A drinking game to die for

The classic pick-up line asking for a martini shaken not stirred, seemed to work just fine for James Bond. However, a new era of technology clearly demands for more. A pint of vodka mixed with dishwashing soap, raw eggs, and topped with a goldfish has become the new standard. An online drinking game referred to as Nek Nominations is spreading like a viral virus on websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and has provoked a wave of discussion.

The rules for the game are simple. If you get nominated by someone you are challenged to make a video of yourself, traditionally “necking” a pint of beer within the time span of 24 hours. Once you've accomplished your mission, it's your turn to share the clip on the World Wide Web and nominate a friend, family member, neighbor, or complete stranger and challenge them to reply with an even more outlandish mutant drink.

The online craze started to spread like wildfire in the beginning of this year. Its origin is still unclear but according to British newspaper The Independent, the trend began in Australia.

What started off as a playful form of entertainment quickly escalated and became a dangerous game, at times even fatal. Soon enough videos of people drinking everything from cold beer out of a toilet, to a cocktail mixed with four mice, a spider, grasshoppers and their larvae, were shared on YouTube.

According to CNN the game has already claimed five victims under 30 in England and Ireland. This happened after some contestants decided to switch from beer to hard liquor.

For Santa Monica College student Josefin Ersson, Nek Nominations are stupid and unsafe, “In some videos people are drinking alcohol right before they go to school and work, it's dangerous,” she said.

She thinks that people over 21-years-old should be able to do whatever they want but that they should keep in mind the negative effects of the game on underage individuals, because it encourages dangerous drinking. Ersson suggests that there are more important things to do with your time than videotaping yourself consuming alcohol.

“I would never want to have a video of myself drinking beer on Facebook,” Ersson said.

She also points out that uploading a Nek Nomination clip could potentially create a negative image of yourself that others will see.

SMC student David Cvictorino has seen a couple of Nek videos and thinks it sounds like a good time. He insisted that if he were nominated he would gladly take part but with his own touch of originality.

“Watching people drink anything that is stronger than beer is more fun, so if I was nominated I would definitely try to neck a whole bottle of liquor just like the people in the videos I have seen,” Cvictorino said.

Some people have tried to find more positive uses for the game.

Brent Lindesque, a man from Johannesburg, got more than 700,000 views on his Nek Nomination YouTube clip, when he decided to create his own challenge.

Instead of drinking beer, Lindesque filmed himself handing out a sandwich, a chocolate bar and a coke to a homeless man at a traffic junction.

"Downing a can of Castle Light is easy... imagine if we all harnessed the power of social media to make a real difference in people's lives," Lindesque wrote in the description of his video.

Whatever forms it might take, until the trend dies out, Nek Nominations will be the subject of cyber fodder for some time to come.