The Blue Whale game is a dangerous game that is popular at the moment in Russia and spreading across Eastern Europe. The game is played online and spreads through social media.
Players are appointed as a “master/teacher” and these “masters/teachers” challenge the players in stages, to tattoo a Blue Whale somewhere on the body, usually the arm or the leg. As the game goes on the players are encouraged to self-harm and the final challenge is to commit suicide.
All these actions have to be filmed and shared via social media to the so called “master/teacher”. The game is being played by children of all ages, some as young as primary age, but predominantly by teenagers.
This extreme behaviour is believed to have led to 130 suicides in six months in Russia, where it originated. In France, several cases of suspicious death have been reported and now education authorities are on high alert. It has apparently been mentioned on the Romanian News due to the seriousness of the consequences.
Like the Ice Bucket Challenge, the Blue Whale Challenge involves encouraging participants, via social networks, to face everyday challenges. The difference is that these are intended to lead the ‘players’ to death on the 50th day, thereby ‘winning’ the game.
A really useful article on the issue can be found at http://www.netfamilynews.org/blue-whale-game-fake-news-teens-spread-internationally
As with all such behavior issues, those who are vulnerable to such extremes becomes easily drawn in. It is key to discuss online safety with children, helping them realise the potential issues of their involvement. Discussion about these activities could form part of the schools PSHE activities. You may also wish to share this craze with parents and the above link could be a good place to start.