This is what the Blue Whale Challenge is about, and it has law enforcement agencies around the world on high alert.
A twisted game that makes the participants kill themselves, Blue Whale Challenge, also known as the Blue Whale Games, is reportedly circulating on social media platforms. The target audience of this game are mostly within the age range of 12-22, as recent news reports have shown.
When one joins the game, he or she is given “assignments” by an “administrator” or “curator”, which ranges from waking up at odd hours to self-harming, eventually ending with the participant committing suicide.
Since it originated in Russia in 2013, the game has led at least 130 children and teenagers to commit suicide in Russia alone, with many more suicides reported in Asia, North America, Europe and South America.
There have been reports of suicide in South Asia as well.
In India, a 14-year-old boy committed suicide in the first case of Blue Whale suicide, reported India Today
on July 31. There have been several reports of such suicides since then.
The Express Tribune reported two suicides in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunwa province
on September 13 – the first two confirmed victims of this sinister game in the country.
There has been no reports of Blue Whale suicides in Bangladesh yet, but the frequency of such reports in the neighbouring countries has become a cause for concern for many people.
“I heard about this game from my friends,” said 23-year-old university student Shamsul Haq. “I looked it up online and found news about several suicides caused by this game. I got scared and immediately stopped looking for the game.”
Hasib Islam, a public servant, said he had disconnected the internet connection in his house since his 14-year-old son told him about it.
“It is common to see that a trend that starts in Europe or America usually finds its way to Bangladesh. A few days ago, my son told me about this exciting game on the internet. When I realised what it was, I was terrified,” he said.
Unfortunately, the game has started sparking interest as well.
Thirteen-year-old Rafi Dewan thinks he will be able to complete all the tasks. “It's really interesting. I think if I try to do this, I can win, because I am brave,” the schoolgoer told the Dhaka Tribune.
Parents and concerned citizens have urged the government to take initiatives to prevent this game to take a hold in the country.
How the Blue Whale Challenge came to be
The Blue Whale Challenge game originated in Russia, with the name "F57", and first suicide was reported two years later. The game is said to be named after the phenomenon of beached whales.
Russian national Philipp Budeikin, a 21-year-old former psychology student, admitted to be the creator of the game, proudly claiming that he had designed the game to "cleanse the society" of "biological waste", referring to the participants of the game, reported BBC
Participants of this game call themselves Whale or Blue Whale.
Russian law enforcement authorities say this game has led at least 130 children to suicide between November 2015 and April 2016.
The administrators who guide the participants throughout the game, assign the tasks, starting with something as simple as waking up at 4:20am. As the game progresses, the tasks get more complicated and sinister.
Each task must be documented and sent to the administrator before getting assigned with the new task. The last task is suicide.
The game is also known as "Silent Horse", "A Sea of Whales", and "Wake Me Up".
Since word spread about the game's effects on young people, authorities concerned in Russia and other countries launched awareness campaigns to prevent further suicides.