'Choking Game' Blamed in Teen's Bowflex Death Parents think 16-year-old was playing game to get high By Matthew , Newser User Posted Sep 22, 2010 4:18 PM CDT Promoted on Newser Sep 22, 2010 5:11 PM CDT 22 comments Comments File photo. A teen football player's death has been blamed on the 'choking game.' (AP) (User Submitted) – A Sacramento-area high school football player who died while using a Bowflex machine was apparently playing a variation of what's known as the "choking game." The parents of 16-year-old Justin Butler told FOX40 News he likely died while attempting to play the game, which deprives an individual of oxygen for a short period of time so they can achieve a drug-like high. Authorities have ruled out suicide as the cause of death. The coroner has not confirmed what killed Butler.