The online Blue Whale Game aims to persuade vulnerable youngsters into taking their own lives. If media reports are to be believed, this vicious game that is played online is spreading like wild fire and posses a new challenge to the society that’s heavily dependent on the cyber world.
Blue Whale is so named because of the way whales will sometimes beach themselves and then die. Blue Whale has already taken lives abroad and now the horrifying viral game has purportedly come to India.
Each day the media reports about Blue Whale cases is trickling from different parts of the country but still there seems to be no clarity on how to tackle this challenge.
How the Game is played:
The Blue Whale game has its presence on the internet space and can be freely downloaded and played. Once a player decides to play the Blue Whale Game, he/she has to take instruction from the curator or administrator of the game who assigns the player daily tasks or challenges that have to be completed in a day. These tasks can include some trivial things to do like; watching a horror movie, waking up in the early hours and do some horrifying acts.
These tasks continue for 50 days in order to complete the game. The tasks become more extreme when the game approaches the closing days. It’s on these days the players are asked to self-harm with some scoring the shape of a whale into the skin on their forearm. On the 50th day, administrator purportedly ask the player to take their own lives.
Blue Whale Challenge for India:
Trawling through internet posts with social hashtags linked to the Blue Whale game it reveals how serious this challenge for India is.
The news related to blue whale challenge is reported from across country, Delhi, Chennai Mumbai Kolkata, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Bhopal, Indore etc to name a few.
Until recently, Kolkata topped the list of world cities that sees the highest number of Blue Whale related searches. However, new centers have emerged in the search list and right now; Kochi has taken over the top position and Thiruvananthapuram at Number Two and Kolkata moving down to Number Three.
The most interesting thing about the list is, of the top 50 cities in the world, where the highest number of Blue Whale game searches are being done, the top 32 positions are held by Indian cities.
One can say that these searches maybe simply curiosity about the new game and necessarily not mean any challenge and that too a suicide trip.
However, the trend points those who search 'blue whale game, download the most, which means that they are looking to play the 'game'.
Going through the news report one can see the names of cities like Mumbai, Lucknow, Chennai, etc., all of which have seen teen suicides and suicide attempt cases, all relate to the Blue Whale Challenge.
The point here is that India is not the only country that is dealing with the menace Blue Whale game. This challenge is reported from as many as 19 countries.
As far as India is concerned, the number of cases reported from various parts of the country suggests that it’s is confined to urban areas alone and it also relates to youth who use high speed internet connectivity on their computers and mobile phones.
How to face this Challenge:
The role of the state comes first while dealing with such kind of problem. India should follow other countries like China that has resorted to censoring the internet for Blue Whale searches content. The internet regulator should keep a watch on such search activity of the game and alert authorities about the number of people playing the game.
The government should also release informative video to raise awareness about the Blue Whale Challenge. Such video content should have sufficient online and offline presence and should be in various regional languages as well.
There should be talks, lectures, colloquiums organized in the school and colleges across the country and inform and educate the minors about the challenge posed by the Blue Whale game.
The role of parents and guardians is crucial to tackle the challenge due to their proximity to their children. The parents should keep an eye on the internet activity of their wards and if they find anything suspicious they can talk to them in polite manner and make them aware of the ill effects of the game.
Next is the role of the media especially the social media to create awareness about the perils of the game. Merely reporting the cases may generate more curiosity and they should be refraining from doing any sensationalism about reporting the challengers posed by this game
The role of friends and we wishers too have important place in meeting this challenge. If anyone knows of someone is planning to play this game, they must make noises about it and speak to him/her to caution about the ills of this game.
What looks is the Blue Whale game is more curiosity and publicity driven challenge. Steps should be taken by the civil society, educational institutions, media and the government to ensure that no one gets harmed by such cyber intrusion. It is equally important for young people never feel insecure and should not be under any stress to indulge in doing something that could potentially harm them. All stake holders should make every possible effort and leave no stone unturned to tackle the challenge posed by this online game.