When Pokemon Go released in India and abroad you could see the frenzy that it whipped up. You could find people standing in the middle of a street, of a house, of an office, strangers meeting you with heads bowed and frantically waving their phones in their hands. Needless to say there were reports of accidents, strangers being sighted etc once the game reached its peak.

Now a terrifying new online game called the Blue Whale is doing the rounds now. Reports speak of close to 130 children dying after playing the game.

What is the Blue Whale Game?

It is called so based on the tendency of whales who beach themselves in an act of suicide. In this game an anonymous master assigns tasks to the players. Each task master gets an individual participant to whom they dictate things to complete in a matter of 49 days. The tasks could be mundane or as dangerous as asking you to inflict self-harm and use a sharp object to create the shape of a whale on your arm or leg.

Participants can be asked to jump off a moving bus, the first floor of the house etc and whoever survives without harm accomplishes the task. It could also include watching horror videos all day, stopping interaction with family and friends, overdosing and various forms of self-harm and all these have to be filmed for confirmation that the challenge is completed. And all traces of conversation have to be removed. And participants are also threatened that if they fail to do so, then task masters can trace their IP address, find out where they live and identify them.

Often on the 50 day the task culminates into challenging the participant to do tasks in which the threat to life is considerably high like crossing a busy street, jumping in front of a moving train. The group has thousands of followers on Social media.

Deaths

There are reports of the game spreading further to Europe. 

The Daily Mail reports that a Spanish teenager was recently hospitalised allegedly after participating in the Blue Whale challenge. The 15-year-old was saved from killing herself after her family found out she had signed up to the challenge and tipped off the authorities.

Till now Russian media reports have linked the deaths of two teenage girls to the challenge. Two  schoolgirls, aged 15 and 16, fell to their deaths from a 14-storey block of flats, another, aged 15, fell from a fifth floor flat, while a 14-year-old girl died after being hit by a train earlier this year. Police are said to be probing at least 130 suicides across Russia which they fear are linked to the online craze.

Why should you be worried?

The Blue Whale game originated in Russia and is slowly making its way across the globe. As you know anything like this has the potential to go viral, it is important that parents keep a watch on their children. Like the ice- bucket challenge, Pokemon go, the slender man incidents, this game too has devastating potential. It is unclear whether Blue Whale is just an urban legend or an actual suicide game promoted by death cults on social media.