A GARDA Sergeant has warned teenagers of the negative impacts of the ‘Game of 72’ — a dare which sees teenagers deliberately ‘go missing’ for up to 72 hours in order to gain as much online and social media traction as possible.
The social media ‘game’ has become increasingly common in the US and Europe in recent times and there are concerns it will spread here. Anglesea Street Sergeant, Peter Murphy, said young people are highly engaged in social media.
“This would mean they are highly aware of the fact that if they take part in such a game they will gain a certain amount of online traction and notoriety,” he said.
“While there is certainly no hard evidence to suggest any widespread trend at the moment, it would be very worrying if one were to develop and would be closely monitored by gardaí and other state agencies.”
Vancouver police warned teenagers of the “potentially serious consequences” of the game in 2015. The Times of India reported a similar 48 hour hybrid of the game sweeping the nation in October of last year.
“Anything like this should certainly be discouraged as it can have a major impact on family and friends who are worrying for a person’s safety,” said Sergeant Murphy.
“Anyone who does engage in this type of reckless behaviour is taking up a lot of valuable time and resources in terms of gardaí and it can detract resources from genuine cases.
“People who do this for a dare or some other reason, although it may not start out as a dangerous situation, it can lead to serious danger.”