Online drinking challenge spreads to Bay Area

Shauna Perigo

Neknominate, a viral drinking game that originated in Australia, has recently spread all over the globe, including the Bay Area.

The game consists of one person posting a video of themselves drinking a large amount of alcohol, sometimes combined with other kitchen ingredients mixed together in a blender, to a social media website such as Facebook or Twitter and then nominating a friend to do the same.

Unfortunately, the game has caused numerous deaths due to excessive alcohol consumption. According to CNN, at least five people under age 30 have died as a result of playing the game.

The viral game has recently been brought to Redwood. Senior Luke Pfeiffer was nominated to participate in the game by his friend Ben Barrett, who lives in England, and he invited his friend Adam Loo to join him.

When Pfeiffer was nominated, he and Loo did not know that the game had official rules. Instead, they just combined several different ingredients into a blender.

“We thought it was supposed to be as gross as you can get it and chug it, but we had no idea that there were rules that you had to have a whole pint and a lot of alcohol and you have to chug it all and then nominate somebody else,” Pfeiffer said.

According to Barrett, the game has become very popular in Europe. He said the game officially started out as people chugging an entire pint of alcohol.

“It started in Australia where they drank as much alcohol as they could. At first they would drink pints of Foster’s, which is Australian beer,” Barrett said. “Over social media networks like Twitter and Facebook they would nominate their friends and it spread slowly and then it spread into different countries through social networking.”

Barrett said the game has evolved to include less alcohol and more ingredients.

“It became all extreme and people started to use different ingredients,” Barrett said. “They would try to down as much as they could to impress their friends and stuff. Then people started to nominate multiple people at a time and they would consume as much alcohol as they could and make weird concoctions like egg and protein shakes.”

Pfeiffer and Loo did just that–they looked through Pfeiffer’s house to find the grossest and funniest things they could find to add to the drink.

“We got a ton of random stuff–the most disgusting ingredients. We had eggs, licorice, coffee beans, an Omega pill, fish oil, lemon juice, a York Peppermint Patty Bitesize, instant oatmeal, and more,” Pfeiffer said.

Barrett agreed that the game can be dangerous.

“I think people have died actually,” Barrett said. “One guy downed a whole bottle of Jack Daniels. It started moving away from alcohol towards the end and doing weird stuff instead because people don’t like drinking alcohol in public and posting it on Facebook and stuff.”

Unlike Barrett, Pfeiffer and Loo were not knowledgeable about the effects of the game and had no idea that people had died from it. According to Pfeiffer, the two did not include much alcohol in their drink and were unable to consume much more than a sip.

“At that time we just thought you put a ton of crap in just for fun. We didn’t know that people would actually take it seriously,” Pfeiffer said. “We didn’t know it was a liter so we kind of filled up small cups halfway and we just couldn’t even drink that because of the coffee beans and I guess maybe the alcohol, too. It really hit us.”

Loo had trouble even swallowing the drink.

“We just couldn’t do it,” he said. “Nothing went down my throat. Everything that went down my throat went back up. We didn’t realize that we had to finish it either.”

Pfeiffer and Loo immediately posted their video onto Facebook and tagged who they were nominating in the caption. The unofficial rules of the game state that the nominated people then have 24 hours to upload a video of their own.

“The people we nominated knew more about it then we did and they went back and were like, ‘Haha you guys didn’t do it right, you’re supposed to have a whole liter of alcohol,’” Loo said.

Both Pfeiffer and Loo said that they saw the game as a simple challenge.

“It’s self-inflicted. We knew what we were putting in it and it didn’t seem dangerous,” Loo said.

According to Barrett, the game is slowly disappearing.

“It’s like a craze,” he said. “The craze is almost gone right now. It’s like Temple Run. It’s kind of going but it’s still around for a bit because it’s really dramatic and everything. Last week or the week before, it was crazy. Your feed was just spammed with videos.”