The Ice Bucket challenge, Kylie Lip challenge, Mannequin challenge, Bottle-Flip challenge and many more, how does an individual come across such challenges? Newspaper? Social Networking Sites, perhaps? Where do they begin or who starts them? Why do they start them? Answers to any such question is not nearly as important as to the question how can we stop these challenges into having an impact on young brains or in some cases just gullible ones. Why is this question of imperative nature, well undoubtedly it is because, these puerile games are not only fatuous and a complete waste of time, but because they are life-threatening? Kids are always up for taking risks, but at what cost? The cost of their lives?
These “trending challenges” have claimed quite a few lives in the recent past. One such challenge, worse than others, is the Blue Whale challenge. One of the major controversy revolving around this challenge is that whether it exists at all. Either way, it has (allegedly) been claiming lives.
The very popular Blue Whale Challenge has its roots in Russia in the year 2013. It was created by a group called F57. Philipp Budeikin, one of the creator claims to have created this game to get rid of “Biological Waste” and “Clean the Society”. This game was created with an intention to promote suicide and get the vulnerable people to kill themselves, this process was being referred to as societal cleansing. The major target group of the game is the vulnerable teenagers from all over the world. This game is not publicly available because of which it cannot be downloaded or installed from the app store. The access to this game is strictly controlled by its administrators. The administrators identify the victims and send them a link to the game, and once the link is opened on the player’s phone, the administrators gain access to all the data on their phones.
The game goes on for about 50 days, where a player is given a series of tasks to accomplish on a daily basis. The player has to wake up every day for 50 days at 4:20 AM to play the game. The final task would require the player to kill them. The tasks included listening to a specific genre of music, watching a horror movie in the middle of the night, waking up at odd times, carving a whale on their arm, self-harming etc. After the performance of the task, the player would have to take a photograph and send it to the curator as a proof. All the tasks assigned are tracked by the curator. The players would have to go out of bounds to perform certain tasks. The last task usually included committing a suicide by jumping off a building or killing someone very close to the player.
This game has been claiming lives all over the world. In 2016, there were over 100 unrelated suicides in Russia but all of them belonged to the same group on the internet. All these deaths have been linked to this game. Recently India has become a victim of this game. Newspapers making headlines, everyone going frenzy about these suicides, well yet they do not or cannot pin this open, omnipresent crime on anyone. The victims of this game are those people, especially teenagers who are unhappy and are experiencing some sort of existential crisis in their life. These teenagers and kids who are surrounded by blankets of loneliness generally give into these games and their parents so involved in their daily lives don’t have enough time to pay attention to their troubles. So, these lost teenagers, what do they do? Whom do they turn to? Well, they end up registering themselves up with suicide forums and play an active role as a part of this community. This is exactly how they invite trouble and fall into the trap of the Blue Whale challenge. Initially, it is all about thrill and excitement until one day, they realize that there is no way out of this absurdity. This drives them to do bizarre stuff, harm themselves eventually leading them into killing themselves. This pressing issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible because it has been claiming lives of innocent people.
So, how can this be stopped? It’s quite simple.
These vulnerable people need to be identified and then dealt with in a sensitive manner. This can be achieved with necessary counseling and support from loved ones. They need to be encouraged to open up and talk about their problems if one is to prevent them from indulging inactivities which would eventually cause harm to them.
To foray into an unfamiliar future without being mindful of these challenges is a threat worse than that of a natural calamity. If you think about the count of people who believe and give in to being delirious about such challenges, the number of people could be quite less than any natural disaster– but this irrational disease in the person’s head is unfettered and will continue to spread its wings, conquering more and more naïve minds with its endless and merciless tasks.
-Contributed by Neha Koppu
Picture Credits: radio.foxnews.com