In what could be one of the strangest things you would ever come across, is an Internet trend growing in popularity that encourages its participants to hurt themselves in real life – dubbed the Blue Whale Game Challenge; a 50-day challenge that requires participants to receive instructions from an anonymous administrator every day that involves them to doing things that hurt themselves such as cutting themselves, and their final task (the 50th task) is to commit suicide.
As horrible as it may sound, at least two recent deaths in India have been linked to this sick challenge as well. And according to reports by TOI, a Class VII student on Thursday tried jumping off the third floor of his school building in Indore, India as the last step of a Blue Whale-type suicide dare but was saved in the nick of time by his PT coach.
Reports claim the child was playing the game on his father’s mobile phone for a long time but the parents had no clue. Although the child and his classmates say he was playing the challenge, police were skeptical because there is no mobile app for the game they know of, and the boy didn’t have any cuts on his body since the game at some levels involves the participant cutting him or herself.
They told police that the boy kept a diary where he recorded every challenge that he completed in the deadly game. However, reports said that he lost the diary after the 49th challenge but was so hooked that he went online to find the 50th and last challenge that instructed him to jump off a building.
This mysterious Blue Whale challenge created in 2013 by Philipp Budeikin, a former psychology student is said to be played in over 11 countries; Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Kenya, Paraguay, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Uruguay, US, and Venezuela and has recorded over 100 deaths mostly in China, Russia, and United States.
Kenya becomes the first and only African country to have participated in this challenge. In May, a 16-year old boy; 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 after playing all levels of the game – becoming the first case of this kind to be reported in the country. The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) immediately wrote to Google and Facebook to block the Blue Whale online game.
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.