Murderous Online Games - How to Protect Our Youth?

Murderous Online Games - How to Protect Our Youth?

Murderous Online Games - How to Protect Our Youth?

Blue Whale is a murderous online social media game which entices young people to take on challenges instructed by an online administrator called the “Master” over a 50-day period. Also called A Sea of Whales and A Silent House, this game lures young teens to their death eventually. The teens are encouraged by the administrator to commit suicide on the final day to win the game. This online game is believed to be responsible for the death of more than 300 teenagers till now!

Drawing parallel to the Slenderman game in the US, this is just one instance of infamous killer games that can be played online and result in horrifying crimes. With the disturbing cases of teens committing suicide while streaming the act live on Facebook abound, the question arises as to how to protect the youth to differentiate between online manipulation and real life.

I. For Parents

Emotional support

Like adults, children too need emotional support to be empowered enough to reject games such as Blue Whale. Common signs friends and family need to look out for include being withdrawn from social gatherings, persistent depression and unhappiness, crying and irritability, worries that stop them from carrying out daily tasks. Angry outbursts, problems in eating or sleeping and lack of interest in activities enjoyed previously are also warning signs.

Consult a Specialist

Seek out a medical expert to speak to your child and treat injuries that may result from teens self harming themselves. Specialists such as counsellors and therapists could also be helpful.

Talk To the Teachers

Teachers are increasingly aware of self harm and mental illness faced by the child. The school should be able to provide a detailed understanding of how the child is coping and name members of the staff who may be able to help. This could also include the school nurse, counsellor or class teacher.

Clear communication matters

Clearly communicating with your child and letting him/her know that you care for their wellbeing is important. Take out the time to not just talk, but actively listen to your child as well. Young internet users with depression and thoughts of self harm may use the internet's seamless communication to perpetuate suicidal behaviour. Communicating well and clearly can make a difference to the life and well being of the child.

Increase Web Safety

Parents and educators can also help youth surf the web safely and prevent them from engaging in online abuse through web safeguards. Monitor the sites your child visits by searching the web history. Keep tabs on your child's surfing habits and encourage young people to openly talk about things that concern them, online or otherwise.

Strengthening the teen-parent bond

You need to be there as a parent for your child. Check for withdrawal from social activities or early warning signs that abuse could be experienced. Signs of self harm can be linked to the challenges of the Blue Whale Game. Most children who take part in this game may send out a cry for help before harming themselves. You need to step in and safeguard your child through timely interventions and continuous interaction that allows them to express their feelings, thoughts and concerns.

II. As a Society

Counselling and social support

Those in need of help need you to be open minded and understanding. Society needs to reduce the stigma towards teen mental health issues and help those who are suffering. Depression has social stigma attached to it, leaving the child affected feeling scared of rejection or judgmental attitudes from others. Mental health issues can affect anyone from any age or background. One of the most common signs of this disorder is feeling trapped into making wrong choices and taking part in the Blue Whale game could be one of this.

Laws in place to protect teens

By proliferating social media groups with vulnerable youth, the game entices youth to complete 50 self harming tasks and challenge their limits. Teens across US, India, Brazil, and other nations have faced the ultimate consequences of this game. This game was started in Russia where it has already claimed the lives of many youngsters. Cases of suicide have been reported in Argentina and Britain too. Governments and society need to have laws and sanctions in place to block such deadly games.

Breaking through the supportive mask

Bad academic performance or being treated badly by peers can make children vulnerable and these games, with their supposedly supportive administrators talk juveniles to mutilating themselves or ending their lives. Society needs to change the perception that these games are for a positive purpose. The aim should be to denigrate these killer games and condemn them across the community.

III. Media Responsibility

Coverage of sensitive topics in responsible way

The media often sensationalises cases and glorifies violence. There needs to be a change in the way online manipulation is depicted in movies, games and other mass media. Topics that are sensitive such as poor exam performance, peer pressure and bullying need to be covered in a way that is sensitive and understands the world of the teen rather than subjecting them to further stigma.

Positive role models for children

Philipp Budeikin, a former psychology student who was expelled from his university and imprisoned for three years, perpetuated this deadly game. The Russian youth were the first to be targeted by Budeikin and his team and this twisted game perpetuated a very wrong role model for the children to follow in the form of the murderous administrators of the game. Media needs to portray positive role models who stand up to pressures and work their way through life's issues with equanimity and confidence. Giving youngsters a positive role model they can look up to can serve as a powerful countercurrent to lethal games like Blue Whale.

Socially responsible depiction of such games

Social media sites need to have stricter laws in place to ensure socially responsible depiction of such lethal games. The Blue Whale game deserves to be exposed and unmasked for what it is - a murderous attack on young teens using mind manipulation. The media has an important role to play in depicting such games in stark and real light, so youngsters don't glorify people like Budeikin and take their own lives.

Close to 310 deaths have been linked to this deadly game. With the advent of social media and online streaming, the internet has become a source of escape for youngsters. But unfortunately, they are likely to be targets of online manipulation with lethal consequences such as Blue Whale. Curated to seek out teens who want to be accepted and liked, this game offers rewards for successful challenges completed. Society, parents and the media need to join hands to safeguard the youth against such deadly games.
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  • RE: Murderous Online Games - How to Protect Our Youth? -Murderous Online Games (04/27/18)
  • This generation loves adrenaline rush, our youths require adventures in their life. There are variant of options available for recreation, adventures, hobbies etc. but in the quest to do something new, they fall prey to such murderous games. There are many such games floating online, banning one would help other to gain momentum. As a parents, we have to be careful with the kids and their daily activities. Parents should maintain transparency with kids, should share good and evils of the society. Making aware of such deadly games and their impacts is important, it would help them not to be lured to such trap. Youths energy and aggression needs to be channelized and tapped to something worth for their future. If left untapped, there are more chances for them to slip to notorious act.
  • RE: Murderous Online Games - How to Protect Our Youth? -Online Games - group discussion (04/20/18)
  • While internet has become our lifeline and making our life so easy, it has its share of bane. One of the dreaded pitfalls of virtual world is the advent of murderous online games, targeting the most vulnerable of us - Youth. The game which forces the participants to suicide on its final day, has been buzzing and engulfing many youths. Identifying and banning any such activities online is the way forward, but most often than not such activities are caught late after having done severe damages. Parents should keep extra tabs on youths, their activities and habits. They should be taught to be transparent and discuss all the matters without any hesitation. Nabbing any wrong sign early would be a great help to him/her and will be able to save many from getting trapped.
  • RE: Murderous Online Games - How to Protect Our Youth? -Saurabh Tiwari (12/23/17)
  • In 21st century, As many things changes with innovations and technology, Everyone engaged with gadgets and internet. Now even parents feel better, when there kids engaged with gadgets like mobile, tablets etc. They feel secure as their child is not moving around and not going out of their sight. But internet is boon as well as curse for teenager, as they are vulnerable to my harmful activities which are spread all over the internet through those who want to harm the society, Blue whale game is one of them.

    This game is started by a russian Psychology Student, whose statement after convicted is, " I am doing good to society by doing ethnic Cleansing". As he was convicted their are many arbitrator who running this game. this game is responsible for around 300 lives.
    Mainly the susceptible are those who are depressed teenagers. So to tackle this issue, what action society should take?

    First of all the parents should be aware of there child with emotional as well as mental connection and teenagers should not be scolded as well as physically attacked by elders, this will impact in negative way to the child. Child should be allowed to be frank with parents so that he or she can share all the things which is in his or her mind.

    Teacher should be taken care of all children so that the no student could be bullied by others. In this early age their mind is fragile and they are not mature enough to differentiate between good and bad, so they should be guided by elders.

    Only spreading the awareness about these kind of game is not the remedy, as teenagers are reluctant to follow the advice and order given by elders Everyone should be careful and should have a eye on activities and behavior of each child.

    Finally to sum up, Society including teachers and parents are responsible for a seed which required proper nourishment mental as well as physical. these kids are the future of our country as well as world, If they are safe enough our future is safe.
  • RE: Murderous Online Games - How to Protect Our Youth? -Mayank (11/06/17)
  • In my opinion internet has both the advantages and the disadvantages it's up to a personal ho w he/she uses the internet.....I think in our schools there should a special classes for our students in colleges and schools to introduce the advantages and the benefits of the internet.....and also how to use...the different social networking sites....if we provide our students with the basic knowledge.... definately it will protect our youth from the hazardous things of internet
  • RE: Murderous Online Games - How to Protect Our Youth? -Shruti Shrabya (11/02/17)
  • The game of blue whale is mostly popular among the teens. Youths initiate the game, gets trapped and leads to give their lives. To avoid this, parents / guardians should keep a look on the actions of their child. If your child is involved in this game, you must spend some time, consult to the specialists, talk to the teachers / counsellors to overcome it. Parents must help the youth to surf the web safely and prevent them from engaging in such games.
  • RE: Murderous Online Games - How to Protect Our Youth? -Megha (08/12/17)
  • Virtual Murder is not just game but it an attitude of a person towards the fellow being. Hundreds of research papers have concluded a relation between these games and increased aggression, decreased social participation and concern among the individual. Even if someone argues that it does not affect behavior, is it appropriate to spend our leisure time killing our fellow beings or even worse ourselves? These games develop an addiction and the children, specifically, fails to recognize the difference of real life and the make-believe one.
    In order to protect our youth, we must keep a stringent check, by the way of law, on the games hampering growth of our society. We have to have better means of spending our leisure time like playing outdoor games, obviously lesser violent ones. W e need to inculcate a habit of care and love in our children since childhood. For youth , addiction groups and mere openly talking to them, showing acceptance towards change can be one of the steps.
  • RE: Murderous Online Games - How to Protect Our Youth? -Murderous Online Games (08/07/17)
  • Youths are the touch bearer of future. To lure and indulge them in such a pathetic activity, is a crime. Internet offers us enormous scope to do wonder in life, but it has many such demons that needs to be highlighted and get them banned. This young generation has got spark, we should inspire them to ignite their energy at the right place. Any so called games can wreck their life and dangerous for the society.