The latest in bizarre trends among young people is called the “Game of 72.” Though it has an innocent sounding name, the game refers to dares kids put on one another to “vanish” for 72 hours by ceasing communication with family and friends; whoever gets the biggest freak out after being proclaimed missing wins.
The game is thought to have started in Europe, and could be linked to the disappearance of British teens Sammy and Siobhan Clarke, who disappeared for three days before turning up safe.
Constable Brian Montague with Vancouver Police told CKNW’s Liza Yuzda this morning that players of Game of 72could even face criminal charges for faking a missing person’s case.
“The Vancouver Police get 3 to 4,000 missing persons reports every year, and our missing persons unit is always extremely busy. The last thing we need is people to make a game of going missing.”
Jesse Miller with Mediated Reality spoke to Jon McComb this morning, and told him one of the challenges in the game is for teens to go that long without using their phone.
“We do so much work with kids, talking to them about disengaging with mobile technology. The idea of disappearing for 72 hours is almost unfathomable to me because they live in a world of connectivity.”
Miller applauds with Cst. Montague’s and the VPD’s standing on this phenomenon.
“I’m very happy the Vancouver Police have taken a very drastic, direct stance on this. The one child who opts to participate in this is going to cause not only not only fear and unrest in family and community, but the unnecessary attention that’s going to be required from emergency response to look for this person.”
Montague also cautioned that the police department is taking this seriously; if someone causes an investigation by playing this game, investigators won’t hesitate to pry into their personal life, and details could be made very public.