The notorious online game of ‘Blue Whale’ which has already led numerous youth to commit suicide across India as well as globally finally surfaced in Northeast as well with the first reported case from Guwahati. A minor student was admitted in the Psychiatry ward of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) after his teacher found the image of whale inscribed on his wrist. He had reportedly completed upto level 40 of the game and was almost on the verge of completing the game and thus ending his life.
Speaking exclusively to Eclectic Northeast, Dr Bornali Das, Psychiatric Social Worker from the Department of Psychiatry, GMCH said, ‘The boy is suffering from depression and he has tried to commit suicide multiple times in the past. There is a feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness in him which has led him to commit such acts. He is thinking himself to be unworthy of living. Moreover, he also failed in his Class XI exam, which has further worsened his state of mind.’
Further elaborating on his condition, Dr Das who is treating the patient said, ‘He started playing Blue Whale Challenge since July 20. He had to complete the task in 50 days. He had reached level 40 and was dangerously close to completing the task. His teacher just saw the whale on his wrist at the right time. He told us that he has performed tasks like watching horror movies, going out at night alone, having mild drugs and superficial slitting of wrist. It is a game which needs to be played secretly and if someone disclose about it, then the player would be disqualified. The inventor of the game himself reportedly suffered from bi-polar disorder and people who are depressed in their life are prey for this game.’
Calling internet and gadgets a bane for the younger generation, Dr Das advocated for strict vigilance from the parents. ‘These kind of online games seriously affect teenagers. Parents need to be more vigilant regarding the kind of stuff their children are browsing online. If need arises, they should take away the smart-phones of their children’ she said.
What is Blue Whale Challenge
The Blue Whale Gameis an Internet game that is claimed to exist in several countries. The game allegedly consists of a series of tasks assigned to players by administrators during a 50-day period, with the final challenge requiring the player to commit suicide. The term ‘Blue Whale’ comes from the phenomenon of beached whales, which is linked to suicide. Blue Whale began in Russia in 2013 with ‘F57’, one of the names of the so-called ‘death group’ of the VKontakte social network, and allegedly caused its first suicide in 2015.
In India, already there have been seven reported deaths from the Blue Whale Challenge, with the first case being reported from Thiruvananthapuram in July this year. Already police in cities like Chennai and Mumbai have issued advisory for parents to monitor the activity of their children.