There is a game on the Russian internet which is killing teenagers who are struggling with depression. The game is called “Blue Whale”. In the middle of February 2017 Russian news started talking about online “suicidal groups” which massively exist on the Russian Facebook alternative VK.com. The suicidal groups were playing a game which is called the “Blue Whale” which consists of a specific list of tasks that lead to suicide of depressed teenagers. The length of the game is exactly 50 days, during which you have to accomplish all the tasks given by the provider.  The tasks mostly consist of self-harm, psychological and physical. An investigative committee found out about these social groups after a few suicidal attempts were prevented. So let us get into some details of this game, shall we?

How to enroll into the “Blue Whale” game?

In order to participate in the game, many teenagers started leaving #hashtags on their social media account all over the internet. I also recommend you to check them out, if you are not scared, copy paste them anywhere: #явигре, #тихийдом, #синий.

Why Blue Whale?

The image of a whale came from a Russian song called “Burn” (literal translation) by a band called Lumen. The song symbolizes loneliness and isolation.

When did the start?

The game started in 2016 but the spike in search engines regarding this game started in the mid-February 2017. The Center of Internet Technology in Russia noticed that most countries which are searching for this game are: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kirgizstan.

How to start the game?

To start the game, you have to post the previously mentioned hashtags and wait until the “curator” of such groups contacts you, usually from a hidden or anonymous profile. He explains the rules, such as, “you cannot tell anyone about this”, “if you quit the game, there will be very negative circumstances”. The curator will also send you the tasks which you have to complete. There is a theory why there are 50 tasks. There is a known book called “50 days before my suicide” by Stace Kramer.

What are the rules?

Hereby I present the list of rules which was sent by one of the participants of the game:

  1. Carve with a razor “f57” on your hand, send a photo to the curator.
  2. Wake up at 4.20 a.m. and watch psychedelic and scary videos that curator sends you.
  3. Cut your arm with a razor along your veins, but not too deep, only 3 cuts, send a photo to the curator.
  4. Draw a whale on a sheet of paper, send a photo to the curator.
  5. If you are ready to “become a whale”, carve “YES” on your leg. If not– cut yourself many times (punish yourself)
  6. The task with a cypher.
  7. Carve “f40” on your hand, send a photo to the curator.
  8. Type “#i_am_whale (rus. #я_кит) in your VKontakte status.
  9. You have to overcome your fear.
  10. Wake up at 4:20 a.m. and go to a roof (the higher the better)
  11. Carve a whale on your hand with a razor, send a photo to the curator.
  12. Watch psychedelic and horror videos all day.
  13. Listen to music that “they” (curators) send you.
  14. Cut your lip
  15. Poke your hand with a needle many times
  16. Do something painful to yourself, make yourself sick
  17. Go to the highest roof you can find, stand on the edge for some time.
  18. Go to a bridge, stand on the edge
  19. Climb up a crane or at least try to do it
  20. The curator checks if you are trustworthy
  21. Have a talk “with a whale” (with another player like you or with a curator) in Skype
  22. Go to a roof and sit on the edge with your legs dangling
  23. Another task with a cypher.
  24. Secret task
  25. Have a meeting with a “whale”
  26. The curator tells you the date of your death and you have to accept it
  27. Wake up at 4:20 a.m. and go to rails (visit any railroad that you can find)
  28. Don’t talk to anyone all day
  29. Make a vow that “you’re a whale”
  30. 30-49. Every day you wake up at 4:20 a.m., watch horror videos, listen to music that “they” send you, make 1 cut on your body per day, talk “to a whale”.
  31. Jump off a high building. Take your life.”

Social Media Control.

The Russian social media VK started controlling and deleting all the suicidal groups to prevent the game from escalating further. There were groups formed who called themselves anti-whale who were hunting people who have enrolled in the game and were offering help and support to the players. At this moment the people who are posting these hashtags are getting an instant ban on the social media.

Why would people play the “Blue Whale” game?

This is all due to depression which many teenagers are struggling with nowadays. Social media bullying, FMO – Fear of missing out, lack of love, fake friendships. In general, this is a very sad situation at the moment, and the topics require a separate blog post and discussion which will be coming up soon enough. Just love your friends, make new friends, communicate with parents and create hobbies to avoid suicidal thoughts. Cheers!