A deadly game that is encouraging players on social media to commit suicide has authorities in the Caribbean on the tip of their toes from trying to keep a close eye on it. The game recently started called the Blue Whale Challenge urges participants to cut the shape of whale into their skin, watch horror movies, wake up at odd hours to listen to sad music, and other dangerous dares and self-harming acts.
The game consists of 50 challenges, performed one daily, which are intended to lead the players to jump from the roof of a building or to hang themselves on day 50 in order to ‘win’. It is believed to have led to 130 suicides in six months in Russia, where it originated.
Martinique has already issued an alert to schools about the game. Authorities there have sent a letter to school principals in the French Overseas Territories urging principals to outlaw the game in schools. It also called on the school heads to be vigilant in regard to young people placed in their care, especially those who appear to be most vulnerable. St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allan Chastanet has expressed alarm at the game, urging the region to keep the game at bay. Noting that there were no barriers on the Internet, he stressed that students must develop a strong self-esteem to withstand the things that are happening around them.
In addition to Russia, other countries have reported teen suicides allegedly linked to the game. Similar warnings about the Blue Whale Challenge have been issued in European countries where authorities have urged parents to be alert to sudden changes in the behaviour of their children, especially if they are frequent users of social media.
Meantime, counter-offensive challenges are appearing on social networks, such as the Pink Whale Challenge that encourages participants to realize 50 positive challenges, including watching their favourite movie, making friends or helping somebody.