The Blue Whale Challenge: What attracts people to die for

The blue whale challenge is an internet game founded in Russia by an expelled psychology student Philipp Budeikin. The person is claimed to be a sadist and states that his purpose is to clean the society from weak and deemed people who have ‘no value’. The game is a series of tasks that is to be performed by the challenger (player) assigned by a curator. The task consists of self-harm acts like cutting of hands, lips and watching horror movies. The final “winning” act being suicide.
But when we listen to such cases of teenagers committing suicides, we wonder what attracts these teenagers to play such a game that harms themselves.

The origin of this game

The blue whale community or the “death groups” attract teenagers and then find out those who are mentally weak and can be psychologically manipulated. They gather children and offer simple tasks for which some children refuse. Some children leave the group while the rest in the group are given much harmful tasks like cutting their veins, to balance on a roof top, to kill an animal and post a video or pictures to prove it.

Most children left at this stage. A small group who stayed obediently, went through all the tasks, psycologically ready to follow whatever the administrators told them. So, no matter how strange or scary the tasks were these teens would definitely do it !
During the year 2013, the game was said to be responsible for the death of 13 young girls in Russia. Till date it is been responsible for 130 suicides across the globe. It is been officially banned from many social media sites and Google play store but even today it can be accessed by teens via dark net and other such places.

The victims

People with sound mind and a healthy support group of peers, family and teachers are less likely to be prone to this game. However, adolescents who are glued to the social media, having low self-esteem, craving for peer acceptance are highly prone to this deadly game. These people can be easily manipulated into performing such acts which gives them a good social recognition.

The game starts in the form of a narrative comic book scares having different levels. The narrative gives a larger than life persona which tries to alter the psychology of the player by showing him/her videos that are too fast moving for a normal brain to capture or listening to high frequency music or shrill, shouting of animals which inculcates a destructive behavior in the minds of the player and further mentally prepares them to commit self-harm acts. If the player refuses to complete a task then he/she is heralded as being ‘worthless’. Most of the victims are indecisive due to their maturity levels, succumb to the instructions given to them by the curator. In the course of 50 days these teenagers are brainwashed into thinking how worse their life is and how much good they would do if they end it. ‘It is beautiful to die young’, ‘you will understand what I am trying to say’ are the typical lines used by the curator to brainwash them into committing suicide.

After reading this we all still think how highly impossible it is to manipulate someone into ending their lives. But while searching some interesting facts on facebook or other social Medias we ourselves don’t realize what are we signing up for. With the onset of social media our direct interaction with our family or peers has reduced to an extent. The effect of replacement of emotions by emoticons has not only reduced our direct interaction but also we have lost our capability to express ourselves as individuals, leading to social insecurities. These insecurities further pushes us to other media where we try to seek our solace with unknown people or activities.
Maybe you aren’t prone to these things but there would be someone around your society who is struggling with his share of insecurities or public approval. Help them come out of it. You never know when he/she would find his comfort in such games and may end up his life.

Pratik Bhosle
A Sports Enthusiast, passionate Traveller, Aspiring writer, and an Electrical engineer.

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