The tasks escalate from simply watching a horror movie in a dark, locked room to cutting your body parts.
A social media epidemic called the Blue Whale Challenge, has ensured that the name ‘blue whale’ will be associated with fear and death. The game, which originated in Russia, and is quickly spreading across the world, encourages self-harm as a way to get through each level. The tasks escalate from simply watching a horror movie in a dark, locked room to cutting your body parts. The final level results in suicide.
While social media had been buzzing about the alarming game for a long time, it may have found its way to Indian shores, with a suicide being possibly linked to the game.
A 14-year-old child in Mumbai, who jumped off his fourth floor roof on Saturday had nothing incriminating in his own phone. However, his friends on WhatsApp groups have allegedly discussed the fact that his suicide may have been due to the game, thereby alerting the police to the fact.
“Parents need to learn all that they can about the game, so that they can spot if their child is taking part in behaviour that is typical of this game. If so, they should immediately take strict action against the child and also consult a counsellor on an urgent basis,” explains psychiatrist Kinjal Pandya.
Children also need to be alert and help out their friends. “If a child sees his peers taking part in these activities, then he or she should also immediately inform the authorities,” adds Kinjal.
According to the psychiatrist, a sense of adventure is what leads kids to this dangerous game. “Kids, when they are entering teenage, have a sense of adventure that causes even the most timid of them to seek out thrills,” she says.