A disturbing online game called Blue Whale has made rounds recently for allegedly swaying at-risk participants into taking their own lives. While it had many parents panicking, there were some who were hesitant about the claims believing it could just be another made-up story. Because if it’s not, big media outlets should have been all over it by now. But is it really just an urban myth?
Well, it’s not, according to the man who invented the controversial game. Following claims that the game was responsible for the death of hundreds of Russian teens, Philipp Budeikin admitted inciting at least 16 schoolgirls to kill themselves by taking part in the Blue Whale suicide game. The 21-year-old Russian says he is “cleansing society,” adding his victims were mere “biological waste” who were “happy to die.”
“I was cleaning our society of such people. It started in 2013 when I created F57 [online] community,” he told the Police in a chilling interview. “I’d been thinking through this idea for five years. It was necessary to distinguish normal [people] from biological rubbish.”
What is the Blue Whale suicide game?
The lethal game is in the form of an online social media group whose administrator encourages participants to complete a dangerous task every day for 50 days. The horrific challenges reportedly include watching horror and violent videos and waking up at unusual hours so their “psyche becomes more susceptible to influence.” These gradually get more extreme like self-harming and culminates in suicide.
Anton Breido of the Investigative Committee seen as an equivalent of the FBI explained:
“Philipp and his aides at first attracted children into VK (social media) groups by using mega-scary videos. Their task was to attract as many children as possible, then figure out those who would be the most affected by psychological manipulation. Say, out of 20,000 people, they knew ‘their’ audience would be only 20 people.”
Capturaron en Rusia al creador del juego la ‘Ballena Azul’ Philipp Budeikin, de 21 años, fue capturado hace unas semanas en #Rusia pues, según el periódico Nóvaya Gazeta, se le acusa de haber sido quien inició el ‘movimiento’ suicida de la ‘Ballena Azul’. Además, deberá responder por haber promovido 8 grupos suicidas entre los años 2013 y 2016. – Hace poco se conoció una declaración en el sitio web Saint-Petersburg, donde Philipp reconoció lo que había hecho: “Sí. Realmente lo hice… Murieron felices. Les di lo que no tienen en la vida real: calidez, comprensión y comunicación”, dijo y agregó que el número de suicidios podría haber ascendido a 17, uno de ellos sin su influencia directa. #BallenaAzul #PhilippBudeikin
How many victims are there so far?
Reports have it that the game has already victimized 130 teenagers. Budeikin admitted he did push the participants to take their own lives but claimed there were only 17 of them and another 28 who were “ready” to commit suicide.
“There were also those with whom I was simply communicating, who committed suicide later but without my direct influence,” he added.
Among those who are believed to be victims of the craze were school girls Yulia Konstantinova, 15, and Veronika Volkova, 16, who both fell to their deaths in February. Angelina Davydova, who was only 12, also fell to her death from the 14th floor of a block in central Russia on Christmas Day 2015. Her suicide came 50 days after logging onto a now-blocked user group called Wake Me Up at 4.20.
Budeikin feels no remorse to the incidents, saying ‘They were dying happy. I was giving them what they didn’t have in real life: warmth, understanding, connections.” Currently, he is being held at Kresty jail in Saint Petersburg and receiving love letters from teenage girls.
Which countries has the game reached?
Apparently, Blue Whale suicide game has spread to many countries like United Kingdom, Brazil, Colombia, Dubai, and Chile.
Essex Police recently sent out a warning to a school in Basildon, with the school administrators also informing the parents via letter about it. The notice read: “We have discovered a game through the police that we feel you should be aware of. It is called The Blue Whale Game and is played via many social media platforms.”
No deaths in Britain and UAE have been linked to the game so far, but death groups are allegedly continuing to promote suicide online.
The telltale signs to be aware of
Dr. Mikal A. Rasheed, a Staff Psychologist at Joint Base Andrews, tells WUSA9 that suicide can be prevented. But he urged parents to become aware of a few warning signs first like:
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Feelings of helplessness
- Changes in attitude
If your teen or someone you know needs help, don’t hesitate to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Samaritans on 116 123.