It’s not new for the social media to bring hazards to our lives, especially when it is about children’s games. Companies make games for children which have often instigated them to cause harm to others or themselves. It’s absolutely normal for a child to get attracted to violence if they get rewarded for killing someone in the game.
Now, the situation has become even more dangerous. Countries like Russia and those of Central Asia like Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are facing the threat of some online games which are instigating teenagers to commit suicide.
There is no particular game but there are a bunch of games which have different names. Some are – More Kitov (“ A Sea/A Bunch Of Whales ”), Siniy Kit (“ A Blue Whale ”), More Kitov (“ A Sea/A Bunch Of Whales ”), F53, F57, F58 And Razbudi Menya V 4:20 (“ Wake Me Up 4.20 Am ”) and Tikhiy Dom (“ A Quiet House/A Silent House ”) among others.
Unfortunately, no one has yet been able to discover the source of these games. It has become extremely difficult to trace who are creating these games and spreading them among teenagers. Russia has been trying to look for the masterminds behind this.
A thorough investigation has been carried out and according to some reports, a few arrests have been made too. One such was discovered in VKontakte, a Russian social website. Svetlana Petrenko who is the Spokesperson for Russia’s Investigative Committee told TASS that a detailed investigation has been carried out and they have been little successful to some extent. They have launched criminal charges too, for creating such harmful games which are provoking the children to commit suicide.
The investigations were carried out from May 2013 to December 2016. The reports resulted in the discovery of eight virtual groups.
These virtual groups have been using the VKontakte social network as their base to create suicidal tendencies among children and ultimately push them towards committing suicide.
One Correspondent From RFE/RL Wanted To See How The Blue Whale Game Worked, So They Created A Fake Profile Of A 15-Year Old Girl, On The VKontake Site. The Following Is A Transcription Of Their Online Conversation:
“I want to play the game.”
“Yes. What does that mean — no way back?”
“You can’t leave the game once you begin.”
“I’m ready.” Then the curator explained the rules.
“You carry out each task diligently, and no one must know about it. When you finish a task, you send me a photo. And at the end of the game, you die. Are you ready?”
“And if I want to get out?”
“I have all your information. They will come after you.”
The first task given to the corespondent was to scratch “F58” into her arm. They tried to fool the curator with a photoshopped image, but the curator ceased to respond.
Over the course of about a week, RFE/RL managed to contact more than a dozen self-proclaimed current and former players and several curators.
“I am your personal whale,” another curator wrote, explaining that the game consisted of 50 tasks spread over 50 days. “I will help you take the game all the way to the end. The last day is the end of the game. If you die, you win. If you don’t, we will help you. Are you ready?”
The curator then promised to send the first task at 4:20 a.m. But by then, the curator’s account had been blocked.
The game rules are simple yet fatal. To play the game, one has to sign up for it. After registration, an administrator is assigned to the user. The user is given a list of tasks which they have to complete in 50 days. If the user succeeds in completing them, they win the game by committing suicide. One also needs to send a proof that they have completed the tasks assigned to them.
The administrators keep a vigilant watch on the users. Once the users have registered, they cannot leave the game.
In the beginning, one is being told to confirm and it is clearly explained that one cannot leave mid-way. The user is also given threats that if they leave, the administrators will come after them.