Blue Whale Game – Time for Action
The Blue Whale Game also “Blue Whale Challenge”, is an internet game that is claimed to exist in several countries. The game allegedly consists of a series of tasks assigned to players by administrators during a 50-day period, with the final challenge requiring the player to commit suicide.
Blue Whale began in Russia in 2013 with “F57”, one of the names of the so-called “death group” of the VKontakte social network, and allegedly caused its first suicide in 2015. Philipp Budeikin, a former psychology student who was expelled from his university, claimed that he invented the game. Budeikin stated that his purpose was to “clean” the society by pushing to suicide those he deemed as having no valule to live.
In Russia in 2016, Blue Whale came into broader use among teenagers after a journalist brought attention to it through an article that linked many unrelated suicide victims to the Blue Whale, creating a wave of moral panic in Russia. Later, Budeikin was arrested and pled guilty to “inciting at least 16 teenage girls to commit suicide”, leading to Russian suicide prevention legislation and renewed world-wide concern over the Blue Whale phenomenon.
Blue Whale in India
A 16-year-old boy in Kerala (India) was reported to have committed suicide on 26 July 2017 after playing the online Blue Whale game. Hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, it was said he ended his life after allegedly completing the tasks of this deadly game. Recalling the ordeal, the mother of the deceased told Indian Express the boy had committed suicide after deleting all the games from his mobile phone. Acknowledging that her son had informed her about playing the fatal game, she said she had persuaded him to refrain from playing it, but to no avail. She also said he had downloaded the game nine months ago and that he told her not to worry if he dies soon. His mother also revealed that he used to visit cemeteries during the night and go to the beach alone. One of the tasks assigned to the players involved watching the horror videos sent to them by promoters of the game, it is believed. The boy had also drawn on his wrist with a compass, his mother said, adding that he had offered to donate his organs after his death.
On 30 July 2017, a 14-year-old boy committed suicide by jumping from the seventh floor of an Andheri (East) building in the city of Mumbai. Maharashtra state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis blamed the suicide on the Blue Whale game, though the Mumbai Police said they had not found evidence that the teenager had played the game.
On 10 August 2017, a Class VII student in the city of Indore, State of Madhya Pradesh, was pulled away by a group of students, before he could take the final suicide leap, off the third floor of the Chamali Devi Public School. The boy apparently recorded the whole 50 stages of the game, in his school diary.
On 10 August 2017, a 14-year-old boy on the way to finish the Blue Whale challenge was rescued by the Maharashtra Police, who intercepted the bus in which he was traveling to Pune, from his home town of Solapur. After the boy went missing, his parents started enquiring with his friends when they came to know that he was playing the Blue Whale Challenge.
On 12 August 2017, a tenth grade student from Anandpur, West Midnapore district of West Bengal allegedly committed suicide as a result of playing the game. His body was discovered in the bathroom, with his face covered with a plastic bag tied around his neck by a cotton cord.
The authorities need to wake up and and Information Technology Department needs to take strict action in getting this game banned in the country. Social awareness campaign needs to be setup to make aware of the dangers of the games and how it can affect our society and the teenagers of our country.