The choking game (also known as the fainting game and a wide variety of slang terms) refers to intentionally cutting off oxygen to the brain with the goal of inducing temporary loss of consciousness and euphoria.
Limited research has been conducted regarding motivations for practicing the fainting game, although thrill-seeking has been identified as a risk factor, as has the perception that it is a low-risk activity.Anecdotal reasons stated include:
Peer pressure, a challenge or dare, a rite of passage into a social group or amusement over erratic behavior.
Curiosity in experiencing an altered state of consciousness, the experience of a greyout, or an imagined approximation to a near-death experience.
A belief that it can induce a brief sense of euphoria (a rushing sensation or high)
The prospect of intoxication, albeit brief, at no financial cost.
Reasons for practice are distinct from erotic asphyxiation. Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners in London, claims that the fainting game is pursued primarily by children and teens “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, practice of the fainting game appears to be uncommon in adulthood