If you are not familiar with the “choking game”, it involves the intentional cutting off of one’s oxygen to the brain in order to produce euphoria and a loss of consciousness. You may have heard it referred to by another name, such as the fainting game.
In the United States, 82 people between the ages of six years old and 19 years old died between 1995 and 2007.
Based on that statistic, it is obvious that the deadly game has been going on for quite a while; it has been estimated that the game has actually been played since the 1930’s, and someone may be playing right now as you read this article.
@MLA_Karen is supporting her friend Kerri Workman who bravely stood up and spoke at the Women Talk event about how she and her husband Malcolm lost their 11 year old son Bryce to the Choking Game. pic.twitter.com/QQFS9p5thX
— yycmackaynosehill (@mackaynosehill) February 22, 2018
According to a report put forth by the United States’ CDCP in 2008, most of the victims of the choking game were boys who were aged between 11 years and 16 years old.
It was also reported that about 1,400 kids and teenagers died from 2000 to 2015 because of strangulation and accidental hanging.
According to Time magazine, that figure is only about 500 less than the number of kids and teenagers who died from accidental gunshot wounds during that period of time.
Even more scary is the fact experts and advocates are worried that the choking game problem may actually be getting worse, not better. Of course, this many not be totally surprising considering the bizarre crazes out there—such as the Tide Pod challenge.
As we mentioned above, the choking game involves asphyxiating yourself; the lack of oxygen to your brain caused by the choking results in a loss of consciousness, and then it can cause a sense of euphoria when you finally start breathing once more. It is essentially a form of getting high—and a very dangerous one at that.
It goes by several other names, such as “Flatliner” and “Space Money”. There are thousands of videos online showing people participating in the potentially deadly game.
A site called “Games Adolescents Shouldn’t Play” was started by a woman named Sharron Grant. She started the site, which is also known as GASP, because her son Jessie died in 2005 as a result of playing the choking game; he was doing so with a computer cord and accidentally suffocated himself.
Garrett Pope Jr. is another victim of the game. Considered a normal kid of 11 from the state of South Carolina, Garrett strangled himself and died. His father wrote a Facebook post about it.
According to the post, Garrett was his oldest son and was in the 6th grade at his middle school. He had just started playing football. The father described his son as an amazing son and brother—as well as smart and funny.
Garrett’s dad said that he did not know where Garrett learned the choking game; his guess is from other kids at school or in their neighborhood. He made it clear that the death—described as senseless—was not intentional on the part of Garrett. He simply took the choking game too far.
For obvious reasons, the dad does not want other families to go through what his family has gone through, and urges parents to talk about the game with their children so that future tragedies can be prevented.
This “game” isn’t just impacting the United States. There have also been victims in the United Kingdom. Back in 2016, a boy from Birmingham named Karnel Haughton died playing the game. He was 12 years old at the time of his death. He lost consciousness in his bedroom and was found shortly thereafter by his mother.
Another United Kingdom resident who perished as a result of the game is Jack Pickles, who was from West Yorkshire. He was 14 when he died. He was also playing the game in his bedroom. Selina Booth, his mother, thinks he started playing the game because he saw others doing it online. She ended up going on The Jeremy Kyle Show in order to share her story and warn others about the dangers of the game.
Erik Robinson is another strangulation victim from the United States. He died in 2010 and was 12 years old. He tied a rope around his neck and made the tragic, deadly decision to hang it from a pull-up bar in the kitchen of his family’s home.
It should go without saying that parents should talk to their children about this disturbing trend. Signs that a child may be playing it include marks on the neck, bloodshot eyes, and severe headaches.