Blue Whale Game: A Suicide Countdown - Blogmantra

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Saturday, 12 August 2017

Blue Whale Game: A Suicide Countdown

Blue Whale Game also popularly known as Blue Whale Challenge is an online game in which participants are assigned tasks, which may include challenges like waking up at odd hours, climbing on a crane, self mutilation etc.
These tasks are assigned for a course of 50 days by some anonymous administrator. The game gets intense with each task.
It is one of the most controversial game because it urges the participants to win the game by taking their own life. Yes, the last and the ultimate task is to commit suicide.

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The thing that you should know about this mind-numbing game is that, it is not like a video game, it is more like a chain of letters, each letter has a task.
These tasks can be assigned by the administrator of the game in advance, or can be assigned on the day of the task.
The authorities know nothing about the administrator, they don't even know whether there is 1 or many administrators behind this heinous task allotment.

ORIGIN

The game is specifically called 'Blue Whale', because it is based on a phenomenon of beached whales, where these whales strand themselves mainly in the beaches and eventually die due to dehydration.
Now talking about the origin of the game, it is believed that the early version of the game was launched in 2013, on the Russian Social Network VK.
Later in 2016, a Russian news site reported that groups on VK were linked to 130 teen suicides in Russia.

CREATOR

The cynic mastermind who curated this sick game from scratch is behind the bars. 21-year-old Philipp Budeikin, a former psychology student who claimed to have invented the game has been arrested by the Russian authorities and detained for three years and four months. According to him he was trying to 'cleanse society' by removing the 'biological waste'.
During his trial, Budeikin claimed that he has been suffering from bipolar disorder that led him to push teenage girls into committing suicide, but was found to be sane by the court.

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Image source: news.sky

BLUE WHALE IN INDIA

The question is when and how did the game cross national boundaries and reached our country, India?
The most probable answer is 'social media'. As the game started a wave of death in other countries, soon the social media savvy teens of India discovered it via hashtags on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram, early this year in 2017.
It turned into a heated discussion for news and media only after the suicide cases that shook the nation.
The first incident happened on 30th July 2017, when a 14-year-old committed suicide by jumping from the seventh floor of an Andheri East building in Mumbai. Maharashtra C.M Devendra Fadnavis blaimed the suicide on the Blue Whale Game.
Few days later, on 10th August 2017, the second suicide attempt took place in Indore where a class VII boy tried to jump off the third floor of a school building. Fortunately the boy was saved by a group of students before he could take his final leap.
On the same day, a 14-year-old boy was rescued by Maharashtra Police who was on his way to complete a Blue Whale challenge, after he went missing from his home.

HOW THE SOCIAL NETWORKS ARE HELPING

Well the same social networks which made Blue Whale viral, are now helping to overcome the moral panic at their end.
Now if anyone types any sensitive keyword related to this game on social media, he will see some suicide prevention resources or suicide support group contacts.
I tried it myself, i specifically searched 'Blue Whale' on some of the social networks and you can see what i found:

On Tumblr

On Facebook

On Instagram
The moment I heard about this Blue Whale game, i was reminded of 'Nerve', a Hollywood movie of 2016. The movie wasn't a hit on the box-office but it is quite similar to Blue Whale game. Nerve is about an online game with the same name 'nerve' which becomes a trend amongst the youngsters. One can either be a 'player' or a 'watcher'. The player has to perform some risky thrills while being live on the game for the watchers to watch, in order to complete tasks assigned to them.

These dangerous stunts with devastating effects are alright behind the movie camera, but real life is all about living without a threat of self-harm or any harm to others.
The young, immature teenagers need to understand that although these games fuel the adrenaline, when something as major as life is at stake, it is always better to stay away.
May be life isn't perfect, but it is definitely beautiful. Let us try to keep it that way.

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