drinking game “NekNominate.”

NekNominate, or NekNomination, is an Internet drinking craze that has been spreading rapidly via social media in 2014. The game—thought to have originated in Australia—is as simple as it is dumb: Someone completes a drinking dare (a.k.a., a “nek”) then nominates someone else to go next. Videos of the dares are posted all over Facebook and YouTube.

Police have warned of the “catastrophic dangers” of getting involved, but that hasn’t stopped foolish youngsters and old folks alike from wilding out on dares. The craze has seen players consume alcohol mixed with goldfish, insects, engine oil, and dog food.

A quick search on YouTube yields thousands of videos, including this one of a competitor mixing spirits with a dead mouse, then downing the concoction.

Like most nefarious things on the Internet, NekNominate all started with an act of exhibitionism—namely, the woman in the video below stripping in the supermarket and downing a drink.

But things have only escalated from there. There’s even been a rash of extreme McDonald’s-themed Neknomination videos, where “Ronald” consumes a six-pack and multiple shots of liquor, then follows it up with lines of coke and shots of heroin. The video ends with Ronald jumping off the roof of a garage and smashing into a car windshield. Although this was meant as a spoof, it outlines the inherent danger in playing the lethal drinking game—things can get out of hand, fast.

Five men, all under 30 years of age, are believed to have died from playing NekNominate so far. The casualties include Bradley Eames, age 20, who mixed tea bags and gin together and died four days later.


Elaine Hindal, Chief Executive at alcohol education charity Drinkaware, told The Examiner,

“I’m sure we can all remember feeling invincible as a child and keen not be left out of the crowd, but as parents, we know the real danger of a trend which encourages young people to take unnecessary risks and to put pressure on their friends to do the same. “

NekNominate is now played globally, and we’re sure the number of accidents related to the drinking game will only increase overtime. As anyone who went to college knows, people will also play dumb drinking games that can easily go too far. But like the Slap Cam phenomenon, the rise of NekNominate underlines the power of social media to spread bad ideas, particularly to underage users.

[via The Examiner, CNN]