It didn’t find me. I searched for it.
How I came to know about it?
I saw a youtube videos about Blue Whale suicide challenge. Gaurav Chaudhary warned in the end not to play it. But at my age 16, no warning is enough.
I saw News24 tv news channel, describing how it has killed 200 across world and few in India.
Till date, I played – Angrybirds, San Andreas, Temple run, etc.
Now I wanted to play Blue Whale.
How I searched?
On facebook, query revealed few groups, but they turned out boring. I continued in list and found few persons.
After many rounds of search and disappointment, finally I met Pritam and Avnish online. They both gave me links to the game. I tried both the links.
What I found ?
The website flashed “Welcome to Blue Whale”, had a particular striking blue-colored Whale. It had facebook and Google login buttons for signup.
I went ahead with facebook login, but it just shown a tick-mark and stayed on the same page. I went onto click Google signup and said Yes to whatever popped up.
Page changed and shown a Agree notice and button. Hah, who cares. Click just vanished the page and I had nothing to see.
3.45 pm – Back from school I had some time to check emails on my 8-month old Android smartphone with cheap 4G network (you can guess which one).
I received Welcome email from a strange email address in foreign language, matching English, but with few strange characters.
It announced that my 1st challenge would come next day.
It ended with instruction to delete the email.
I didn’t care about deleting email and left off for tuition classes.
Next email told me that I haven’t deleted Welcome email and I won’t receive my first challenge till I deleted last email and this one.
I was surprised how the sender came to know, but eager to play, I deleted it.
My 2st challenge – F47 on a whiteboard pic, telling me to draw on my own hand with blade.
I am smart and like to fool. I just bought a red color sketch-pen and wrote F47.
Clicked pic and replied to the email.
Wow, it really fooled the game admin. I got new challenge.
Cut your lips. Haha I again used red sketch-pen and made a mark on lips.
Click and send.
Wow, next challenge – wake up at 4.20 am.
I didn’t, just lied. I replied ‘I completed todays task’
I started waking up at 4.20 am. The game was getting a grip on me.
Wake up at 4.20 am and watch horror movie. The clip was 33 seconds long and shown a blue whale swimming, turning to me and then crying. The tears were of blood. Music was strange and I didn’t like it.
My mother noticed heavy sweating during the day. No, it wasn’t the heat and sunlight. Others around me were normal, only my perspiration was heavy. I returned home.
I got a snapchat group link. I installed snapchat on my smartphone for the first time. Inside the group there were 15-16 people, boys and girls included. Indian names attracted me and we chatted happily.
Sapna was on F47 level behind me. Neha was at 14, ahead of me, she had carved a beautiful Blue Whale on her hand.
Everyone shared their levels and commented ‘cute’ etc.
I too happily shared my level.
One by one, they left the chat. I was the last to leave the group.
Cut hand 5 times, lightly, with razor-blade. Now I was serious. Such blades are not found in home. I purchased one for 2/- from local shop. In a field, all by myself, I cut five times. I clicked and sent the reply.
The game was getting grip on me and I didn’t fake anymore.
“Well done” said the next email. I was challenged to visit a highrise building or bridge.
I choose a river bridge near my home. It is high and few people go there as early as 4.20 am. I stood on a risky spot for 15 minutes.
I woke up 4.20 am. Early morning I get challenge to draw Blue Whale with razor blade, lightly. I purchase another blade from local shop, hide it in back cover of basic phone. I am not allowed by family to take smartphone to school.
After three classes, I got a break. In my school toilet, alone, I carved a Whale on left hand. Take a pic from friends phone and WhatsApp it to my own number. I deleted the pic from friends phone.
Back to class, friends noticed fresh blood. I wrap my hanky (handkerchief) on it and unfold shirt to cover it. But murmurs spread around of fish मछली on my hand.
Back to home, the touch wasn’t working on my 8-month old, cheap Chinese phone. I couldn’t send the pic, silly touchscreen won’t work.
I received a threat that my father would be killed, I had to complete the challenge.
In my absence, school noticed. Caring teachers took notice of classmates.
By evening school teachers reached my house and talked to my parents.
Game end !
My phone was taken by my parents.
After few hours police officers started visiting me. My email and password were noted and investigation began.
I am taking rest, mother is horrified and often in tears. She is happy that I am alive, her only son.
I am 16 years old, student of 11th class, average grades
My mother is a homemaker. Lower middle class family.
Saidpur, District – Gazipur, East UP, India
As narrated to Vikas Chandra and Suresh Shukla on 18-Sep-2017
Blue Whale suicide challenge – Myths busted
Myth 1 – it seeks people in depression or lonely
Truth – Kids are curious and seek it themselves. They hunt for it for hours and days before finding it. Kids imagine it to be like ‘truth or dare’ challenge or similar.
Myth 2 – They play it under threat of killing
Truth – They start out of fun. It slowly grips them. Threat of killing player or family comes during play. Threat comes when player is not completing tasks. Threats are not perceived so ‘real’ by some players, but may add up to total effect. It makes up nice excuse when caught.
Myth 3 – It is a game that you download
Truth – Its not a game that can be downloaded. It is played online through email or similar communication platform.
Myth 4 – Game can’t be stopped
Truth – The player can leave the game anytime.
Threatening admin, can be traced through emails and caught for threatening and inciting for suicide. In every message, challenger insists player to delete message. Once group of challengers is behind bars, the game will actually stop.