NEW DELHI, August 2: The first trace of deadly ‘The Blue Whale Challenge’ game witnessed in India recently, after a 14-year old boy from Andheri in Mumbai died.
The incident has raised concern over the rising influence among youth which still exists despite its creator Philipp Budeikin being thrown in jail last month.
A Siberian court sentenced the 22-year-old Russian man, the creator of the game to three years in jail for inciting Russian youths to kill themselves.
In an interview in Russia with Saint Petersburg News in May, Budeikin was questioned if he really forced teenagers to suicide intentionally, TOI reported.
“Yes”, he said. “I truly was doing that. Don’t worry, you’ll understand everything. Everyone will understand”, he added, cryptically.
What is “The Blue Whale Challenge”?
The dangerous ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ game was started in 2013, in with Budeikin made online contact with people – usually impressionable teenagers – so he could decide who would play the game successfully.
Then, he would ask people to talk about themselves, Skype them and ask them to watch gory and depressing content online. He would then select people he considered weak enough to be manipulated.
After selecting who gets to play ‘The Blue Whale Challenge’+ , the administrators of the game assign daily tasks to the players, which they must complete over 50 days.
Keeping a trick in mind, the game begins with fairly basic tasks but continually increases in magnitude to tasks such as cutting one’s veins, killing an animal and finally to the last step committing suicide.
Each task also needs to be photographed or videotaped, so the administrators of the game have proof of completion and authenticity, including the final suicide.
The name of the game was also decided on the first disturbing challenges of the game, where players were asked to draw a blue whale on a piece of paper, and then told to carve the whale onto their body.
Budeikin stated that the psychological manipulation he was administrating was intended to make the ‘victims’ happy. He said he was giving them the warmth and understanding that they didn’t get in their lives.
His aims for forcing them to suicide were far less empathetic though.
“There are people – and there is a biological waste. Those who do not represent any value for society. Who cause or will cause only harm to society. I was cleaning our society of such people”, Budeikin said during the interview with Saint Petersburg News.
He refuted reports that he and his game were directly responsible for over 130 deaths, admitting that he had only directly influenced 17 deaths. He said others had communicated with him and committed suicide later, but without any direct influence from him. Chillingly, he said that there were 28 more people ready to take their lives.
Disturbingly, Budeikin received love letters in jail after his arrest from teenage girls that were under his influence.
“At some point, it is necessary to push the teenager not to sleep at night. [In this way, their] psyche becomes more susceptible to influence”, he said, explaining his tactics of manipulation.
Budeikin studied sound engineering and psychology for three years until he was expelled. He has confessed that his mother and older brother hit him while he was growing up. He also stated that he is bipolar.