Nah, a blue whale can’t exactly swallow you (obviously because of its anatomy). At most what it can do is- get you trapped in its mouth and suffocate you to death. That’s quite like describing blue whale challenge that is plaguing the world of internet. For anyone who is oblivious to what the game is and how it works, here’s all you need to know to make sure you never get caught in the malicious trap.
Origin of The Blue Whale Challenge
It all originated from a social networking site called VKontakte where people were found begging to enter the Blue Whale challenge. A psychology student named Philipp Budeikin had claimed to have invented the game. He reasoned it by saying he wanted to wipe out negativity from the world by getting rid of depressed people. It has also been claimed that Ilya Sidorov, who used to instigate adolescents to harm themselves physically and eventually kill themselves, had been arrested. The first suicide from the challenge had been reported in 2015 after which, the number rose to 130 in Russia alone. Today, this game has become a worldwide phenomenon- claiming so many lives.
What’s shocking is- despite numerous suicide reports, you can still easily gain access to the website and even create an account. Logging in to your account, you’ll be exposed to images and messages of teenagers who are desperate to enter the challenge, being well-aware of the consequence (suicide).
While this was the case some years back, today, the game has been taken to another level. The curators (moderators) of the game track social networking sites and identify teenagers who seem depressed or prone to depression. They send the link to the challenge to the target and coax him/her to initiate the challenge. At this point, several people think of giving it a try for the sake of curiosity.
When you take up the challenge by following the link, the curator claims to have an access to your information from your device and threatens you. Since this challenge is a clandestine affair for most teens, threats from the curator regarding access to their info easily terrifies them. This is why suicide notes from various victims said
once you enter the challenge, there is no going back.
What are The Blue Whale Challenges?
From what fact checkers report and real incidents that have taken place, it has been witnessed that there are curators for the game who break it down to about 50 challenges. It begins with what we can call relatively easier levels of inflicting pain to oneself. The curator might ask the victim to draw certain patterns on a body part using a blade. This would progress to a level of having to watch scary videos and listening to music suggested by the curator. At some point, one of the curators calling themselves “whale” demands to meet the victim and tells him/her about the final challenge that’s going to be suicide. After this, there are several challenges finally leading to jumping off a building and ending life.
Blue Whale isn’t the only game that instigates its victims to kill themselves. There are a whole bunch of such games with different names but the same motto. And the target audience is people who are suffering from depression and are suggestible. Are people being stupid and reckless? The answer is yes and no. While a part of the population is trying to seek thrill, and satiate its curiosity, there’s half of the population that’s crying for help.
Depression is a mental illness that makes a person feel helpless, useless, and empty. When in depression, the mind rather magnifies negative aspects and overlooks positivity. You can say “you are strong” a million times and “you are worthless” just once and see how impactful the negative statement is for that person. This is why games, like Blue Whale Challenge, are able to influence a person to the extent of ending life.
What can we do about it? There’s a need of rigorous efforts put into educating young minds. Adolescents need to be informed about what depression is, and how to prevent or combat its consequences. Parents need to be more understanding and supportive of their children so that they can easily assess any uncanny behavior and take needed measures.