[NOTE: Since researching this game, several websites (snopes.com, netfamilynews.org, and webwise.ie) are suggesting that this game may be the result of fake news. Fake or not, the more teens that read about it, some may actually start doing it. I do know one thing for sure. The daughter of a friend started playing this game a few weeks ago.]
There is seemingly always something new to be concerned about when it comes to our children. There is an online game called The Blue Whale Challenge. This game\challenge started in Russia. You must complete a total of 50 tasks, one task per day. You have to send photographic evidence to your “group administrator” to prove you have completed a task. The administrator of the game starts out assigning players harmless tasks such as watch a movie or listen to music.
However, the tasks quickly escalate to more dangerous tasks such as self-harm. The 50th task encourages players to commit suicide in order to win the game. Some reports say 16 teenagers in Russia have committed suicide playing this game and other reports say that the number may be as high as 130. There was an app for this game in both the Apple & Google play stores, but it has been removed.
Four days ago the creator and primary administrator of this game, 21-year-old Phillip Budeikin was locked up in a Russian jail. He was charged with inciting players to commit suicide. He actually had the nerve to say,
“They were dying happy. I was giving them what they didn’t have in real life: warmth, understanding, connections. There are people – and there is biological waste. Those who do not represent any value for society. Who cause or will cause only harm to society. I was cleaning our society of such people.”
Investigators said that Budeikin was sure to tell the game participants to delete all evidence from their social media account that they were playing the game.
Once again, parents have to find time to be parents and to be as vigilant as possible in talking to their children and being nosy and checking their devices. Look for signs of POSSIBLE trouble:
Spending more time online
Giving personal items away
I know if you are an adult you may be thinking, “How stupid can you be to go along with this crazy game?” Well, kids think differently than adults. You never know what state of mind or the type of environment a kid grew up in or is currently living in that may make him or her more susceptible to doing something like The Blue Whale Challenge. Often we simply have to meet our children where they are and do all we can to help them.
Think you don’t have time to poke around your child’s digital world? Here is what one of the girls that played the game had to say.
“I had to watch videos with pictures flicking every two seconds of teenagers jumping off roofs, close-ups of bodies, bloodied mouths, pools of blood under bodies. It was accompanied by very unpleasant, haunting music with screams of animals and pets, and cries like children were being tortured.
“I felt so awful after watching them I wanted to do something physical to either myself or somebody, to kill, to destroy.”
Lucky for her she got out of the game and went to the authorities.
BE NOSY & LISTEN TO WHAT YOUR CHILD IS AND IS NOT SAYING.
John lee jones