This generation is definitely under attack. Some of efforts are more covert, like the breakdown of the family and the emphasis on isolation and image through social media. Other efforts are more noticeable, like the push for no-rules sexuality. But this latest online game is so overt in its attempt to literally kill young people that it is appalling. And parents need to be aware.
"Blue Whale Challenge" originated in Russia by a psychology student two years ago. The game is a 50 day challenge that includes encouraging players to watch horror movies, cut themselves, and eventually end the game in committing suicide. The creator, Philip Budeikin, is under investigation in Russia for "incitement to suicide," as already a dozen people have killed themselves from the game.
The game is advertised to young people through social media platforms like SnapChat, Facebook, and YouTube, and there has already been an American suicide linked to the game, reports the Christian Post. "Suicides worldwide have been linked to the game, and as The Washington Post reported on July 11, is believed to have led to the suicide of a teenage boy in Texas."
Concern about the game has already hit the American Society for Suicide Prevention. They advise: "Unless there is reason to believe your child already knows of or has played the game, don't bring up the 'Blue Whale' game. By doing so, you increase the chance that your child will investigate it on their own. Monitor your children's online and social media activity to ensure they are not engaging with this game."
This comes in a time where America has seen an usual amount of celebrity suicides, along with the popularity of Netflix's show, "13 Reasons Why," which tracks a teenage girl's path to suicide.
Phyllis Alongi, a licensed professional counselor and clinical director for the New Jersey-based Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, doesn't blame the show but acknowledges, "Unfortunately, the media tends to glamorize and sensationalize suicide. The way kids process information is different from the adult brain," Alongi continued. "Their problem-solving skills are not as fine-tuned as ours, so it's difficult for them to see past intense emotional pain."
What do you think about this online video game threatening young people? Share your thoughts and prayers in the Comments! Thank you!