VKontakte (VK) is Russia’s largest social networking website. It is believed that a “game” targeting the teens has originated through this website. The alleged game started in secret groups in Russia in 2013.
Widely known as the Blue Whale Challenge, this game supposedly plays with your life. The participant will be given 50 tasks, one can only unlock the second task if you complete the first. As an evidence of completion of the first task, the participant should send a proof or evidence to the curator of the game. Only then the second task is unlocked. This procedure follows. Until the last level, to commit suicide.
Filipp Budeykin, a 22 year old, is said to be the ‘curator’ of the challenge and was arrested for aiding suicides. He opened up pleading guilty and went on record to say that the victims who fell prey to this challenge were ‘biological waste’ and he was just ‘cleansing the society’ through the game.
The Russian media reported suicides of 130 children, from November 2015 to April 2016, who was trapped in the cyber loop of Blue Whale Challenge. A Blue Whale / A Quiet House / A Silent House / A Sea of Whales / Wake Me Up at 4:20am are some of the alternate names given to this ‘social media’ game. There were apps of the same but was later taken down by the Internet. Currently, you cannot download or view the game online.
What are these 50 tasks?
2. Wake up at 4.20 a.m. and watch psychedelic and scary videos that curator sends you.
3. Cut your arm with a razor along your veins, but not too deep, only 3 cuts, send a photo to the curator.
4. Draw a whale on a sheet of paper, send a photo to curator.
5. If you are ready to “become a whale”, carve “YES” on your leg. If not– cut yourself many times (punish yourself)
6. Task with a cipher.
7. Carve “f40” on your hand, send a photo to curator.
8. Type “#i_am_whale (rus. #я_кит) in your VKontakte status.
9. You have to overcome your fear.
10. Wake up at 4:20 a.m. and go to a roof (the higher the better)
11. Carve a whale on your hand with a razor, send a photo to curator.
12. Watch psychedelic and horror videos all day.
13. Listen to music that “they” (curators) send you.
14. Cut your lip
15. Poke your hand with a needle many times
16. Do something painful to yourself, make yourself sick
17. Go to the highest roof you can find, stand on the edge for some time.
18. Go to a bridge, stand on the edge
19. Climb up a crane or at least try to do it
20. The curator checks if you are trustworthy
21. Have a talk “with a whale” (with another player like you or with a curator) in Skype
22. Go to a roof and sit on the edge with your legs dangling
23. Another task with a cipher.
24. Secret task
25. Have a meeting with a “whale”
26. The curator tells you the date of your death and you have to accept it
27. Wake up at 4:20 a.m. and go to rails (visit any railroad that you can find)
28. Don’t talk to anyone all day
29. Make a vow that “you’re a whale”
30-49. Everyday you wake up at 4:20 a.m., watch horror videos, listen to music that “they” send you, make 1 cut on your body per day, talk “to a whale.”
50. Jump off a high building. Take your life.
An alarming number of people are flooding the twitter platform in lookout for the curator. While many are curious to know why the game is so hyped the other lot wants to escape from the social world.
The game has paved its path to India. While there are no solid evidences of the existence of this game, the issue here is mental health and digital literacy according to experts.
“Such sensationalism by the mass media leads to misdiagnosis of the problem. Instead of taking action on appointing counselors in schools and educating teachers, parents, and children and teens about depression, bullying, etc., central and state governments have sought to get this non-existent “game” banned instead,” argues Pranesh Prakash, Policy Director at the Center for Internet and Society.
While the search is still on to confirm the existence of the game, do not forget to do your part, parents tend to play a big role in this issue. Open conversations, monitoring the cyberspace of your children and discussing with them about online dangers are all key elements to saving a life.
Don’t walk yourself into the trap. Nothing is worth giving up your life.