Blue Whale Suicide Game Took The Life of an Egyptian Teen and You Should be Worried
A sinister game is taking the news websites’ by storm, as it received a lot of allegations of teens committing suicide because of a mobile game. The game is basically a 50-day challenge, where the user is asked to follow them daily, with the final challenge asking the user to commit suicide. The challenges include waking up at 4:20 AM to watch a horror video, self-harm, and not talking to anyone for a whole day.
Yesterday, it was reported on Ahram Online, that an Egyptian 18-year-old and the son of PM Hamdy El-Fakharany, Khaled El-Fakharany, was found hanging in his home in Gharbeya governorate on 2 April.
The game is developed by a Russian 21-year-old, Philipp Budeikin, who showed no regrets about the game; and when confronted about the game and why he did it he said that he was just trying to cleanse the society. He was arrested and sentenced in August 2017 to three years in prison for inciting children to commit suicide. The game is making huge controversies and ethical debates and many people relate the rise of suicide rates among teens to it.
The game is also called ‘A Silent House’, ‘A Sea of Whales,’ and ‘Wake me up at 4:20 AM.’ Participants in the game are reportedly required to provide personal information to the administrator before they can start playing. This information can be used to threaten or blackmail the player if they quit before completing the game.
Internet experts say that The Blue Whale game is difficult to combat since it has no mobile phone application or dedicated website, but is rather played on online platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Facebook, Google, Instagram, and other website are taking measures to help those who search for the Blue Whale Challenge.
I searched the Blue Whale Challenge before writing this article, and the first link that popped up is Suicide.org, with the Egypt Suicide Hotlines to help those who need support. Parents should pay more attention to their young kids’ mental wellbeing, and read more about the phenomenon and how to deal with it.