A Macabre Russian Game, “Blue Whale”, Has Led 130 Young People To Suicide

A few weeks ago, coinciding with Valentine’s Day (February 14), a 10-year-old girl was taken to the hospital for concussion and other injuries after jumping from a window in Kirishi, Russia. Apparently, the girl had fallen into the void due to a game that had become a a new social phenomenon, known as “Blue Whale”, “blue whale”

On February 20, the Russian media reported that the Federal Security Service in Saint Petersburg had opened a line of investigation to clarify what is happening. According to several sources, the total number of victims of this game now amounts to 130 people.

    Blue Whale: the suicide game

    Throughout the territory of Russia and in some Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, Blue Whale have become a truly worrying phenomenon, since there are many cases of children and adolescents who have died as a result of their use. of this game.

    This game is a viral challenge in which participants must go through several tests, such as tattooing a blue whale with a knife, jumping into the void from great heights, watching horror movies all day or staying awake for long periods of time. The last test is to commit suicide.

    Several challenges in 50 days

    The game has a simple but dangerous operation and, in its last phase, deadly Once the participant registers, a curator is assigned. This then gives you different tasks to do that, over the next 50 days, you must overcome one by one. The participant, to demonstrate that he has overcome the different challenges, must record himself with video or share a photograph of the completion of the test. After overcoming various challenges, the curator asks the participant to commit suicide.

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    According to Radio Free Europe (also known as Radio Liberty), the curators use different hashtags in Russian that translated mean: “blue whale”, “sea of ​​whales”, “I’m in the game”, “waking up at 4:20” , among many others. This practice has become a social phenomenon among the country’s youth.

      The viral phenomenon began on Vkontakte

      As is known, this trend It started on the social network Vkontakte, also called Vk Although it is unknown to many people, it is widely used in countries such as Russia, Belarus or Ukraine.

      It is also used in Spain, since there are many Russian inhabitants who spend the summer in our country. Some Spaniards use it because, despite having an aesthetic similar to Facebook and sharing some functionalities with this social network, it also shares similar functions to some dating apps (such as Happn’s location), but without that being its purpose or objective. According to data provided by various local media, On January 20, 2017 alone there were 4,000 searches for the hashtags of this game.

      An example of how curators act

      As surprising as it may seem, some children and adolescents get carried away with this game, many of them with the idea of ​​doing something forbidden. For this reason, a journalist from Radio Free Europe (RFE), decided to create a fake profile of a 16-year-old girl to be able to talk they are a curator through Vk. The conversation went like this:

      RFE journalist: “Good morning. I would like to play the game, what do I have to do?”

      Curator: “Are you sure? Once you’ve started there’s no way to turn back.

      RFE journalist: “I’m sure, but what does that mean?”

      Curator: “Well, you can’t leave the game once you start. If you accept, you must assume the rules of the game.” RFE Journalist: “I’m ready, so go ahead” Curator: “You must perform the tasks diligently, and no one must know what you do.” you are doing. When you finish each task, you need to send me a photo or video so I can verify that you have passed each phase. And at the end of the game, you die. Are you ready?”

      RFE journalist: “What if I want to quit the game?”

      Curator: “I have all your information. They will come for you.”

      The journalist claims that the first task was to make the “F58” symbol on his arm with a knife. Then he had to send a photo to prove that the test had completed successfully.

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        Some hypotheses that are being considered

        The Mental health professionals and Russian state officials are expressing concern That is why they are trying to identify the factors that drive young people to be interested in such macabre games.

        This matter has arrived on the Russian political scene, who see in this phenomenon an argument to strengthen control over the Internet. At a hearing held on February 16 in Russia’s Public Chamber to discuss a proposed law increasing penalties for inciting suicide, accusations were heard claiming that this phenomenon has been created by “Ukrainian nationalists” as a campaign prepared to entrap to 2 million young people, according to a report of the meeting in the Kommersant newspaper.

        Suspected and guilty of inciting suicide

        Several media outlets have reported on the investigations and arrests that are being carried out. The newspaper of the Ossetia region, in northern Russia, reported on February 17 that four people from the town, including two minors, had been arrested on suspicion of having played a decisive role in the suicide of a minor. 15 years old on February 1st.

        On February 20, prosecutors in Altai, Russia, opened an investigation into suspicions that an unidentified group of individuals pressured a 15-year-old boy to commit suicide over a three-month period unsuccessfully.