The Choking Game
Participants in the choking game — typically adolescents — attempt to trigger a high by temporarily depriving the brain of oxygen through strangulation. The choking game is often done with a ligature or another person’s hands around the participant’s neck. A child may also take a deep breath, hold it, and have someone hug him or her from behind until he or she feels dizzy and passes out. This only takes 3-4 minutes for a child to do this.
The choking game is also sometimes called the blackout game, pass-out game, scarf game or space monkey.
The choking game is most common in as young as 6 years old to 24 years of age.
Versions of this game have also been done with water. Children are seeing how long they can hold their breath underwater, and getting the same “adrenaline rush” feeling.
The choking game can result in serious injuries, such as seizures, fractures, permanent brain damage and death. Taken to an extreme, the choking game can be life-threatening. If a child plays the choking game alone and with a scarf or robe tie, for example, he or she may lose consciousness and be unable to release the ligature.
Red Flag Warning Signs:
- Bruises around the neck
- Frequent, often severe headaches
- Bloodshot eyes or small, red facial spots
- Disorientation after being alone
- Sheets, belts, neckties, scarves, robe ties, T-shirts or ropes tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs, or found knotted on the floor
- Mentioning choking games, showing curiosity about asphyxiation
- Having a history of Internet searches about choking games
- Wear marks on furniture
- Small child mimicking the choking game (from seeing someone playing it)
- Trying to see how long they can hold their breath under water
If you notice any of these signs, your child may be experimenting with or playing the choking game.
Other versions and Aliases Used:
- Pass out challenge
- Space monkey
- Suffocation roulette
- Scarf game
- The American dream
- Fainting game
- Speed dreaming game
- Purple hazing
- Blacking out/blackout
- Dream game
- Flat liner
- California choke
- Space cowboy
- Purple dragon
- Cloud nine
- Shallow water blackout
- Water blackout
More info at this link.