Introducing the 24-Hour Challenge (or Neknominate)

24 Hour Challenge Screenshot

“Every 3 minutes, there’s a new drinking game developed and played somewhere in the world.”

I just made that up. But it sounds like it could be true, right? Every country, every city, every town, and every college campus has it’s own unique drinking game(s). I remember visiting my buddies at various colleges when we were all in school, and after every weekend, I’d bring home a new drinking game.

Typically, the games involved a deck of cards, some plastic cups, ping pong balls, and maybe some quarters. But the times they are a’changin.

I read about this thing called “neknominate” a few weeks back. It started in Australia, and basically, it goes like this: one Aussie bro does something outrageous while chugging a beer, films it, posts it to his various social media channels, and “neknominates” a fellow Aussie bro to do the same. And the viral chain spreads.

Well, I kind of wanted to write about this, but I decided to leave it alone. It was going pretty wild in the Land Down Under, but I didn’t anticipate it spreading to the states. That is, until I was scrolling through my own personal Facebook news feed the other day, and I saw a video posted by a friend of mine. It started with her in a homemade igloo, “jamming out to some tunes.” She hopped out of the igloo, shotgunned a beer, thanked a friend for “the nomination,” then nominated three more people, and told them, “You have 24 hours.”

My Friend Lauren in her 24-Hour Challenge Igloo

What’s this? I thought. She mentioned nothing of Neknomination, yet it seemed super similar. So, I did a little digging. Turns out, the game has spread to Canada, where our Neighbors to the North put an interesting spin on it.

Now branded as the “24-Hour Challenge,” the game in the US and Canada works like this: If you’re nominated by a friend, you must chug a beer, out in the cold  – preferably in your underwear – thank the person who nominated you, nominate 2 or 3 friends, and tell them they have 24 hours to complete the challenge. And, obviously, you have to film this insanity and share it with everyone on your social networks.

Here in Buffalo, we’re pretty close to Canada. So I’m not quite sure how far the game has spread, but it’s now assaulting my news feeds. In other words, it’s catching on.

24-hour challenge image

If you’ve read this far, you might be thinking, so, what’s the point? Well, first, I just think it’s super interesting. Not only are people willing to perform these outlandish stunts out in the freezing cold, but they’re willing to film it and share it with everyone they know. Sure, my initial thought was that it’s rather silly, and somewhat pointless, but then I heard about the “24 Hour Group Challenge for Matt Risi.” 

Matt is a Canadian who’s been fighting Lyme disease for the last 10 years. With his health worsening, he’s in need of $80,000 to pay for a number of upcoming medical treatments.

Among other things, Matt’s friends and family will be filming a group beer chugging video to raise money for these treatments. The Facebook page for the event has also become a sort of viral epicenter for 24-Hour Challenge videos.

So, sure, Neknominate and the 24-Hour Challenge are a bit childish, and sometimes, even dangerous. But if it’s causing some good for someone like Matt Risi, I say go for it. And if you’re comfortable sharing something like this, and your stunt is safe, I say more power to you. You might say, why not hold some other kind of fundraising event? Why must they play this stupid game? Well, I’d simply respond by saying that they’re taking advantage of a viral trend, and using it to get publicity for their cause. And it’s working. That’s why.

If you’re interested in the cause for Matt Risi (or you want to view some 24-Hour Challenge videos), check out the Event’s Facebook page and the donation page here.

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