How hard is it to avoid hearing a particular song? Ask the participants of one of the most bizarre traditions of the Christmas season, the game Whamageddon. The objective of the game is to go as long as possible without hearing Wham!’s classic “Last Christmas”. According to the rules, you’re out as soon as you recognize the song, and you must then post on social media that you’ve been hit using the hashtag #whamageddon.
“Last Christmas” was released in 1984 by the English pop duo Wham!, which was formed by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. It spent five weeks at number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and it has grown more and more popular over the years. Since 2016, it has been in the Chart’s top ten every Christmas season.
It is therefore understandable that Whamageddon is a difficult game. With Christmas songs playing everywhere over the holidays, it’s not unusual to come across Wham!’s song when you least expect it. That was the case for 7,000 spectators at Northampton Stadium on December 2 as they watched their home team play against Portsmouth. Matt Facer, the stadium DJ, played “Last Christmas” intentionally during halftime to take out any potential Whamageddon players in the crowd. The prank didn’t go down well. “I never knew people took it so seriously,” said Mr Facer after being criticised at the stadium and on social media.
Whamageddon has its own website and Facebook page. It was invented by a group of Danish friends who point out that the game is not about hating the song or pop music. Their goal is to add levity to a season that, for some, can be stressful or lonely. “If we can add a little bit of fun,” said one of them, “I think it’s worthwhile.”
1) Do you like Christmas? What are some traditions that you follow during the holiday season?
2) What’s the strangest game you’ve ever played? Describe.