A game among teens called Blue Whale has caught the recent attention of many European countries. Blue Whale is a suicide game … that’s right, suicide.
Approximately 130 child suicides occurred in Russia from November 2015 to April 2016, and the majority of them were players of the Blue Whale game.
Blue Whale calls on players to follow instructions and perform assigned tasks over a period of fifty days. The administrator of the game sends messages to players over social media or text. The players are instructed to carry out various tasks in order to complete the game. It can include things like self-mutilation, stitching patterns into skin, climbing a crane in the dark of night, watching horror movies or listening to certain songs that will negatively impact their mental health. On the 50th day, the player is then instructed to commit suicide in order to win the game.
Philipp Budeikin, the 21-year old founder of the deadly game Blue Whale, is now being held in a Russian jail for encouraging at least 16 school age girls to commit suicide. He has confessed to the crimes and believes that it is his duty to cleanse society of biological waste. He has indicated his victims were happy to die. Ilya Sidorov was also arrested and believed to be the mastermind behind the game. Sidorov has confessed to being an administrator of a group with 32 members, all under age.
Although the media in many countries has tried to bring Blue Whale into the spotlight by reporting deaths with known ties to the game, some countries still believe the game is a hoax and have debunked the suicides or suicide attempts as mere coincidence.
Though it seems far away from the United States, parents are all too well aware how trends can spread … even horrific trends like Blue Whale. It’s important for parents to keep an open ear and an even more open line of communication with their teens to discuss and educate on the real-life dangers of online games.