Drinking games pour their way into the 21st century

Heather Kemp, Staff Writer

Drinking games have always been popular with the college crowd, and in 2014 it only makes sense that they have found their way onto social media.

Neknominate is a social media based drinking competition with a simple basis; you guzzle down your favorite alcoholic beverage and post a video of it on a website like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

In the post the drinker must hashtag Neknominate and call out the two or three friends that they want to challenge to out drink them.

So far, five deaths have been attributed to the overuse of alcohol in Neknominate, according to an article from CNN.

“Even as a healthy adult, our liver can only process a small amount of alcohol at a time, one drink per hour for most adults with fully functioning livers,” said nutrition Professor Timaree Hagenburger. “When that rate is exceeded, or if the person is young/elderly or has a medical condition, the liver can easily become overwhelmed and the person can suffer from alcohol intoxication, which can be deadly.”

The game, whose origins are in Australia, is now becoming increasingly popular all over the globe, according to the same article from CNN.

While the popularity is growing across the globe, students are divided on the game.

“Hell yes I’d play the game, it sounds fun,” said James Sapigao, a 23-year-old architecture major.

Lai Saeteurn, a 28-year-old sociology major, had a different opinion on whether or not she would take part in the game.

“I don’t drink a lot anymore,” she said. “I drink socially like here and there. I don’t binge drink anymore.”

Brandon Mosley, 24, an English major, was unsure about whether or not he liked the idea of Neknominate’s unsocial social media aspect.

“Yeah, if say you moved out of town and your friend base was out of town then it’d be kind of fun to do, but then it promotes drinking by yourself so I don’t know, I’m split there,” he said.

On the possible dangers of Neknominate, Mosley said he thinks it’s safe if you know your limits.

With social media sites and games coming and going so quickly in this digital age, the question of the longevity of Neknominate and how long it will stay is in question.

“This should be as popular as the Harlem Shake is now in about two weeks,” said Robert Snowden, a radio and digital media professor.  “I am pretty unfamiliar with the game, but I would imagine when the next trend comes along this one will pass.”

Whether the game is still played in two weeks or not, it is causing very real problems right now.

“The hard part is the you may never know how much alcohol it will take for any given person,” Hagenburger said. “Some have died after only a few shots, while other people have survived after drinking much higher quantities of alcohol.”