back to article 'Space Monkey' craze: Texan students 'get high' by choking each other

Kids these days don't need drugs or alcohol to have fun, according to a new study. The latest craze sweeping American youth - and thus, no doubt, British youth in due course - is "Space Monkey", aka "The Choking Game", in which thrill-seeking youngsters strangle or suffocate themselves or each other "in order to achieve a high …


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  1. P Saunders

    If this had been the craze

    when G W spent his youth cramming the Devil's Dandruff up his hooter, the world might be a very different place.

  2. Matthew Anderson

    Not really a new craze, does any one else remember doing this at school? We used to do it in teh boys toilets, either mild strangulation or by standing upright against the bog wall and have a fellow school chum press heavily against your chest until one felt giddy.

    This was some 16 years ago, god dammit i'm aging!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I was in junior school in the late '70s

      and we were doing the same then. File under "Not News".

      1. Thomas 4


        When I was at secondary in the early 90s, other juvenille misanthropes were engaging in this, although the method involved hyper ventilating and use of a couple of pressure points on the skull.

        1. Seanmon


          Feckin' nutters.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Same here.. was in middle school early '80s and most lunchtimes would see a group of kids holding their breath and passing out. Great fun.

        1. h4rm0ny

          You're all kids!

          Back in ancient India we used to call it Pranayama - a fundamental part of yoga practice. Back in the Indus Valley Civilisation, we used to do it all the time. ;)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You're all kids

            No, you're all idiots.

            Most of the above comments only confirm my belief that most people are idiots. You make the last few years Darwin winners look intelligent, some of them at least showed a certain level of ingenuity.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Imagine how stupid you'd sound having to explain how you died.

              There you are, in the queue at the pearly gates and St. Peter asks, "OK my son, what lead to your unfortunate demise?".

              You reply, "Well, it was like this, it was a dull day so I fixed a jet engine onto my armchair so I could go visit my dear old mum who lives next door. I fired up and got off to a good start but then I think one of those little whirly wheels decided to go in the opposite direction to all the others, got a mind of their bloody own those things have. Anyway, all hell broke loose, everything went tits up and the next thing I know I'm here."

              "Ooo..., we haven't had one of you for quite a while, come on in", says St. Peter who then shouts, "Next, you with the blue face what happened to you"

              "Well, it was like this, it was a dull day so I fixed a plastic bag over my head for laugh, I don't remember much after that".

              St. Peter comments, "Oh God, not another fuckwit, serves you right. Get downstairs.

          2. vic 4

            RE: You're all kids

            back in my day we used to cover each others gills, pass out and float to the surface

    2. Benny

      Yep, think we called it the 'American Dream'

    3. jake Silver badge

      @Matthew Anderson

      16 years ago? Gawd/ess, but you're a youngster.

      I remember kids doing this in the early-mid 1970s (known back then as "Space Cowboy" or "California Dreaming"). My father remembers kids doing this back in the late forties ("Tingling Game"),

      From what I remember, it's an early teen boy thingie. Can't remember why, exactly. No, I never participated, nor did Dad, but we both know folks who did.

      1. Bill Fresher


        I gave it a go once, but I didn't inhale.

    4. Steve Evans


      That sounds alarming like a boys boarding school activity to me!

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Yep, I do

      I recall after a while, it ended up with a cracking bad headache, plus the effect only lasted a few minutes.

      Drugs were a much better option.

      1. CmdrX3

        Done this in the 80's and I'm sure others did it long before that. Every new generation thinks they are the first to do something that most generations before them have already done. E.g Today they sniff aerosols, in my day it was glue, lighter fluid and petrol, in my great grandfathers day it was probably something like ether.

    6. Steven Roper

      I can remember

      when I was in school back in the late 70s, we got high by hyperventilating - the kids in my school called it breathbonging. I don't remember choking ourselves though, just the heavy breathing thing.

    7. Lord Lien
      Paris Hilton

      @ Matthew Anderson.

      We used to smoke on a few Jamaican wood binds then do it. :)

      Paris because she smoked, but never inhaled ;)

    8. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      So remind me about the demise of Mr Hutchence of a certain Oz rock band fame?!

      You lot literally choking your chickens to get high, I must have missed this I was most likely up the science block during breaks doing something more useful with myself than trying to pass out for shits'n'giggles!!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "every bit as dangerous as - if not more so than - traditional student pastimes such as ... a puff on a jazz cigarette"

    To my knowledge, Jazz Cigarettes have yet to cause a death by suffocation from use. Ancillary deaths I grant you some le-way on, but even donning socks is a dangerous pastime.

    Someone should tell them [the parents] about autoeroticasphyxiation, cue Christians calling for strangulation being outlawed.... oh wait....

    1. Stephen Sherry
      Thumb Up


      I was waiting for someone to bring that up, how did it take so long? :P

      1. AdamWill

        it's not half so much fun... plain old erotic asphyxiation, though. everything's better with a friend!

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erotic Asyphyxiation

    Without the erotic? what a waste of time, it only takes 1 hand to strangle yourself!

  6. Armando 123

    Older than that

    I've heard that autoeroticasphyxiation was going on in the Fatty Arbuckle case about 90 years ago.

  7. amanfromearth


    "16 percent of students reported having played the game"

    should be

    16 percent of students reported having survived the game

  8. Andrew Moore Silver badge


    Sounds suspiciously like Jenkem all over again.

    1. Ru


      And lets be honest, is this really more dangerous than Cake?

      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        Only if it messess with your shatners basson.

      2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


        You're right Ru, there are dealers up and down the country openly selling this stuff in bakeries, shops, even newsagents ffs.

        Dangers of Cake

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge


          One little girl cried all the water out of her body. Its a fucking disgrace.

      3. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

        Worst of all, Cake is a made up drug.

        One teenager on Cake cried himself inside-out.

        There is no evidence at all for this, but it is a scientific FACT!

        1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

          One girl threw up her own pelvis bone.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Massive water retention

        If anything it will surely reduce the chance of contracting czech neck?

        1. cyborg

          I only strangle once a month

          And then it's only on a purely recreational basis.

          If you're not as middle class as me - a black or builder for example - my adivce is leave well alone.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


            Missing link

            cake is dangerous

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is not new.

    In my day it was 'The Chair Game'. Which was considered safe to do alone. Idea was that if you passed out it removed the choke and broke your fall. I wonder if the moral outrage will drown out the real thing the kids should to learn; the difference between safe and unsafe.. and how to choose the right friends.

  10. Nev Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Isn't natural selection great!?

    1. Jimbo 6
      Thumb Up

      This is definitely a SOLUTION, not a PROBLEM.

  11. Sporkinum

    Some call me the Space Monkey, some call me the Gangster of Love.

  12. SpaMster

    How is this a new craze? people were doing this in my secondary school in 1997. Granted it wasnt straight strangling, people just breathed in and out heavily for a minute and somebody just pushed on your chest until you blacked out

    1. bitten

      In the seventies: predictable instant black out with crouched breathing followed by an Antaeus grip. And yes we had 'complications'.

  13. lee harvey osmond

    I remember that Tory MP

    I remember that Tory MP.

    When his body was found, he was found wearing women's underwear.

    But what was most unusual was that the Tory candidate at the ensuing by-election was a man. Normally after a sex scandal, Tory selection committees choose a woman, it's almost a reflex. Presumably on that occasion they asked all the prospective candidates if they'd ever worn women's underwear, and disqualified all those who said they had.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My old management team were in the 'bistro' by that MPs house having 'lunch'.

      Police sealed the area off and wouldn't let them leave, much to their delight.

  14. SoaG
    IT Angle

    Latest craze?

    I recall students being warned against this when I was in elementary school in the late '70s.

  15. Gusty O'Windflap

    take a listen

    George Carlin did a wonderful skit

  16. Syed

    Rope, Plastic Bag, Weights?...

    Nah, forget that crap - death by bulgarian airbags! If you're gonna do something, do it right.

    Also re: the ones that departed this life - good - evolution wins again!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Amen to that!

  17. envmod

    i got well done for this at school innit

    many moons ago when i was a new boy at a new school, i introduced a fainting craze from my previous school that earned me several cool points and likely put an end to the daily abuse....

    it involved somebody purposely hyperventiating for a couple of minutes, then talking a deep breath, standing up against a wall with your arms crossed over your chest and having your mate push onto your chest as hard as he could until you fainted.

    you woke up rolling around on the floor after a few seconds feeling "high". the kids loved it.

    so the point is - i invented this and want some bloody recognition.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ... if you don't have one you missed out, I believe the US system would accept one if you put an application in. Then you can sue people to your hearts content, although I'd avoid sueing those that didn't 'win' the game, might cause some bad publicity ;-)


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