Philipp Budeikin, 21, from Russia, is being held on charges of inciting at least 16 schoolgirls to kill themselves. Budeikin invented the suicide ‘game’ called Blue Whale, which urges young and vulnerable teenagers to carry out a series of tasks over a period of 50 days. The challenges are dangerous and are quite sinister. Most of the challenges involve the player waking up at 4:20 and self-harming or watching horror movies. All of the challenges are completed while addressing a blue whale. The player has to talk to the whale or draw a whale on themselves. On the 50th day the player is instructed to kill themselves.
Russian authorities suspect that the game is responsible for 130 deaths in Russia. Photos have shown up on social media sites of teenagers cutting shapes of blue whales into their arms. Some individuals have joined “death groups” where like-minded individuals encourage each other to commit suicide. Cases of the game’s effects have been reported across the globe in places like Europe, South America and Kenya.
Budeiken confesses to the crimes and says that he thinks that the people that play the game are ‘biological waste’. He also claims that with the game he is ‘cleansing society’. Russian authorities say that Budeiken receives dozens of love letters from teenage girls. They say that by law they cannot ban Budeikin from receiving or replying to teenage girls, who provide their home addresses. Psychologists say girls have most likely fallen in love with Budeiken because they lack love and attention in their own lives.
South African authorities have warned South Africans that it is nearly impossible to stop an app and that it will eventually hit South Africa. Many might download the game for curiosity sake, our warning is don’t even go that far. If you have ever had suicidal thoughts we have included a few helplines for you to contact. Our aim is not to sensationalize the topic, our aim is to keep you informed.
For help call SADAG (South African Depression and Anxiety Group) on 0800 21 22 23.
Lifeline on 082 231 0805 or 0861 322 322
Befrienders Botshabelo on + 27 (0) 51 532 1100
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