CHARLOTTE — An Alabama school system is warning parents about a deadly online game known as the “Blue Whale Challenge”.
The deadly online game, which targets teenagers, started in Russia and spread to other countries in Europe. However, this recent incident marks its first introduction into the United States.
Using online administrators, the game assigns players tasks such as watching horror movies, waking up at unusual hours of the night, and causing self-harm over a 50-day period. On the 50th day, players are instructed to commit suicide, according to reports.
The game’s 21-year-old developer, Philipp Budeikin, has stated that he thinks of his victims as ‘biological waste’, telling police that they are ‘happy to die’ and he is ‘cleansing society’, according to reports.
Reports claim despite being held on charges of inciting at least 16 schoolgirls to kills themselves in Russia, Budeikin continues to be flooded with love letters from teenage girls.
Anton Breido, a senior official from the Investigative Committee stated the ‘Budeikin very clearly knew what he had to do to get the result he wanted.’
‘He stated in 2013 and ever since he has polished his tactics and corrected his mistakes. Philipp and his aides at first attracted children into social media group by using scary videos.’
‘Their task was to attract as many children as possible, then figure out those who would be the most affected by psychological manipulation.’
‘Say, out of 20,000 people, they knew ‘their’ audience would only be 20 people.’
According to the Baldwin County Public School System, a student downloads the Blue Whale app, which hacks into their personal information and cannot be deleted. The app originators then threaten the teenagers with harm to their families or releasing of personal information until they kill themselves.
As of now, this is the only reported case of the game within the United States and there are, as of now, no reported deaths to the report. However, friends and family are encouraged to keep on the lookout for signs of suicidal thoughts such as loss of interest in daily activities, feelings of helplessness, and changes in attitude.