Our Opinion: New game encourages violence in teenagers

The side effects of many nights include    bruises, broken bones and sometimes death. However, these side effects are now the result of a new game being playing among teens called “knockout.”

A “one hitter quitter” is the ultimate goal of the game. The rules are simple, walk down a street, find someone walking alone and try to knock them out with a single punch.

The victims of this game have no advance warning; they have unwittingly become a part of this violent assault, and as such are not prepared to defend themselves.

According to the International Business Times, the game has resulted in multiple deaths in Syracuse, N.Y., St. Louis, Mo., and Hoboken, N.J.

“For the fun of it,” was the reason a teen interviewed by CBS 2 of New York gave for playing “knockout.”

Additionally CBS 2 reports that in Brooklyn the theme is that Jews are being targeted by African-American teens.

 St. Louis based KMOV reported on Nov. 19 that a 23-year-old college student had a double fracture in the bone under her left eye as a result of being the victim of the “knockout” game.

Ken Kennedy, chief of police at Missouri Southern said he was not aware of the “knockout” game, but he will look into the phenomenon. Many of Southern’s students are from the St. Louis area and it is hoped they do not bring this with them as they attend classes in Joplin.

Teens committing the assault are as young as 13 and 15, in many cases with the teens walking in groups of more than three. In some instances after successfully knocking someone out, the victim is robbed or seriously beaten.

 Deaths from the knockout game sometimes result from the force of the punch to elderly people or from hitting their head on various surfaces such as steel fences and cement curbs when they fall.

This cowardly act is disturbing and hopefully only a short-lived phase. One can only imagine the fear people will begin to have whenever passing groups of teens on the street.  

Has society degraded so far that teens have become so callous as to commit these acts with seemingly no feelings for what pain and suffering they have caused? Sure teens will be rowdy and can generally make some bad decisions, but this crosses the line.

What happens when victims start retaliating?