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David Mittleman
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College Kids and The Choking Game

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The Choking game is becoming more popular on college campuses, with 1 out of 7 college students admitting to playing the very dangerous game at least once. The Choking game, also known as the Fainting game, Pass Out, or Space Monkey, consists of manually choking yourself or others, sticking a plastic bag over your head, or tying a string around the neck tight enough to block air from entering the lungs. The result is a temporary, yet extremely dangerous, sense of euphoria.

Researchers at The Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University surveyed 837 students at a Texas university and found that:

•16% of students said they'd played the game, and three-quarters more than once
•On average, students first played the game at age 14
•Males were more likely to have played than females
•90% of students who had played the game learned about it from friends, and most students said they first played in a group

It might seem pretty dumb that kids would engage in this obviously deadly behavior, but the experts say that it's pure curiosity driving them to play the Choking game. They might not even realize that the game has the potential to be as dangerous as taking illegal drugs. But there are ways to deter college students from playing the game, including citing the number of college students have suffocated while trying to achieve their seconds of euphoria. Also, many parents and educators agree that these statistics should be included in school health and prevention classes.