Blue Whale Challenge: The Suicide Game Gripping Teenagers
Game is defined as an activity that people engage in for amusement and leisure. With the emergence of social media, many youngsters have become hooked to online gaming. However, very often it’s difficult for us to distinguish what is good and bad on the internet. One such example is the Blue Whale Game, or the Blue Whale Challenge.
The Blue Whale Challenge is an online suicide game, which is believed to have been invented in Russia. The game involves an administrator assigning various tasks to the participant over a period of 50 days, the last of which involves committing suicide. So far, the game has claimed 150 lives around the world, with several cases emerging in India as well.
Why Was The Game Invented?
While some say that there is no such game as the Blue Whale Challenge, it is widely believed to have originated in the year 2013. The inventor of the game is Phillip Budeikin from Russia, who was arrested in May this year. According to Budeikin, the reason behind creating the challenge was to ‘eliminate’ and ‘cleanse’ the Earth of people who weren’t of any value to the society.
The sinister game starts off by the curators or administrators looking out for people asking to take part in the game. This is done through hashtags, and once they are found, the curators then talk to them through private messages, telling them that once they start playing, there’s no way to quit. If the participant says yes, the game then starts off with tasks like carving a whale on your hand with a blade, listening to disturbing songs, waking up at 4:20am, watching horror movies, spending time in a cemetery, and then finally jumping to death.
Why Are Teenagers Falling Prey To It?
Last month, a 19-year old boy in Tamil Nadu committed suicide by hanging himself at his home. The police found an image of a whale carved onto his arm, along with a suicide note that said once you enter the game, you can never exit. Besides this, there have also been several suicides due to the Blue Whale Challenge being reported from Mumbai, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh.
The target group of the game is children and teenagers, mainly through social media. The curators pick out vulnerable or depressed candidates and threaten them by saying that once they enter the game they can’t get of it, otherwise their family members will be harmed or killed.
What Can We Do?
The emergence of suicide games like the Blue Whale Challenge is both alarming and disturbing. While on the one hand, information is at the tip of our fingers now, at the same time, the same information can be dangerous to our lives. Blue Whale Challenge is an example of the dark side of the internet, where anyone can be manipulated into doing anything, even if it means harming oneself.
It’s not been possible to remove the game completely off the internet, since another version comes up soon. However, people can be prevented from falling prey to it. One way to do this is to identify people around us who are isolated or depressed and reach out to them. Parents need to keep a close eye on their children’s behaviour, monitor their social media usage, look for any signs of depression or isolation, and make them aware of the Blue Whale Game. But most importantly, they need to tell their children that no one can make them feel worthless or force them to commit suicide.