“Blue Whale” Game Suspected in Wave of Suicides
A rash of suicides in Russia are suspected to have been caused by a sick game on the internet called “Blue Whale,” and experts warn it could spread throughout Europe and beyond.
According to the U.K. Express, one 15-year-old Spanish girl is suspected to have taken part in the game and is now in a psychiatric unit in Barcelona after her parents discovered her.
Bloomberg also reports that the game has reached as far as Brazil.
The game takes its name from a song by Russian rock band Lumen called “Siniy Kit,” or “Blue Whale” in Russian. “Why scream / When no one hears / What we’re talking about?” it begins, and talks about a “huge blue whale” who “can’t break through the net.”
The song became the title of a game in which curators select players from online forums. They’re given up to 50 daily tasks, which will eventually lead up to suicide. Some of the tasks include self-cutting and “taking other risks,” Bloomberg reports. Canada’s Global News reports that one of the tasks can involve cutting the shape of a whale into one’s arm.
The “players” are generally between the ages of 10 and 14.
“For the last 10 days, the player needs to wake up at an appointed early morning hour, listen to music and contemplate death,” the report states. “Those who get cold feet and want to leave the game receive threats, often that their parents will be killed.”
Russian authorities are investigating up to 130 deaths that could have been caused by the sick game. Now, officials in the United Kingdom are worried that Blue Whale has spread there.
“Whoever created this horrible game is sick. Parents: Please be aware of this ‘game,'” Devon and Cornwall Police Community Support Officer Kirsty Down posted last month on Twitter, according to the Express. “Talk to your children about it if concerned.”
“I find that very disturbing,” Canadian family therapist Alyson Shafer told the Global News. “We know that youth is a time when we try to get our identity established and try to find our crowd of people.
“But it becomes very worrisome when people who have behaviors that are dangerous find one another and support one another in activities that are not healthy.”
Remember, parents: monitoring your child’s internet activity is important. If this game has spread to Western Europe and Brazil, it’s likely not long before it comes to the United States — if it isn’t already here. Be sure to keep an eye out, and if you have any concerns, contact behavioral health professionals.
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