“Blue Whale Challenge: Is this the beginning of the end?”
What is the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’?
The Blue Whale Challenge is a suicide game on the internet that drives the player to ultimately commit suicide. A group of administrators gives a participant a task to complete daily — for a period of 50 days — the final of which is the participant committing suicide. Participants are expected to share photos of the challenges and tasks completed by them.
These daily tasks start off easy — such as listening to certain genres of music, waking up at odd hours, watching a horror movie, among others, and then slowly escalate to carving out shapes on one’s skin, self-mutilation and eventually suicide.
Each player, or the victim, is chosen over the internet from social media groups, selecting the most vulnerable of the lot, and creating a sense that he / she is the chosen one.
Here’s a list of the tasks:
Why would a teenager even play the ‘Blue Whale Game’?
It is an established fact that today, teens are feeling more lost than ever. Parents are working, there is an unbelievable level of peer pressure all around, and amongst all this, the only feeling is vulnerability. The Blue Whale Challenge makes users believe that they want to kill themselves because there is a better life waiting for them on the other side. Upon starting, if they refuse to complete the game, then the admin threatens the players saying that they will be tracked down and meet a horrible fate if they do not commit suicide. The minds behind the game use specific psychological techniques to make their players as vulnerable as possible. Each task helps them gain a deeper control over the player’s mind, and eventually, they convince the player to commit suicide.
What can you to do to protect your family and friends?
- Parents need to keep talking to the kids. Take interest in your child’s activities.
- Give children and teenagers space to share their feelings without negating them.
- Never reprimand people for whining, crying or staying aloof. Try to find out the reason behind unnatural behavior. For example, a disturbed stomach could be a sign of anxiety.
- Talk to your young family member / friend for 20 minutes every day without interrupting them. This will help you read trouble signs – are they being bullied, body shamed or going through academic decline?
- Monitor their digital behaviour and subtly keep an eye on their internet activity. It is extremely important.
Yes, the creator of this game (21-year-old Philipp Budeikin) has been arrested, but, is it only he who is responsible for our kids and teenagers succumbing to this horrific ploy?