Online Challenge: Beware of Dangerous Games

For fifteen years, serious challenges follow each other but are not the same. Kids and teens’ imaginations have no limits when it comes to impressing their friends and making themselves famous, often by accepting challenges that come with increasing risks. We regularly hear about these dangerous games as soon as a tragedy strikes at school, at home, or at a recreation center. These challenges are often taboo in the family or school environment.

In fact, children do their best to hide these forbidden practices because they know they are dangerous. Today any child can participate one day, out of challenge or fear of being excluded from the group, regardless of their social background.

If challenges and serious games have been around for decades, it pretty much took off with the internet and social networking. We take advantage of the web’s presentation to portray ourselves, demonstrate our ability, and impress our peers. But the consequences of these games can be tragic: guilt, humiliation, irreversible physical or neurological damage, death… The challenges claim thousands of victims around the world every year.

What games are there currently?

According to Gregory Michel, professor of psychopathology and clinical psychology, who specializes in Internet challenges and author of Adolescent Risk-taking, there are 3 categories of games: games without oxygen, challenging games, and aggressive games. Games without oxygen (mantle game, tomato game, bag game, etc.) deprive the brain of oxygen, which leads to fainting.

These games are usually played in groups. Some try at home. This is where accidents often happen. Challenging games are based on the principle of “hat or not?” These games often have a physical challenge such as the snow challenge which consists of throwing yourself into the snow wearing a swimsuit or train surfing (surfing on the roof of a train). Some of the challenges include the use of products: alcohol, spray cans, detergents… In aggressive games, a group of people identify and attack the victim.This is the case of the little butcher bridge or happy slapping that involves filming and broadcasting a scene of violence on the Internet.These types of games can be related to harassment.

‘Minor Phenomena’ For Dr. Ghozlan Benamar, child psychiatrist, from games of death to game of life, adolescents’ fascination with these challenges is partly due to the media. The media exacerbates small phenomena and then pumps them up. By evoking these challenges, they give her a publicity that sparks curiosity. Many teens who don’t know anything about these games will want to try it out or talk about it with their friends. All of these factors are what create this phenomenon.” But what are the minority of children and teens who would venture to look for? “They immerse themselves in these challenges to be present in the eyes of others. In our photo society, you have to create a buzz to gain popularity,” the specialist explains.

A very serious challenge

Among the serious challenges, we find the #LabelloChallenge that has caused casualties on TikTok. It’s a game for teens, then, of dispensing lip balm every time they’re going through a tough time in their day. At the end of the tube, they must deceive themselves or commit suicide. Over the past few days, a new trend in TikTok has been making the rounds. It is also very dangerous as it has caused serious injuries to a 10-year-old in the UK.

The little girl sprayed deodorant on her hand for 10 seconds. The goal is to feel the cold caused by the aerosol mist. But a small problem, I burned both hands. Doctors say it will take at least two years to heal.

Then his mother explains on Facebook: “10 seconds of stupidity will leave him two years of pain. I couldn’t believe it when I saw his hands, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’m so angry. She’s one of the brightest and most polite little girls, and I wasn’t I absolutely think she would do something like that.”

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