Dangers of the Blue Whale Game
We have recently been informed that there have been 14 cases of young people presenting to police and hospitals in East Gippsland with suspected links to the game.
Earlier this year YoDAA heard about the Blue Whale Game and deaths of young people linked to the game overseas. We have recently been informed that there have been 14 cases of young people presenting to police and hospitals in East Victoria with suspected links to the game. It is important to understand the dangers that are associated with this game and the signs to look out for!
Understanding The Blue Whale Game:
The Blue Whale Game is a social network phenomenon that was first heard about in 2013 in Russia. It has been seen on facebook, Instragram, whats app, skype and twitter etc. There have been reports of victims of the game from all over the world. The game runs over a 50 day period, where a “player” gets a challenge every day. Players are expected to complete challenges like scratching the games hashtag in their arm, waking up at early hours to watching scary movies, making themselves sick, carving various things on different parts of their bodies and many other dangerous and risky challenges. The final challenge for the player is to commit suicide. It has been reported that some of the challenges have changed over time, but not the last one. If a player wants to leave the game the administrators will scare them in to staying by saying “You cannot leave, we have all your details, we will get you”.
There are a number of conflicting reports of how a person accesses the game or if administrators of the game seek out people instead, either way it is a scary game that has suspected cases linked to it popping up in Australia.
How do we deal with The Blue Whale Game:
It is important to understand that there is still a lot of things that are unknown about this game. Understanding young people leads us to suspect that there might be different types of young people who may be drawn to a game like this. The young people who is prone to thrill seeking, the young person who is “on the fringes” or the shy young person that gets over looked or the young person who are seeking acceptance and/ or escape from their “normal” lives.
What we do know is that there is an administrator of the game interacting with young people and influencing them to take risks they might not have done so without the pressure. This video helps us understand why some young people might get caught up in the game as well as offering support and advice on how to support a young person who might already be caught up in the game. Quora has a thread from individuals, some speaking about their experiences, other urging people not to try this game. Some people do not believe that it exists and others have commented on the evolution of the game from the original reports.
Banning the game might not help stop a young person playing it but talking to a young people you are concerned about in a safe and supportive environment might help to protect them.
In an attempt to undo the damage this game is causing the Pink Whale Challenge has been created. The game asks the player to complete tasks to make the player and their friends smile over a 7 day period. It encourages the player not to keep the game a secret, to enjoy it and stresses that you do not need proof or to document what you do.