Kenya Film Classification Board Bans Online ‘Blue Whale Game’ Challenge

According to reports from Kenya, the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) wrote to Google and Facebook to block the Blue Whale online game, which is said to feature a series of traumatizing tasks that culminate in suicide. This comes after it emerged that a 16-year old boy committed suicide on May 3rd, 2017 after successfully going through all the 50 stages of the killer game.

Reports claim the 16-year old boy goes by the names of Jamie Njenga, who was a Form Two student at J. G. Kiereini Secondary School in Kiambu County, hanged himself on the balcony of a hotel owned by his grandfather.

This has been the first case of this kind to be reported in Kenya, and the government of the country is taking actions to shut down the game.

KFCB CEO; Ezekiel Mutua in a press statement said the board had ordered the immediate withdrawal of the game from all social media sites in Kenya and also asked all ISPs to ensure it is not accessible within the country.

He pointed out that anyone found allowing children to play the game will be arrested and prosecuted in line with the Film and Stage Plays Act Cap222. Under this Act, he said, it is illegal to expose children to any content that is suitable for adults only.

“In this regard, the board is already working closely with the law enforcement agencies to ensure the game is not available in any public facility, including cyber cafes and gaming joints across the country,”Mutua said.

The Board has further advised the Communications Authority of Kenya, to take action against any social media sites operators allowing the distribution of such dangerous games.

The Blue Whale Game Challenge debuted in Russia was created in 2013 by Philipp Budeikin, a former psychology student – requires a participant or a player who has gone through all the challenges to commit suicide in order to regarded as an ultimate winner.

Generally, the game is based in the relationship between the challengers (in this case: the players or participants) and the administrators. It involves a series of duties given by the administrators that players must complete, usually one per day, some of which involve self-mutilation. Some tasks can be given in advance, while others can be passed on by the administrators on the day, and the last task being suicide.

According to online reports, it is believed that the first case of suicide related to the game occurred in 2015 in Russia. However, after the 2015 incident, international reports claim that about 130 teenagers have committed suicide after playing the game in Russia.

Online reports continue to mention that the game is so far being played in 11 countries; Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Kenya, Paraguay, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Kenya becomes the first and only African country to have participated in this challenge.

Editor’s Note: Some of the sources we used here were got from Wikipedia.

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