Kottarakkara: Recent reports show that there is an increase in the number of users of a game, similar to the deadly ‘Blue Whale’ online game, which has claimed lives of several people across the world, in Kerala too.
This shocking news came from an incident when students of some schools in Kollam district had drawn pictures on their hands using blades and compasses. At the high school
level, the students who played the game that forces them to take their own lives.Most amazing fact is that, those were found to be girls.
The usual method is to draw pictures or their name on their wrists till the blood comes out. Such bruises were found on the wrists of some girls in
the schools of northern parts of the district. Instead of probing further, the teachers hushed up the incident by scolding the students.
The students say that they are doing such things as some friends prompt them. One girl had badly bruised her wrist using a blade. She also
challenged other girls to attempt this. On her prompting, the other girls too cut their wrists using blades without the knowledge of their family.
According to reports, such incidents have happened in other schools of the district too.
The Blue Whale game, which lasts for fifty days, starts in a similar way. Each day, a challenge is given to those who are playing it. After several
challenges, a challenge to commit suicide is kept before the player. It was suspected that 14-year-old Manpreet Singh, who was killed in
Mumbai, was the first victim of Blue Whale game in the country. As the news about his death spread, there has been an increase in those trying
to download the Blue Whale App.
The teachers noted the wound on a student’s hand during the sports meet at Kottarakkara last year.
The student had said that he drew a picture on his wrist after heating a compass.
Watch out for signs of depression and suicidal tendencies:
- Feeling low most of the time
- Withdrawal from favorite activities
- Fear, anxiety, despair
- Addiction to social media
- Sleep disturbances
Something macabre has been brewing on the internet, and it sounds like the perfect plot for a third rate horror film. A depressed youngster comes across a social media group called Blue Whales. The group encourages him to take his life.
It also promises to make his exit from this world fun by turning the suicide into a thrilling game.
After signing up, the youngster is assigned daily tasks for the next 50 days. It includes inflicting self-injury, watching horror movies, waking up at odd hours to wrap the task and even carving a whale shape on the arms. The task keeps getting tougher with each passing day. On the last (50th day), the game admin ask the youngster to commit suicide. Those who want to back out on the last day are threatened that their family members will be hurt if they don’t abide by the game rules. There is no exit.
This psychopathic game started in Russia four years ago on a social networking site called VKontakte. It has already claimed over 130 lives in Russia. It allegedly led to its first suicide in 2015. Philipp Budeikin, a psychology student claimed that he invented the game. Budeikin, who was thrown out of his university, said he was attempting to weed out the society by encouraging those who have no value to take their lives. Other reports claim that the mastermind behind the game, a postman called Ilya Sidorov, 26, was arrested in Moscow, Russia. He used to encourage teenagers to hurt themselves and eventually commit suicide.
What is worrying is that despite the common knowledge that the deadly game started and spread on VKontakte, which is a hugely popular site in Russia, no checks were brought in place to contain the network. One can easily create a VKontakte account . And once you log in, and search for #bluewhale, you come across psychotic, extremely depressing messages of young people desperately wanting to play the game and end their lives. Their profiles are as macabre as it can get. There are pictures of self-injury, ghosts and horrifying sketches of people bleeding and trying to kill themselves.
When this journalist created an account on VKontakte, and asked a few users about Blue Whale, she was sent a link to a page that claimed to add people to the Blue Whale network. The page was full of eerie sketches, including one that showed a bloodied male figure hurting himself with a knife. The curator of the page called Aisha Andrew chatted with her, and told her that there can be no looking back once a person begins the game. The first task that she was assigned was to carve ‘F57’ on her arm with a blade at 4:20 am and send a picture.
Dr Pulkit Sharma, psychologist, says that we need to immediately ban access to such social networking sites.
“It’s important to restrict such content. When a person is depressed, he or she is in a very fragile state of mind. Anyone who seems powerful to them and comes across as an anchor point, can have the potential to influence their mind. When you tell a depressed person that he can live, and there is hope, they don’t find such words to be realistic. But if someone tells him that he is fit to die, and there is nothing wrong is seeking liberation and suicide is an easier, logical way out, he immediately relates to it. Exposure to such content is extremely dangerous for depressed young people.”
Sharma says that the network seems to be a creation of a psychopath.
“Such people believe that they are larger than life. They are on a special mission and they have a weird agenda that makes sense to them. They are fanatical and psychopathic. They see things in extreme, in black and white, the way the alleged creator of the Blue Whale network believes that if he eradicates depressed people, this world will be a happy place,”
he says. Such a psychopathic mind could be an outcome of extreme childhood abuse, neglect and trauma.