Online games have always caught the fancy of youngsters. The thrill of playing and going on to the next level of a game gives one a great sense of pleasure and accomplishment. However, one such game has been gathering headlines across the globe, not for good reasons though.
The infamous Blue Whale Game has allegedly claimed the lives of over a 100 teenagers across the world. The game took off in 2013 in Russia and is believed to have 50 dangerous tasks involving self-harm such as poking a needle in the arm, standing on a bridge or cliff, climbing the crane, waking up early morning and watching scary videos. The final task requires the player to commit suicide. Recently, its creator was sentenced to three years of imprisonment.
It should be known that the game isn’t publicly available on the internet now. But a lot of its variants of similar nature are now fast surfacing. This is alarming and calls for attention to young kids who are falling prey to games which mentally manipulate the children.
UNICEF has issued an advisory for parents and youngsters who can look for behavioural changes in their children and friends. Disturbed sleeping habits, lack of interest in general activities, a sudden withdrawal from social circle are all signs of mental disturbance that a child might be going through- making him/her more susceptible to such games. The advisory says that if you find any unusual body marks on a child, pay attention to it because it might just be a result of performing tasks on the Blue Whale Game.
The game and the resultant suicides bring our attention to a deeper, extremely significant issue our society is dealing with. Children, these days, undergo a great deal of stress, loneliness and vulnerability. Children are more and more distanced from their parents now. Thus, they feel the lack of a confidante in times of need, thereby turning to these online games which dare them to perform tasks that boost their self esteem.
Parents should spend more time with their children and take interest in their life. They must talk to them on an everyday basis and give them space to share their feelings. They must never reprimand their children for behaving unusually; instead they must try to find the reason for the unusual behavior. Further on, parents must always keep a check on the digital activities of children and must encourage them to engage in physical and social activities that require them to interact with people and form bonds.
You can also direct children to the Pink Whale Game – a healthier and happier alternative. Its tasks are diametrically opposite to the Blue Whale Game and require you to take control of your well being and form human connections, and is becoming quite a trend!