Choking game

dangerous game of trying to faint

The choking game is a challenge that aims to cause unconsciousness by lowering the supply of oxygen to the brain. When becoming conscious again ("waking up"), people often have a euphoric feeling, or a good dream. Most of the time, adolescents try this game. One of the reasons is that they want to experiment with other states of consciousness. If they do it as a group, peer pressure often plays a role. The practice seems to have started in France, in the early 20th century. After the second world war (late 1940s, to early 1950s), several authors described it.

The reasons to play this game are different from those of erotic asphyxiation. Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners in London,[1] claims that children and teens try the game mainly "to get a high without taking drugs." Children "aren't playing this game for sexual gratification." It is frequently confused with erotic asphyxiation, which is oxygen deprivation for sexual arousal. Unlike erotic asphyxiation, adults usually don't play this game.[2][3]

Dangers and effectsEdit

The brain will take permanent damage, if it doesn't get enough oxygen. The first effects occur within minutes.

In the United States, and in France, where it is known as "jeu de foulard", this practice has caused several deaths. The CDC has identified 82 victims aged between 6 and 19 years, who died as a result of this practice, between 1995 and 2007.[4]

Most of the sensations felt are:

According to Françoise Cochet, successfully preventing children from playing is to not only telling them that playing the game is dangerous, but also telling them about the risks involved.[5]


The French government organised a conference on the subject, where experts from France and Belgium took part. Afterwards, a study was done, where 1012 children between 6 and 15 years of age, were questioned. The study found the following results:[6]

  • 63 % of the children know one of these games
  • 26 % had seen someone playing, mainly at school
  • one in ten has played the game
  • The main reason for playing is to do the same thing as the other colleagues; other reasons are because it is funny, and interesting
  • Most people who play are not aware of the risks
  • Most of those who have never played know about the risks.

Other websitesEdit


  1. Adams, William Lee (2010-01-18). "A Dangerous Pastime for Teens: The Choking Game". Time Magazine. Time. Archived from the original on 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  2. Neal, Richard McKenzie (2008), "The choking game", The Path to Addiction: And Other Troubles We Are Born to Know, AuthorHouse, pp. 310–315 (see p.311), ISBN 978-1-4389-1674-3, retrieved 27 October 2011 Hardover{{citation}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link) ISBN 978-1-4389-1675-0
  3. "Vor dem Computer selbst stranguliert". (in German). Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  4. "Unintentional Strangulation Deaths from the "Choking Game" Among Youths Aged 6--19 Years --- United States, 1995--2007". Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  5. "Ce que l'on sait du «jeu du foulard»". Le Temps (in French). 2008-10-06. ISSN 1423-3967. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  6. IPSOS. "Connaissance et pratiques du «jeu du foulard» et autres jeux d'apnée ou d'évanouissement chez les enfants âgés de 6 à 15 ans" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)