Neknominate, which involves people posting videos online of themselves downing alcohol, before nominating a friend to do the same, arrived in Italy recently after gaining popularity in Australia, the US and across Europe.
The game has already had a dangerous impact, with one Sicilian teenager ending up in a coma after taking part. Around the world, at least five people are thought to have died after playing Neknominate.
Despite getting a foothold, Italians are now fighting back against the foreign import.
They have launched “Booknomination”; a literary alternative now gathering pace on Facebook which promises to replace beer with books.
“The rules of the game are exactly the same…[but] instead of being obliged to gulp down a beer in a second, guys must open a book and read a passage in front of a webcam,” says a Facebook group dedicated to the new craze.
The possible outcomes are multiple, according to the Booknomination group: It could be “a load of crap, or way to open a book that we’ve forgotten, or one we have always wanted to read, or simply a way to get to know works we didn’t know already.”
Since being launched yesterday, the BookNominations Italia group has already gained over 200 members and its first video. Others clips have been posted on Facebook profiles using the #booknomination hashtag, from regions including Emilia-Romagna, Molise and Lombardy.