The devastating ‘Blue Whale’ suicide game has seemingly made a return, after a British man was murdered in Portugal in connection with the game, according to British media reports from September 25.
The 35-year-old British man had been stabbed in a woodland area during a fight with a group of friends over the game, the Times reported. A 26-year-old man reported to the local police in relation to the death.
Police are still investigating the incident.
What is the Blue Whale suicide game?
The game, which started in Russia, spread across the internet in 2015. Players, often teenagers, compete to complete 50 challenges in 50 days.
The tasks would begin with minor errands like watching a horror movie and escalate to self-harm and even committing suicide.
Players connect with an anonymous individual online, who leads them to engage in traumatizing scenarios. The aim of the individual is to push the player to commit suicide.
Deaths related to the game have been identified in the United States, India, Egypt, and Ukraine. The Times reported that 130 deaths had been connected to the game.
Russian psychology student Philipp Budeikin, who claimed he created the game, was convicted in 2017 in Serbia for his role in 17 deaths.
Warnings issued to parents
Dr. Mark Griffiths, a professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University, warned parents to stay vigilant to changes in their children’s mood and behavior, According to LBC.
Griffiths warned, “If the game even really exists, those in control of the game prey on young impressionable individuals (i.e., young teenagers) particularly those who are depressed and socially withdrawn.”
“Parents should be attentive to any changes in their child’s behavior such as them becoming withdrawn, non-communicative, leaving the house at unusual times and/or getting up very early all the time, taking selfies in dangerous places, an increasing interest in self-harming behavior (e.g. looking at self-harm-sites), and being fearful of social media.
“However, these signs can be indicative of many other things and have nothing to do with the Blue Whale Challenge.
“As a responsible parent, you have every right to check what your child is doing on the internet and on their smartphones.
“You can also check for Blue Whale drawings on bedroom walls or on arms and legs.”
At the game’s peak, six years ago, 12 News explained why some teenagers were playing the game, despite it ending in death.