Yes, this is an old game
In 1977 in London, Ontario, when we were only 12 years old, my 'girlfriends' and I used to play a similar game as the 'choking game' in the school bathroom. We would each take turns helping each other 'faint'. It started with deep breathing until we were dizzy, then with arms around your abdomen from the rear; someone would squeeze you until the next recollection was waking up with a tingling sensation all over your body, on the bathroom floor, completely disoriented. This game has evolved into something very deadly. I was surprised that young pre-teens risk their lives with this "secret" game and how it is now responsible for so many deaths, mistakenly claimed to be suicides. Perhaps the school system could help save some lives by targeting the age group most likely to engage in this 'game' by holding a one day 'special guest' seminar to educate them on the dangers and perhaps offer some alternative, safe activities to occupy themselves with.
Re: An old game
I don't remember a time this game did not exist. I recall kids playing it in the early 1950's in Calgary, AB. Nor did it ever go away. It didn't have any hip street name back then nor was it called a game. It was just "Hey, let's do the thing(s) that made you pass out." It was done for the cool feeling we would now call a rush. I wouldn't do it with anyone because I did not trust anyone. When I got into my early teens, I did do it alone. After one terrifying experience at about 16 with hanging myself I quit doing it. While the activity started out for the rush, it turned into a sexual activity when I hit puberty. It is very addictive and, as we know, children and teenagers cannot yet experience the reality of their own death. I know adults who play with breathe control for sexual reasons. I think they are crazy. From the statistics on one of the sites, it is clear people were doing this back in the 1930's too. I bet it is painted on the brothel walls in Pompeii. If you pay attention to young children you can see them spinning until they fall down. Humans, and many other animals, seek out such sensations through activities and substances. It appears to be a common drive and we need to recognize that it is not, per se, an abberation and approach it that way. Millions of dollars are spent to find out why people do drugs, hang themselves for fun, and engage in risky activities like car surfing. We know why. It is because it is pleasurable, more pleasurable than the mundane. For people whose day-to-day existence is painful, they get the fun and the escape. People seek happiness and, in our culture, happiness is equated with pleasure. In our intense times the goal is intense pleasure. One definition of insanity is to keep doing things the same way despite the fact that it does not work. We have to apply what we are learning about the human brain and human needs and stop looking for an answer that is premised on outdated beliefs and values. We need to educate our children for this world and this time, not some vision of a perfect world that never existed and will not exist. People will continue to pursue altered states of consciousness just as cats will seek out catnip, honey suckle, and mint to get a rush. It is easy to teach ways of achieving such states with healthy activities. A side benefit is that meditation and mindfulness practice lead to a more balanced and happy person with less need or desire to use dangerous ways of coping.
I'm 16 years old and have experienced the Choking Game
Hi my name is Lyndsey, I am 16 and my Mother Cindy recently told me about the choking game. I have had some experiences with this game. The only difference is that my friends and I would call it Black Out.
How we would start out playing this game is, we would sit on the ground with our knees up and leaning over with our elbows on our knees. We would then take really hard breaths in and out until we couldn't handle it any more. Almost like hyperventilation. We would take one last breath in really hard and lean back on a chair or lay on the ground. Then someone would press with all their body weight on our neck but not to close to our bronchial tube. While they are doing this, our breath is leaving our lungs but they wouldn't let go until our body state was totally relaxed. At that time we felt like we were in a dream and didn't know what we were doing but our friends could see what was happening. Some people when they are passed out, they would laugh, feel a tingling body sensation when waking up. When they wake up they feel refreshed and ask what they did. My friends would then tell them what happened. One time I witnessed this girl, she was laughing and having a good time,while passed out and then my friend actually punched her in her face. She stopped laughing for a second and then kept on laughing after she got punched. After wards she asked why her face hurt, so then we told her what happened. She laughed and then the next girl was up to try the game black out. Another time one of my really good friends decided to try the game. I was there with her and one of my other good friends was going to preform the game on her. She did what she was told to do and she blacked out. She laughed for a good 10 seconds and just when she started waking up she urinated. This game obviously makes the brain very confused and she lost control of her bodily functions. I remember this game got introduced when I was in grade school. It got more popular when I was in Junior High School but didn't last long.
I have played this game before also and at first I was scared, not knowing if I would wake up or not. As a young child of course you want to try things not knowing the dangers of the game. We just thought it was "fun" but more and more kids are hearing about this. There is a possibility that if more kids find out about this game, we may hear of more deaths. We as a society, need to do something about it. I find it very offensive how the system seems to be overlooking this game. We need to know the truth and consider the fact that suicide may not be suicide. I would be just devastated if my younger cousins, that are in grade school now, knew of this game; morevover, tried it or even think of trying it.
I just can't say how appaulled I am at age 16 how the system is handling this situation. As I said before, we as a society NEED to do something about this new up coming "fun" game for kids to play. Let's not have anymore accidental deaths happen to our childern of the future.
The Passing Out Game
I watched the Fifth Estate program which aired March 15, 2006 and I was saddened to hear of the parents who lost their children but also saddened on how naive our system is to overlook what the truth really is. I felt compelled to call the coroner myself and tell him about my story growing up when we called the Choking Game, the Passing Out Game. My friends and I didn't use objects around our necks we would take 10 deep breaths to hyperventilation and then a friend would stand behing us, hold the person around the stomach to cut off air to lungs, we would hold our breath until we "passed out." I am 46 now back then I was only 16 years old. This is a serious issue and needs to be researched and not overlooked. I was happy to know that Dr MacNab is doing the work around this sensitive issue. I am confident that his findings will be factual and reasuring to those parents who need comfort, truth and understanding.
I had also spoken to my sixteen year old daughter who is aware of this game. She shared with me that when she was in grade school, girls and boys played this game and she witnessed two girls in the school washroom using their hands to choke themselves. I had also spoken to a co-worker who is now 21 years old. When she was in high school, she too witnessed her peers playing this game, hands around the neck, choking each other until they lost Conscientious.
My heart goes out to Amanda Bryant, my prayers are with you and I hope you will find the truth and that the systems works with you and opens up their mind to this possibility. God Bless you all.
An old game
Like Ann L., I tried this 'game' when I was in grade school. This would have been 1990 in New Brunswick. It was something I learned from other schoolmates, and was relatively common among students of grades 5-6. We used a self strangulation technique where we would grab our neck with palms on either side of the trachea restricting blood flow causing us to pass out. We were eventually caught doing this on the playground and reprimanded enough to prevent us from doing it any longer. I'm glad this is getting recognized as a problem and is something we need to create more awarness of in parents and teachers alike. My thoughts are with those who've lost to this lethal game.
Re: Accidental hangings of our youth must stop REPLY
I am 42 years of age and believe it or not I used to play that "game" when I was a child in the suburbs of Chicago. From vague memory it was somewhere around 1974 and I was around 10-12 years old? This story really caught my attention. I thought "oh my god I used to do that!" My older brother would have all the kids line up and he'd pick us up by the neck (literally) for maybe 10 seconds and let us pass out on the bed while my sisters stood around laughing waiting for their turn. I remember it feeling "really cool" it was a game it was "fun" to feel all tingly and it was similar to happy gas at the dentist. We are all educated normal successful adults today however at the time I had no idea how dangerous it was. I guess I just wanted people to know this "game" is not NEW by any means. Unfortunately its been going on for a lot longer than people know. I hope my info can help families know this is not new.
My deepest condolences for anyone who has lost a child from this.
Los Angeles, CA
Accidental hangings of our youth must stop
Parents need to know this is really happening and it is happening more than America and the world knows because it is not talked about! My boy was the 2nd child this month at Kaiser No. hosp. in Sac. Ca. to die from this! The other I heard was 12 yrs. Old. Accidentally they died!!! Feeling helpless and still loving all four of my children,
Sarah A. Pacatte
Blacking out: Choking: Passout: Fainting: Spacemonkey The above titles are the names of a game that's becoming popular among some junior and senior high school students. It involves one person hyperventilating then holding the breath while another person bear hugs them from behind. This hug and breath holding enhances an effect called Valsalva Maneuver (VM). VM is the technique that weightlifters instinctively employ when lifting heavy weights. They hold their breath and squeeze their abdominal muscles as they lift. The net effect of VM is an increase in intrathoracic pressure (inside the chest cavity) which creates high pressure on the great veins (superior and inferior vena cava). This high pressure on the great veins reduces blood return to the heart which in turn, reduces blood output from the heart. When blood output to the brain is reduced, brain oxygen is reduced (cerebral hypoxia) and the person faints or passes out.
Are these games dangerous? It can be. Repeated bouts of cerebral hypoxia has the potential to cause brain damage. For individuals with heart disease or certain vascular diseases Valsalva Maneuver can cause heart attack, stroke, or other cardio vascular damage. Most of the time as soon as the person faints they return to normal breathing and recover in a few minutes. Headaches may follow.
Are these games autoerotic asphyxia? Only if it is combined with masturbation--that's the auto (self) erotic (sex) part.
Below is a link to an article published in our local paper regarding the death of my boy Gabriel Harry Mordecai, age 13, 3 weeks from his 8th grade graduation. http://www.paradisepost.com/Stories/
Gabriel Harry Mordecai
Gabriel Harry Mordecai of Paradise, Ca, entered into eternal rest on May 6, 2005, surrounded by his loving father, mother, grandmother, brothers, sister, numerous family members and friends.
Born on July 31, 1991 in Quincy, Gabriel lived in Paradise for 10 years and attended Paradise Elementary School, Evergreen Academy, and Paradise Intermediate School, where he would have graduated eighth grade this June. Gabriel was and will always be a precious gift who blessed us. Gabriel was unique in so many ways. He was loyal to his family without fail; he showed empathy beyond his years to those less fortunate than himself, and he was a very forgiving young man.
Gabriel's passions were the outdoors, camping, skiing with his father and brother, target shooting, hunting, archery, aircraft, reptiles, especially his ball python 'Monty' otherwise known as 'Julius Squeezer' and the family dog 'Ezra. Gabriel always looked forward to his visits with his father and grandmother every two weeks and the adventures they provided for him.
Gabe was an excellent student, who worked hard to achieve the goals he set for himself, especially a high GPA so he would do well in high school and go on to a good university. Gabriel is survived by his father, Blair Mordecai of Berkeley, Ca, mother, Sarah Pacatte and twin brother, Samuel Mordecai, both of Paradise, brother Gregory Mordecai, of Boulder, Co., brother Arthur Golden III, of Chico, sister Elizabeth Golden of Long Beach, grandmother, Adrienne Mordecai of Berkeley.
Gabriel had many, many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends that he loved and who loved him. (m. e. o.) Gabriel brought such life, joy and awe to our family, always curious, adventurous, and fearless. We thank you God for blessing us with such a precious gift. Gabe, we will miss you, and cherish you, until the end of days....
"It is no slight thing when those, so fresh from God, love us".
Published in the Paradise Post from 5/10/2005 - 5/12/2005.
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