Blue Whale game should act as a wake-up call for today’s parents
Of late, we have been reading about suicides committed by students as a consequence of Blue Whale Game. The game has already resulted in hundreds of teenage suicides throughout the world. But suicides because of this game is new to India – not more than a fortnight old.
For the uninitiated, Blue Whale is a challenge-based game where the user is assigned tasks on a daily basis for 50 consecutive days. The tasks assigned can be anything from not speaking to anyone for a day to carving picture of whale on the body. Its level of difficulty or the absurdness increases as the game progresses. In order to win the game, a user is required to commit suicide on the final day, that is, the fiftieth day.
The game has already taken about three lives in India, a fourth attempt was foiled by an alert teacher of the school. Students falling prey to this game may be forgiven given that they are immature enough to distinguish between game and death. But what is worrisome is the fact that no one around them had noticed any change in their behaviour? The game is played for 49 days before the player attempts suicide, yet no one, neither friends, nor teachers, and not even parents, noticed any abnormal behaviour. This despite the fact that the game requires them to do unusual things like watching horror/disturbing videos at odd hours, running across streets during heavy traffic, or not interacting with people for one full day, and so on. Yet no one around these students noticed anything strange. Does this not speak volumes about the environment in which today’s children grow? With no real emotional connect around them, they are bound to find solace in virtual world. And virtual world is not only vast and mysterious but dangerous as well, as proved by this game.
Children need their parents, not their mobiles or money. Quality time spent with children will not only bring the two closer to each other but will also keep parents updated about their ward's activities – both offline and online
Blue Whale, hence, should not be discarded as one of its kind. Instead, it should act as a wake-up call for today’s parents. The digital age demands a change in the style of parenting. Children need their parents, not their mobiles or money. Quality time spent with children will not only bring the two closer to each other but will also keep parents updated about their ward’s activities – both offline and online. Your child may be safe today but you don’t know which game can capture his/her imagination tomorrow. Blue Whale game’s fever will end soon, but which game would replace it, no one knows.