What is it?
The Blue Whale Challenge or The Blue Whale Game is a self-harm game which is gaining popularity amongst teenagers these days. In this the players are supposed to play a game which though starts off with simple tasks but ends up in self-harming at the best and suicide at the worst.
If you are thinking that this is an episode of a thrilling show then you could not be more wrong! This is happening actually. The game came into existence sometime in 2013 in Russia on a social networking site known as VKontake and drew first blood in 2015. The game allegedly consists of a series of tasks assigned to players by administrators over a certain period, with the final challenge requiring the player to commit suicide.
Somehow it has gained immense popularity in many countries. 1st case of suicide as instructed by the game happened last month in Mumbai, where before the incident, the teenager chatted up with friends about committing suicide, which the others took it as a joke.
How are they doing it?
When a person is depressed, he or she is in a very fragile state of mind. Any person with a psychopathic tendency can influence the said depressed person to see that world would be a better place without him/her. As per psychologists, it is rather simple to manipulate such delicate minds since they are already depressed and are looking for a way out of their miseries.
It is NOT an app! This is a voluntary game played online on Social media. Potential players have to use #i_am_whale to show that they are interested. The curator preys on their impressionable minds and gains their trust.
Unlike many theories, the curators do not hack into the players’ data; the information is shared by the players themselves.
Where’s the catch?
It is said that once you start the game, there is no way out. The ‘curator’ of the game makes it abundantly clear that if the participant does not complete the routine/self-harm then their family members or loved ones will be hurt. Also to prove that the torture has been completed, a photographic evidence of the event has to be uploaded.
It is allegedly a 50 task challenge. However, if the player needs more convincing to perform a task, then the game may roll on to months before completion.
NOTE TO PARENTS: Depression and suicidal behavior are very real and family members and loved ones can help out kids and teenagers battle this in a positive way!
Some signs of depression and suicidal tendencies to watch out for;
- Severe aggression
- Withdrawal from most preferred activities
- Lack of sleep or disturbances
- Withdrawal from talking to family/friends
- Constant irritability
- Signs of self-harm like cutting self or getting into fights unnecessarily
Image Courtesy – http://www.adewumicollege.org
- Sohini Maitra
- August 2, 2017
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