Back in the 80s, “dangerous games” were things like Lawn Darts, “Bloody Mary,” Ouija board, and even Dungeons & Dragons. None of these games were really dangerous – with the exception of Lawn Darts, which actually had to be banned due to the number of people getting pierced by the darts while playing it. Aside from freaking preteen girsl out at sleepovers, there is nothing dangerous about “Bloody Mary” or attempting to talk to spirits using a Ouija board. D & D is still around and no one’s gotten hurt playing it, despite what Stranger Things told you.
Enter the Digital Age, and innocent games rooted in fear took on a new and more realistic identity in the world of “terrifying,” aided by the Internet. The first challenges that went viral were good-natured in theme: The “Ice Bucket Challenge” raised money and awareness for ALS research, while the “Harlem Shake” “Running Man”, and the “Mannequin” challenges were just about having fun. And yes, they all got a little annoying after the first weeks.
Things took a very dark turn along the way and these challenges started to become deadly. The “Blue Whale Challenge” was introduced in Russia a few years ago but has spread like wildfire to the rest of the world. “The Blue Whale Challenge,” for those who are unaware of its existence, is a “game” that takes place over 50 days. It starts out with innocent and pointless tasks on day one, culminating in challenges that get progressively worse until day 50 when a child is forced to take their own life.
Other stupid “challenges” began to surface online like the “Cinnamon Challenge,” “Eraser Challenge,” and “Salt and Ice Challenge.” All three of these “games” have the potential to really hurt the person participating which is alleged to be part of the attraction. 2018 kicked off with even more dangerous Internet fads and crazes like the “Tide Pod Challenge” and the “Hot Stove Challenge.” Both of these caused many young people to call poison control before rushing to the ER.
One of the most tragic “challenges” seemed to have faded over the last couple years until it came back with a vengeance in 2017 and parents of the victims are pleading with others to heed their warnings.