Dubai, UAE: Schools in the UAE have banned the Charlie Charlie Challenge for its supposed mind-altering effects. Loosely modelled on the Spanish game Juego de la Lapicera, it is a rage among teens who use two pencils and a piece of paper to seek answers from a “supernatural entity” named “Charlie”.
No school XPRESS spoke to was prepared to give an official statement, but teachers said schools felt the game was “not safe” for children.
“In some parts of the world this game has been associated with witchcraft and calling of spirits and demons to answer questions. Even if these can’t be verified, it’s best avoided,” said a teacher at an Indian school in Sharjah.
Students told XPRESS that some of their friends have been reprimanded for playing it. “Recently six of us were summoned by our supervisor and warned of strict action,” said a Grade 10 student at a school in Al Warqa.
Alarmed by the game’s increasing popularity, the Ajman Community Police and Ajman Educational Council had to hold classroom demontrations to dispel the myths associated with the game.
“My daughter is so hooked she wants to play it with us. It’s unnerving,” said a parent. A father of a fifth grader said the issue came up at a parent-teacher meet. “I don’t know what the big fuss is about. It’s such a harmless game.”
Chief of the regulations and compliance commission at Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Mohammad Darwish told XPRESS: “We are aware of the game and that many schools have banned it. We encourage schools and parents to come together to find solutions that are practical, effective and safe for all students.
Charlie Charlie Challenge involves crossing two pencils to create a grid with four sectors labelled “yes” and “no”. Players then ask questions of a “supernatural entity” named “Charlie” who answers by rotating the upper pencil to yes or no. Experiments show the top pencil is so precariously balanced on a central pivot point that it can easily rotate due to the slightest breeze or even the breath of players expecting the pencil to move.
© Gulf News