The game as explained by Luke: When someone farts they must say Safety before anyone else says Doorknob. If they do not say Safety first, then others have license to beat the shit out of, tickle, poke, or do whatever they want with that person until they either touch a doorknob. Or until they spell doorknob backwards, but people don’t usually use that rule.”
Luke explained that he learned this game from his family. He has two older brothers, and they would take joy in beating him up if he forgot to say Safety. His sisters would join in the game as well, but it was primarily played amongst the men of the family. He said that he would also play this game with his friends, but he mostly played it when he was younger with his other family members. Luke explained that the game was ongoing, and occurred any time after someone passed gas. There wasn’t a set time that people played, it just happened.
Luke said that the game means that people have found ways to exploit bodily functions, a kind of universal common ground like talking about the weather, to bond and grow as a social group. He said that he thinks the game exists because it combines the humor of farting and the joy of punishment. Also, it has an element of danger and competition.
I agree with Luke’s surprisingly insightful analysis. I also had a similar experience playing this game growing up, as I mostly played it with my family members and close friends. This demonstrates that the act of passing gas is natural, and deemed acceptable with people that you are comfortable around.
Also, farting is something that is usually tabboo in modern popular culture, but this game makes it acceptable and fun. Because those that have to deal with the repercussions of another persons flatulence are usually uncomfortable or unhappy, this game gives them the chance to return the favor by beating on the one that passed gas in an acceptable manner.