Talk:Choking game

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The Game bolded[edit]

I lsost the game when I saw it :( ANd it's kind of pointless, so I'd rather have it taken out.

Wrong explanation is wrong explanation[edit] wrote quite correctly: The mechanism suggested above cannot be right. It does not explain why fainting occurs within seconds after hyperventilation. If supression of the breathing reflex was all that was happening, then the practitioner would still need to hold his breath for a couple of minutes to pass out. Isn't there an M.D. here who can straighten things out? 17:51, 13 March 2006 (UTC)I Ex nihil 08:04, 14 March 2006 (UTC) wrote in response:

  • Yes, you are right, even 'though I wrote that, there is another step involved and I have now added it. I have always been aware that this mechanism is much more complicated than previously stated but have never gotten around to articulating what is actually happening.'s objection made be try and has resulted in a rewrite of self-induced hypocapnia. The fact that it is so complicated is what makes it so dangerous, I have enough trouble communicating the shallow water blackout mechanism, I don't know if you can get this one across. Hypocapnia changes your whole body chemistry, its behind this, behind diving accidents and high altitude disease. Ex nihil 08:05, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Wrong explanation![edit]

The second method given for fainting, - hyperventilation followed by heart squeeze is wrong and dangerously so. The actual mecahanism is self-induced hypocapnia via hyperventilation depressing CO2 levels and thus supressing the urge to breathe. The squeeze is a schoolboy red-herring and just serves as the inducement to breath hold in a hypocapnic state. The mechanism is properly described under shallow water blackout. It has nothing whatever to do with stopping and releasing blood. In our day the breathhold was induced by a bear hug, actually you can do it all by yourself by hyperventilating and just holding your breath. Misunderstanding the mechanism stops kids from avoiding hyperventilation to extend dive times. The real mechanism is rather subtle and probably not understood by most teachers either so its not surprising that the blood surge idea got a hold.

I am happy to edit sometime if no major objections but it will be a big edit.Ex nihil 05:06, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

If you know something about it, go ahead. Dismas|(talk) 11:00, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
The way we always used to do it was to hyperventilate and then have a friend press the base of their hands against your carotid. I've never heard of pressing on the heart; I don't see how that would work. I don't really see a twelve-year-old kid being able to exert enough pressure on a rib cage to have any effect on the heart.
I disagree about the squeeze being a red herring, though. Maybe the bear hug is, but the method that uses carotid pressure is certainly not. You can make someone pass out by squeezing the carotid even without the hyperventilation part (like in a sleeper hold). The hyperventilation just makes it work faster. It's really not similar at all to shallow water blackout; that method doesn't even require holding your breath when pressure is exerted.
I'm taking out the part explaining the method of "squeezing the heart area" because it doesn't make sense and is largely irrelevant (these kids aren't dying giving each other bear hugs; they're strangling themselves, so it's obvious which method they're using). I'm going to put a link to shallow water blackouts in the "see also" section. I think that should be sufficient. Kafziel 13:14, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
    • I think the "heart squeezing" is a misunderstanding by the practitioners, and is merely a form of Compressive asphyxia, I seem to remember this happening when I was in Junior high, when a large person would stand 2 to 3 feet away from the participant and lean forward placing their weight on the participants chest.Compgeek86 06:05, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Ex nihil 00:57, 6 February 2006 (UTC) I think the problem is there are two completely different games here, one involves cutting blood supply by strangulation, the other involves self induced hypocapnia through hyperventilation. There are a number of dangerous children's games, perhaps we should handle them all under either a directory called "Dangerous children's games" of an article heading and then discuss each one seperately so the Choking game would only involve stragulation. We also need to be careful not to end up encouraging kids to try this stuff. What think?
I disagree for two reasons. First, the adjective "dangerous" denotes a certain point of view. Kids die playing football or hiking with the Boy Scouts; it would be a huge article if we tried to cover every "dangerous" game. In fact, considering that the fainting game has been played since time immemorial, by countless millions of children, the rate of fatalities is exceptionally low. I'm willing to bet that more children have died skiing than by playing the fainting game.
Secondly, it is not Wikipedia's purpose to dissuade anyone from doing anything. We are not a forum for public service announcements. The article should state the facts without any judgement upon the relative safety of the situation. There are plenty of other websites for that. The aspects of the game need to be presented in a balanced manner. Have people died doing it? Yes. Is it said to be enjoyable? Yes. It is not our job to keep kids from smoking, drinking, shooting heroin, or hanging themselves with belts.
There are already more than enough external links to extremely POV sites at the bottom of the article (which will probably also need to be removed or at least edited). The article needs to be kept neutral, as hard as that may be for families and friends of victims. Kafziel 03:39, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Ex nihil 03:45, 6 February 2006 (UTC) OK, I'll remove rhe Warning but want to reintate the other changes because as it stands the article is dangerously wrong.

I'll revert delete the warning and you can consider the changes.

I also just removed the warning and your re-write, for the same reasons as stated above. See the risk disclaimer; we do not put warnings on articles and we do not include personal judgements in article content. I'm sorry to have to remove all of your work, which you obviously put a lot of time and effort into, but there is no way any of those changes pass the POV test. It's clear from your user page that you have a personal interest in this subject, but I reiterate that this is not the forum for it. Kafziel 03:46, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
The changes you reinstated are still not acceptable. Lines like, "killing and maiming many of them" are not neutral language. Inserting redundant external links at every victim's name is obviously POV, especially considering the number already at the bottom of the page. The article was clear and informative before these changes; now it's rambling and biased. It doesn't work. Kafziel 03:51, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I also disagree that there are two distinct games. There is one game, and several instances of kids doing it wrong and choking to death. The right way, the way it's been done forever, is to hyperventilate and cut off blood flow. Any variation is just due to bad form. Why didn't the game come to light back when I played it in the 80s? Or when my father played it in the 50s? Because we did it right, so nobody died. We didn't use ligatures and we didn't do it by ourselves. If you play football with your shoelaces tied together, you're not playing a "different version" of football; you're still playing football, you're just playing it wrong. That's your fault, not the fault of the game. I don't want to turn this into an edit war, but I want you to understand how all of your content seems very biased to me, and why I feel it needs to go back to the way it was. Kafziel 04:23, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Ex nihil 04:29, 6 February 2006 (UTC) Please delete the links you don't like but actually I did the links because previously it linked to things such as 2005 or United States of America or Idaho, which are quite meaningless. We do have a basic problem in that the article is talking about two quite distinct things going on and may perpetuate the schoolboy myth about shunting blood etc etc. There may be a better way to handle it but we need to seperate the mechanisms otherwise this article just perpetuates the ignorance. Let me de-emotionalise it a bit and then you have a go.
  • Ex nihil 04:42, 6 February 2006 (UTC)Ok, I'm done. I really couldn't find a lot emotional in it, I changed it but it really does kill and maim a lot of kids. Took out the external links in text. I think we should just leave it and put it to the public test. What do others think? Also, I would like to hear people's opinion on Warnings, in some cases they may not be out of place in an encyclopedia, someone just showed me one in Encyclopedia Britiannica, more a disclaimer, advice to combat is OK. We may actually have an obligation to put a warning in of some kind especialy if we have an expectation that kids will read it. The nature of Wikipedia notwithstanding.
  • Ex nihil 04:57, 6 February 2006 (UTC) I've added headings to address your comment about structure, I think it's pretty clear now. Now I really am butting out until there is some reaction.
    • Links like "Idaho" and "United States of America" aren't meant to be directly relevant to this article. That's not why they're there. They're there in case someone is wondering where Idaho is. They shouldn't be removed. Links in the text should be relevant to he article otherwise the whole text will be linked, if they don't help the arguement along leave them out.
    • Naming a few random victims in the introductory paragraph, completely out of the blue, doesn't make any sense at all. To be brutally honest, I don't find any of their names relevant at all. Certainly not worthy of inclusion in the introduction to the game. Maybe you could make a separate article listing the victims, and just link to that from the "see also" section. That might be any easy way to remove a lot of the POV from here. I agree totally, they were there before I got there, I don't think they help but I don't want to change everything. I'd like to take them out but soemone else can
    • It's absurd to say that it copies Flatliners, when the game is far older than that movie. And, again, if the reference is going to be used, it should be linked (and spelled correctly). Of course the game is older than Flatliners but kids doing it now are saying they are currently motivated by this. There is no Flatliners article to link anyway. Please put it in
    • I fail to see how it is "dangerous" for kids to misunderstand the driving forces behind the game. If those things are "red herrings" and don't actually do anything, then they don't do anything and they're not dangerous. They're dying from belts around their necks, not from bear hugs. No, you don't get it. Strangulation is not the only thing they are doing, some versions of the game involve no stragulation at all, hyocapnia is killing them because they don't understand about that, they are dying from hypoxia induced by hypocapnia not always from strangulation. That's the point. We haven't said the hugs themselves are dangerous, only that they play a part after hyperventialtion in inducing breath hold they can black out with no hug, we used to play this game with bear hugs and we had just such silly explanations, that was a part of the ignorance and that is what is dangerous.
    • There already is a warning. As I said, it is at Wikipedia:Risk disclaimer. And it's really not an opinion, or open to public debate, whether or not a warning belongs here. It doesn't. I posted the link above for your reference about how Wikipedia is never censored for the protection of minors. That's an official policy, not a suggestion. Just like anything else on the internet, if you don't want your kids to see it, keep an eye on them. Kafziel 04:57, 6 February 2006 (UTC) OK

Ex nihil 06:01, 6 February 2006 (UTC) made the notes in bold above.

  • Ex nihil 06:13, 6 February 2006 (UTC) I have gone back over your comment on 3 Feb and I think the real problem here is it's too confusing to combine the choking game with the fainting game. Both kill but they are both quite different in action. Perhaps they should be split and cross referenced. Strangulation is the simple one, not many kids do it because it is so extreme and looks dangerous, I'd never heard of it at school but I personally now know recent cases, the most insidious one is the hyperventilation one because it doesn't look bad, no ligaments, no strangles and the mechanism is too hard to grasp. What would you think of that?

Kafziel, try this. Find a friend to stand behind you to catch you should you fall, but have no contact at any time. Clear hard sharp objects from the vicinty and off youyr body. Hyperventilate hard until you feel lightheaded and have tingly fingers. Now hold your breath hard and wait. Does that explain things better? This is the fainting game, no strangulation, no pressure, but it also kills. Signing out now, need to do some work. I'll look in tomorrow but I'd like to get out of this now.

Some of your latest edits were good. I've made a few small changes to the overall article:
  • I took out the names from the intro
  • I took out some of the text about misunderstandings and red herrings; let's explain how it works, not how it doesn't work. How it doesn't work isn't relevant. There's no need to try to address every misconception, because by putting the correct information here, people can educate themselves.
  • I removed small amounts of original research, like "This combination is particularly dangerous as recovery may be much delayed and the danger of brain damage or death greatly increased." There's no evidence that hard breathing combined with a sleeper hold is any more dangerous than one or the other on their own. (In fact, most sleeper holds are applied during wrestling matches or fights, when hard breathing is a given, and it's actually much safer than being knocked out with a fist.)
  • I still don't agree with the wording on the two "different" types; saying that the use of thumb pressure on the carotid is "strangulation" is misleading; the most common meaning of strangulation is restricted breathing, and with manual carotid pressure there is no restriction on the windpipe at all. Anyone playing the "choking" game is just doing it wrong (there shouldn't be any choking involved at all) and a lot of the bad press is just a typical "adults don't get it" kind of thing. If not for all the press that misunderstands the game, this article would rightly be located at "fainting game"; paranoid parents have given "choking game" much more google hits, so that's the name it gets. You may be right about separating the articles between choking and fainting; the choking game is dangerous and pointless, the fainting game (played the right way) isn't. At least, as I said at the beginning, not any more dangerous than football, hiking, skiing, bicycling, skateboarding...
I've left that section alone for now, though, while I think of what needs to be done with it. Kafziel 13:33, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Other names[edit]

Would be nice to have references for these other names. Or at least cut them down a bit? - FrancisTyers 15:02, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Catching Some Zs was used by a large group in CT from 2004 on. It was mainly satirical. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sockr44e (talkcontribs) 20:34, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

The Synonyms need some references.Geo8rge (talk) 03:53, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Is bum rushing a synonym? For some reason it was pointing here.Geo8rge (talk) 03:53, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

There's a term for this or it was used on the East Coast of America where we called it "Deep 10" since kids would take 10 deep breaths and then do it to themselves. (talk) 07:02, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Whipped Cream Canisters[edit]

Isn't this the same euphoric experience those who inhale nitrous oxide are seeking? They also report giddiness, dizzyness, and tingling in the roof of the mouth, lips, and extremities. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chrishibbard7 (talkcontribs) 18:48, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

As a youth who has participated in both I can say that, though both produce some similar sensations, they are definitely not one and the same. The fainting game produced (in me and all of my friends who participated) about 1-5 seconds of unconsciousness, with every friend claiming that this was the "effect" of the "game"--- it was basically the so-called fun of the game... passing out for seconds and going into a semi-lucid dream state that felt like an extended reawakening of reality upon coming back into consciousness (as if the moments preceding the faint were part of the dream experience.)

Inhaling nitrous oxide did also put you in a sort-of dream state but the "high" was more of a sensory-motor change than a loss of consciousness. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:18, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Old Days[edit]

This is crazy, kids doing it with belts and ties and stuff... Remember back in the day where you held your breath and someone pushed you and you were only out for 10 seconds? No one died then... The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 01:44, 3 January 2006.

I highly doubt this is as wide spread as officials want people to believe. -- (talk) 06:32, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Cutting down Other Names list[edit]

Considering that children are using all of these alias' to refer to this activity, paring down the list might lessen to usefulness of the article. Although, it would be good a good idea to link these all in to either the Choking game or the Fainting game since those are the most commonly used names. (Yeahkt 19:06, 4 January 2006 (UTC))

I did a bit of research and could find no evidence for the existence of these names so I have deleted them. Some have suspiciously toptical origins derived from current PC games. I suggest that if you have a source or other evidence reinstate the name and drop a note here. Some of the remaining names are a bit suss too, someone might want to invesigate. Ex nihil 08:13, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

I read about this in the Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, and came here to see if there was an article on it. I wondered if this is actually a widespread phenomenon, or just a case of moral panic. The newspaper article "Deadly 'game' hits close to home", in a sidebar (which is in the paper edition, but not the online edition) cites The Sacramento Bee/New York Times in giving this list:

Airplaning, America dream game, Blackout, Breathplay, California high or California choke, Choke out, Cloud nine, Dream or dreaming, Fainting, Flatline or flatliner, Funky chicken, Gasp, Ghost, Hanging, Hawaiian high, Hyperventilation, Knockout, Pass out or passing out, Purple dragon, Natural high, Rising sun, Something dreaming, Space sowboy, Space monkey, Suffocation or suffocation roulette, Teen choking, Tingling.

The entire sidebar is a reprint from the Sacramento Bee article "A deadly game". The list of other names for the 'game' is a nearly verbatim copy of a list found at Now for the punchline: That website cites, as one of its sources, this very article!

I was about to add some of those names back in, using the newspaper I have in front of me as a source, but now I'm not very sure about that, since Wikipedia may have been the publisher of first instance for some of those names. — MSchmahl 19:11, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Removed California Blackout and Godd Child Game as no evidence offered or found. Add back in with evidence. Ex nihil 10:06, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

"Choking Game" Awareness and Participation Among 8th Graders --- Oregon, 2008 has some names listed (Knock Out, Space Monkey, Flatlining, or The Fainting Game) as well as references to articles in medical journals (mostly referring to "the choking game" but also to "suffocation roulette"). (talk) 22:57, 15 January 2010 (UTC)


I know some people are going to flip out about the categorization of the fainting game as an "extreme sport", but please hear me out.

Categorizing it simply as "death" isn't accurate. Millions of people have played it (myself included) and are just fine. I'm sure more people have died fixing television sets, but Television isn't categorized as "death".

In its way, this is a game. Dangerous, yes. So is mumblety peg. But this seemed a little more extreme even than mumblety peg, and simply listing it as a game seemed not to do the article justice.

The fainting game isn't really a competition, so maybe "sport" is inaccurate, but bungee jumping isn't all that competitive either. Both are non-competitive, both are potentially deadly, so it makes sense to group them in a similar category. The fainting game is the very definition of extreme sports. For lack of a better category, that's where I've put it. Kafziel 20:24, 1 February 2006 (UTC)


This seems like a heavily biased article to me - apart from the method description, it's nearly entirely a warning-against. Plenty of games are dangerous, and the Wiki articles on them aren't devoted to advising against playing them. I'd like to see a neutrality-questioned tag on this, but I think I'm supposed to discuss it first, so here you are. Mushroom Pi 03:32, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Seems pretty factual to me, with the possible exception of the first sentence. "How the choking game works" is OK, the Education section is factual about education. This article once had a warning on it, which was removed. The fact is the activity kills and maims a lot of kids, I don't think there is an upside to it unl;ess its contrived and it would be irresponsible to portray it that way. Ex nihil 23:35, 21 May 2006 (UTC)


I made two minor corrections. In the explaination of the second mechanism, I removed step four ("respiratory alkalosis"), because respiratory alkalosis is defined as an increase in blood pH due to respiratory effects. Steps one through three are describing respiratory alkalosis, so therefore listing respiratory alkalosis as step four is redundant. If people want to put it back in for didactic purposes that's fine, but I think it's unneccessary.

The second correction I made was to remove the statement in the "other mechanisms" section that says that the carotid sinus is above the heart. This is not correct, they (R and L) are in the neck.

copyrighted image - fair use?[edit]

I read and was impressed by the Wikipedia's "Choking Game" article just a few days ago. Today (Tuesday 18 July 2006) I saw a picture from Reuters included in the Day In Pictures feature of[1] which would make an astounding illustration for the "Choking Game" article. The caption says "Panhandling with a twist: With help from his brother, a 12-year-old boy wraps thick steel wire around his neck to entice handouts from passersby in Wuhan, China." This picture made the phenomenon of voluntarily choking oneself and/or allowing oneself to be choked in public spectacularly real to me, and I feel that it should be seen in connection with the Wikipedia article, but after reading about copyright and fair use, I'm afraid to upload it. I would like to know what other, more knowledgeable and experienced Wikipedians think about this. Thanks! --A. L. "Tony" Biggs 15:57, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Drop an email to photo editor saying can you please use beg4.jpeg from to illustrate Wikipedia article [2] with appropriate attribution and link to sfgate. Ex nihil 08:21, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Unreferenced tag[edit]

I added the {{unreferenced}} tag to this article because it has no inline citations. All Featured Articles, Good Articles, and A-Class Articles require inline citations. This article is thorough, so to reach a higher level of quality, it should have in-line citations, even if they're all from the same book (e.g. California Gold Rush.) Jolb 18:29, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

2 forms[edit]

i don't know how i found this area anyway but i thought i would chip in that there are two forms of the game... how each affects you medically i'm unsure but when i was a kid we would hyperventilate while bent over with our butt on a wall and then stand up as quickly as possible, lean against the wall, with arms across the chest, then another person would use two hands and lean their entire body weight into the point where the arms were crossed over the chest, exerting extreme pressure on the thoracic cavity (not just a "bearhug"), until the person passed out. When I became a teenager a boyfriend and i were discussing it and he mentioned the occluded carotid version. He explained that the person would hyperventilate and then another person would occlude both carotids until the person passed out. It seems to me that latter would be the more dangerous version being that blood supply to the brain is cutoff, however the aforementioned method is quite effective and in my opinion more clearly produces the hallucinagenic, dreamlike, effects; the loss of conciousness in this version is brief (<45seconds)but seems to last forever in the dreamlike state and does not usually result in a headache or sense of impending doom. The latter method on the other hand (yes i've done both) is very brief in actuallity and in the way it feels, there is more of a flash of light (no dreamlike state or "visions"), a sense of impending doom, and horrible headache. Hope that helps. I just associated a third version called the natural whippit and it is actually done in a group. Acircle of people (6 or more) cross arms at the elbows with the forearm behind the head of the person beside you and form a circle then everyone leans back taking a deep breath in and then leans over as they exhale; this repeated 10x on the 11th inhale everyone inhales very rapidly and deeply, holds their breath, closes their eyes, and leans back as far as the can (the arms linked behind heads gives you something to lean into), then everyone in the whole group passes out and everybody ends up unconcious on top of one another, add any other mind altering substance and you've got quite a ride. 07:54, 6 May 2007 (UTC) JB May 6, 2007—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 07:51, 6 May 2007 (UTC).


Undid delete of "It is also free, legal and appears innocuous to those without a proper understanding of the mechanism involved" made on grounds it was POV. The perception by potential users that it is harmless is a key factor in its adoption by children, this is relevant here and is a known problem in the deterent education of children in this matter. Ex nihil 00:36, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm just thinking about potential problems with this article, and your post here brings up some excellent points. This could be somewhat like bomb making articles, honestly, whereas just making the information itself has the potential to be harmful. Wikipedia is not censored, and doesn't side with any given side of an argument, but that just makes it all the more dangerous. I understand your point, but the act of removing the statement could be taken to be POV as well. -Theanphibian (talkcontribs) 04:26, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

California Dream[edit]

I've always heard this referred to as a California dream shouldnt "California dream" redirect to this page? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:28, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

History and Deaths[edit]

I have deleted the “History and Deaths” paragraph because it does not contribute to understanding this phenomenon and is misleading. A history section might be useful but this is not the history of this activity and the content needs to be researched. This may have been done somewhere else but I have not seen it and it would require considerable work.

A history must be accurate and verifiable in numbers and dates and it must be the history of this activity not that of a few individuals who may or may not have practiced it. Quoting a very few isolated deaths in the USA and Japan is not a history and gives the impression that the activity is recent, rare and geographically limited when in fact, anecdotally, my father played this game in the UK back in 1928, and in Darwin, Australia, which has a population of only 80,000 we have at least two documented deaths within five years and possibly more but which were attributed to suicide. The likely truth is that a history would show that this has been played since time immemorial, is almost ubiquitous and has claimed thousands of lives within a specific age and gender cohort.

The naming of specific individuals in the USA and Japan serves no purpose and does not belong in an article such as this. A specific case may serve to illustrate a useful point made in the text but none of these examples do this.

If you have access to reliable statistics, even if only for a given country or state jurisdiction please set this out in a way that might indicate the real extent of this activity. Before reverting this deletion please discuss here, preferably post your proposed text for a history here to discuss. Ex nihil (talk) 01:23, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Youtube references[edit]

Someone please explain why videos on Youtube would be an acceptable reference. These videos are often unreliable and may actually encourage the Fainting game. --Astroview120mm 23:18, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

They are not acceptable references, I am removing them. --Xyzzyplugh (talk) 12:11, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

External links[edit]

External links on Wikipedia are supposed to be "encyclopedic in nature" and useful to a worldwide audience. Please read the external links policy (and perhaps the specific rules for medicine-related articles) before adding more external links.

The following kinds of links are inappropriate:

  • Online discussion groups or chat forums
  • Personal webpages and blogs
  • Multiple links to the same website
  • Fundraising events or groups
  • Websites that are recruiting for clinical trials
  • Websites that are selling things (e.g., books or memberships)

I realize that some links are helpful to certain users, but they still do not comply with Wikipedia policy, and therefore must not be included in the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:12, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Removed how-to content[edit]

I removed the somewhat lengthy section giving detailed instructions on how to practice this game, as it violates WP:NOT#HOWTO. In addition, the section was using youtube videos as references, and youtube videos are of course not reliable sources. If someone wants to save this valuable "how to strangle yourself" content, perhaps they could move it to wikibooks. --Xyzzyplugh (talk) 12:19, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

That content was about variations, not a how to. The current state of the article gives just as sufficient how to information aside from being amazingly confusing. One way or the other, the distinction for self-used ligature strangulation needs to be made crystal clear, because that's the one that all the death reports come from. -Theanphibian (talkcontribs) 13:56, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
    • Xyzzyplugh's edit is good and should stick. It removes a great deal of repetition and simplifies the article without removing any useful information. Ex nihil (talk) 00:14, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
      • I think the previous version should be cut down and repetition removed, but not by leaving a sea of loose ends that the current article has. -Theanphibian (talkcontribs) 10:12, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

History of the Fainting game[edit]

How old is the fainting game? I remember doing it while a freshman back in 1985. The class learned it from a kid from Chicago. One person would hold a continous pressure to the chest until one faints. Rob (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 21:51, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Moving to and from Choking/Fainting game[edit]

Why was the page moved from Choking game to Fainting game? Dismas|(talk) 08:52, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

  • After all the discussion about renaming it on the deletion page Shem has just changed the name anyway! Having recovered from the shock I think I like the rename, it retains the information in the article while making it less attractive as an actvity to try. I renamed the subheading "How the choking game works' to match and I think it works better that way. I think it should be retained. I suspect that it tends to be called the Choking game in the US and the Fainting game in the UK as I remember it being called that at high school in the 1970s and I think I have references under that name going back to 1925 at my Dad's school. I'd say it should be kept this way. Ex nihil (talk) 11:28, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
    • I'm a bit torn by it myself. I started the article at Choking game because that's what it's called here in the States. It was written using the American name with American grammar and spelling. So why change the title to one that is predominantly British? Doesn't this go against the WP guideline about consistancy of grammar and spelling regarding various forms of English? On the other hand, fainting is a bit more accurate considering the participant doesn't actually choke while performing the game though they do faint. Dismas|(talk) 11:47, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
      • I'm American and've only ever heard "fainting game"; choking game is not "the American name." When I made the move, "fainting game" was definitely more prominent in Google hits else I'd not have made it. Shem(talk) 16:47, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
      • I agree in terms of technical correctness, fainting game would be better. In terms of regional accuracy, just look at the list of names in the article - no practitioner actually calls it by either of these names in either country. So I think naming choice is basically left up to the editors here. -Theanphibian (talkcontribs) 12:28, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

A google search shows 22,000 3,000 hits for "fainting game" and 96,000 100,000 hits for the "choking game." Hence I am proposing we move it. Sethie (talk) 06:02, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

  • That's odd, I get 1,100,000 Google hits for Fainting game and 207,000 for Choking. It actually used to be Choking Game a while back, see discussion above, but was moved to Fainting. At the time all the links were changed and a redirect was set up from Choking game. The name also helps to make it look less attractive as an activity, which is no good reason as far as Wiki is concerned but it did seem to cut down on a certain king of gothic vandalism it used to attract. I vote we just leave it. Ex nihil (talk) 07:24, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
It is important to put it in quotes to get the exact phrase search. Sorry I did a typo- I get 3,000 hits for fainting game [[3]] and 100,000 for choking game [[4]]. Sethie (talk) 17:21, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
    • Sethie's Google hits are correct but I am not sure a move back is the right thing especially if results in oscilating to and fro. I suspect the underlying problem is that the two terms refer to two completely different activities. Although the two terms are now hopelessly confused, Fainting Game often refers to the hypocapnia mechanism, Choking Game almost always refers to strangulation. What do you think if the two were split but well linked under those two names? Ex nihil (talk) 23:51, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Problem with statistical reference[edit]

The "extent of" section contains the following sentence: "The 2006 Youth Health Risk Behavioral Survey in Williams County, Ohio found that 11% of youths aged 12-18 years and 19% of youths aged 17-18 reported ever having practiced it. [1]". Although this accurately reflects what's stated in the reference, the reference itself is almost certainly in error, for purely statistical reasons. For this statistic to be accurate, it would have to be the case that only 7.8% of youths 12-16 had engaged in the practice, but 19% of youths aged 17-18 had; this seems highly implausible, since it would mean that there had been a very sudden sharp drop-off in the practice. Since the cited article also notes that most deaths from the practice are in the 11-16 age group, this statistic becomes almost impossible to believe. My strong belief is that this is simply a typo in the cited article, but the reference should be removed unless it can be clearly verified as accurate. For now I'll simply remove it -- this seems uncontroversial to me -- but please contact me to discuss it further or to verify my methodology. Eggsyntax (talk) 18:18, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't see any discrepancy at all. If the statistic was "7.8% of youths aged 12-16 reported having smoked a cigarette, and 19% of youths aged 17-18 had smoked" that would simply mean that the older you are the more likely you are to have smoked, which is precisely what the statistic is saying. As for the "very sudden sharp drop-off in the practice", that actually is the case, as noted in the bell curve graph showing a peak in the early to mid-teens compared to deaths from suicide by asphyxiation. I have restored the content. - BanyanTree 08:10, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


The article states that it is believed to be widely done, but I've never heard of someone actually doing this (or found anyone who has told me they were actually familiar with the practice) outside of the South Park episode "Major Boobage". This leads me to suspect the statement is an exageration. (talk) 06:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

The article also fails to mention that the prevalence of any serious choking games among children is grossly overstated, and appears to have the status of an urban legend, that police are all too eager to accept in their reports. Kind of like huffing glue. That entry states:
Precise statistics on deaths caused by inhalant abuse are difficult to determine, as it is considered a dramatically under-reported cause of death due to the common result of a cause-of-death determination being attributed to the side-effects of inhalant abuse, such as a blood vessel rupture in the brain or a heart attack, rather than to the abuse itself.[9] Inhalant use or abuse was mentioned on 144 death certificates in Texas during the period 1988-1998 and was reported in 39 deaths in Virginia between 1987 and 1996 from acute voluntary exposure to abused inhalants.[10]
Texas and Virginia, eh? Shocker! "Difficult to determine"... natch. The reference [9] is, of course, hosted on the antidrug site
Both articles should be completely rewritten. They both have absolutely overwhelming NPOV problems. beefman (talk) 18:24, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

"Choking Game" Awareness and Participation Among 8th Graders --- Oregon, 2008 in the CDC's MMWR details the results of a 2008 Oregon state survey of eighth graders. It also includes references to other sources that might be helpful. (talk) 23:00, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

It's very common, especially among children, from I'd say age 6-12, all kids experiment with holding their breathe, and similar things, it's no surprise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:11, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Synonyms list[edit]

Despite {{cn}} since April, no cites given. Despite inline notes to not add any new ones without cites, it's a magnet for uncited addition. At best, this will (IMO) always be a cherry-picked list of some specific examples and it doesn't even add much to the article. Time to remove it? DMacks (talk) 15:32, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Gone. DMacks (talk) 04:33, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
A great relief to see that Section go! It has always been high maintenance. Now without the names the section is redundant, the remaining comment in it was itself uncited so I have removed the section in toto and replaced with brief mention of othwer slang terms in intro. Ex nihil (talk) 05:55, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Is this another variation with the same effects?[edit]

I saw a girl do this at my school. She squatted, breathed really heavy for 20 seconds, stood up, put her thumb in her mouth, and blew on it until she passed out. Would this have the same effects on her as all of the other fainting games? Is the science the same? -- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:14, October 13, 2009

Yes. Same effects, different method. For future reference, this talk page is meant for discussions about improving this article, questions such as these are meant for the Wikipedia:Reference desks. -- œ 18:07, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Vasoconstriction hypothesis[edit]

The phrase

Vasoconstriction is only reversed by the build-up of CO2 in the blood through suspension of breathing

seems to contradict the course of the game. Fainting occurs, as far as I can see, not during hyperventilation (where CO2 fades away), but invariably afterwards, during holding the breath. Why would that be the case, if vasoconstriction due to CO2 would be essential the reason for fainting?

I also do not understand what "5. Pooling of the blood present in the brain at the time." means. In which vessels would that take place? Cannot be the veines, as the O2 of the pooled blood is mentioned afterwards. Cannot be the arteries, as they are constricted. Puzzling. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:39, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Self Induced Hypocapnia[edit]

My brothers forced me to play the fainting game as kids. I believe some of us now (adults), have some neurological disfunction. My question is, can our children inherit this? Can we get help for us as adults after 20+ years?

Curious —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:54, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Probably. Just ask Lysenko. -- (talk) 21:47, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
What has that got to do with anything? In other words, no, they can't inherit brain damage. Still, wrong place to be looking for advice, IMHO. -- JaymesKeller (talk) 19:10, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Urban Dictionary?[edit]

Urban Dictionary is certainly not a valid source for information on Wikipedia. The site allows anyone to add words, simply requiring another user to ok it. I've personally created words that have more thumbs up than the word sourced for this article. The very nature of the thumbs up and thumbs down system that the site employs to verify the popularity of a slang word speaks volumes of the subjective nature of its entries. In other words... Seriously? Livingston 15:03, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

"Game" =/= BDSM[edit]

I find it very hard to belive this needs to be in the BDSM cat. Unless anyone can state to me a good consensus why it should be there, I'm removing it, because I personally find it innapropriate for this article. -- JaymesKeller (talk) 19:08, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Add "Causes of Death" Cat?[edit]

Should this article be added to "Causes of Death", or is it for mechanisms, like Asphyxia? -- JaymesKeller (talk) 00:58, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Substance Misuse and the 'Fainting game'[edit]

I am a professional substance misuse worker working with young people aged 12-17. I have now come across two teens who have practised the 'Fainting Game' in combination with Cannabis use. This is known by the slang name 'Double D'. This appears to be a specific geographical location near Cardiff, Wales, UK. I have advised both the young people involved regarding the dangers of this practise. They were both unaware of the potential dangers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Johan Dalie (talkcontribs) 14:37, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Third Version - Simple 'Carotid Compression'?[edit]

Total wikipedia newb here, but I wanted to mention something I have long known from my own personal experience that I think warrants mention either in this article or another similar article:

Fainting can also be induced within a few seconds by simply carefully placing pressure on the carotid arteries. I call this "Carotid Compression" (my term only - not from any source).

I believe this is method is an entirely different category. From a high level, we of course know that to achieve unconsciousness, there must ultimately be a lack of oxygen to the brain. The important distinction I want to make is that this article only mentions 2 methods, both employing a basic mechanism of "systemic" change to blood chemistry (loss of oxygen or buildup of CO2 in the bloodstream) in order to induce unconsciousness, whereas 'carotid compression' simply deprives the brain of oxygen by temporarily slowing/stopping the flow of fresh blood to the brain. When using the 'hyperventilation' or 'strangulation' methods, there is a relatively long period of unconsciousness, followed by a relatively long 'recovery' time while the heart and lungs work to restore balance to the bloodstream. However, when the 'carotid compression' method is used, once the compression is released, oxygen-rich blood waiting in the aorta quickly flows into the brain, rapidly restoring consciousness. (I have only my own experience to draw on for these statements)

I would propose, if an authoritative source exists, either adding a third category or at least splitting 'strangulation' into two sub-categories with one being 'Carotid Compression' - or maybe 'Simple Carotid Compression' (I don't know, maybe a doctor could weigh in here with a proper term). I feel that the distinction is very important to make because causing a systemic blood chemistry change is a totally different animal and FAR more dangerous than simply 'pinching the hose' for a few seconds. In fact, the 'strangulation' method described in the article may also describe the 'carotid compression' method, but if it does, it sort of mashes them together in the same description, possibly confusing the reader. Since the mechanism at work, the duration and depth of unconsciousness, and the overall risk are drastically different I believe it's worth some thought.

Unfortunately, I don't have any authoritative sources to back up my statements. I only have my own logical thought and experience (which I know isn't enough to qualify for wikipedia fame). I'm not even sure if the methods of inducing unconsciousness in this way have ever been scientifically studied.

Personal Experience Notes: I had jiujitsu training in college where we were taught to use this method and repeatedly put it to use in practice, and since then have played this "game" many times on myself and with others. I am able to place the heels of my palms on either side of my trachea, apply pressure, and be unconscious in less than 5 seconds. The duration of the unconsciousness is seldom more than a few seconds (I know because others have watched me do it). Recovery is very quick, with the 'confusion' period lasting 10 seconds at the most. For me, headaches are rare using this method unless I do it multiple times in a short period of time. On the other hand, the 'hyperventilation' method gives me horrible pounding headaches and recovery is much slower. I have not tried the 'strangulation' method, nor will I, because it seems far too dangerous.

Thanks for reading. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:08, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Citations and/or citable material pending[edit]

After saving this comment, I'll do a bit of editing. The first thing that struck me was the statement that "No known studies have been conducted". I found this hard to believe. Secondly, even for anecdotal evidence, citations are needed. But it is not for me to belittle the efforts of others - I would rather commend. Nor am I likely to have the time to do other editors' efforts justice in my preferred manner: add citations for existing material and then expand here and there in a constructive manner. What I will do is to create a further reading section, and add some material there. Committed editors, be it me or others, can then utilise the material over time, but in the meantime, readers can peruse for themselves, which is a fundamental objective of any good encyclopedia anyway. Where I can add a citation to existing text, or modify existing text with a citation, but without spending too long on the task, I will do so. Regards Wotnow (talk) 22:11, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

I have now added some articles, but have used my available time. There is usable information in these articles, for citation within the existing text, and for modification/expansion, and also further research cues (terminology, author's names, citations within the articles, articles that have subsequently cited the listed articles etc). I have deliberately listed all of the authors. It is impossible for any contributing editor to know which cues will assist a given reader. I say this as someone who has researched a huge array of material over the years, pursuing all sorts of cues, including those of 'minor' authors. Wotnow (talk) 23:25, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
To faciliate article development I have now amended the above quoted sentence and added a citation. There will be more, limited as it may be, and you should find it amongst some of the material I have provided in further reading. I'll likely follow-up at some point, but others should feel free to do so. Wotnow (talk) 04:10, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

The medical cause of Euphoria[edit]

Some categories on this page refer to "a similar sensation" between Nitrous Oxide intake and this one.

After some extensive research, I have stumbled upon the exact mechanism and how it affects the brain (concerning Euphoria only).

Ethanol, N2O are both in the same category of drugs : NDMA Antagonists (read the first introduction paragraph which details effects and the fact that N2O is one of them). The inhibition of NDMA receptors in the brain cause the dissociative effect of these drugs (as stated above).

Studies have found that brain hypoxia leads to inhibition of the same receptors. Even though this experiment has been done on Turtle, the similarity between human circulation system and other species' ones suggest that similar effects should apply on humans as well (humans and turtles have a closed system, in regard to the link given before). Which seems to be a very plausible cause of euphoria in experiences of brain hypoxia.

This is not discussed through the Choking Game article and I was not able to find a paper linking the two effects simultaneously (concluding that Brain Hypoxia causes a dissociative experience due to NDMA receptors' inhibition). I believe it is on the edge of "ethics" to discuss such a subject. But we clearly have all evidences to indicate such result, and I believed it should be mentioned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:E35:2F75:D00:A06C:DD47:281B:EBA4 (talk) 20:41, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

    • If you can cite an independent, credible source then have a go. Just make sure that it is not original research. Ex nihil (talk) 22:12, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
      • Same poster here (I created an account). The studies showing a link between NDMA Receptors' silencing and hypoxia seem quite reliable to me. (I share the link once more : ) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chaeris (talkcontribs) 19:46, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
        • Interesting. The source is reliable, but it is turtles. If added it would have to be very clear that its extension to humans is tenuous at most and very much unproven. Sign your edits with four tildas ~ at the end and it will sign off for you. Ex nihil (talk) 22:26, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Two Studies[edit]

Thanks to User:Doc James for these

Prevalence and associated harm of engagement in self-asphyxial behaviours ('choking game') in young people: a systematic review.
The choking game: a risky behavior for youth.

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 22:35, 8 June 2016 (UTC)