The baffling game originated in Northern France, when a 13 year old girl who had disappeared for three days reappeared and told police she was simply playing “Game of 72”.
Under the rules of the challenge, which originates from Facebook, a young person is dared to disappear for three days without any contact with friends or family. The game has received an array of media coverage of late, and some believe this attention will curtail its ghoulish appeal.
“I don’t think it’s going to take off,” says Jennifer Shapka, an educational psychology professor at UBC. “Especially now that the cat’s out of the bag.”
At least one Canadian city is not seeing any evidence that kids are picking up the game.
“While a reminder to parents about speaking to their kids is a good idea and to have ongoing discussions about what they are doing online and on social media, we have not seen any examples of it happening in Vancouver,” said Vancouver Police Department Constable Brian Montague.
But the game has caught on, to some degree, in other parts of the world. Last week, two U.K. teens spurred what the Daily Express called a “massive manhunt”. The girls were found safe in a cafe some twenty miles from their homes.
Police in Halton, Ontario are warning parents about Game of 72.
“Kids that would do this don’t really understand the consequences of that behaviour,” Halton police Sgt. Chantal Corner told the Oakville Beaver. “I could only imagine what their parents would be going through in that 72 hours, thinking their child is legitimately missing and gone and thinking the most horrible things about what has happened to them.”
Below: Parents warned about teen Facebook challenge…