Because It Feels So Good When You Stop


This is not your father's asphyxiation game:

While asphyxiation games have been around for many years, a series of locally publicized deaths around the country over the last few years, coupled with a realization that teenagers are seeing the game on Internet sites like YouTube, and playing it in more threatening variations—more often, like Levi, alone with a rope—are sparking a vigorous and open discussion in schools and among parents' groups, summer camp administrators and doctors….

A group called the Dylan Blake Foundation, founded by a parent who lost an 11-year-old son in 2005, said there were at least 40 deaths and 5 serious injuries from the game in the United States alone last year.

But the exact number remains uncertain because there has been little real research, health professionals say, and because medical examiners have been quick in the past to rule suicide. Some adults might also dismiss the game as the slumber party goof it was in years past, when constriction to the point of death was virtually unheard of….

"Asphyxiation games have been with us for generations, but what makes the current generation's execution of this game different is that more kids are willing to play it alone," said Dr. Thomas Andrew, the chief medical examiner in New Hampshire.

If seeing choking for kicks on YouTube stimulates interest in the practice, what impact will "antichoking game presentations" such as those described in the article have on impressionable young minds? Well, at least they're not smoking pot.