Blue Whale Challenge: Rash of Teenage Suicides in India Linked to Online Game

Video games
Visitors play at an exhibition stand at the Games Convention Online 2009 fair in the eastern German city of Leipzig July 31, 2009. The Games convention, one of Europe's leading fair for computer games, runs from July 31 to Aug. 2. |

The sick Blue Whale challenge has claimed one more life in India when a boy in West Bengal committed suicide after playing the self-destructive online game. The dangerous 50-day challenge is thought to be behind a string of teenage suicides around the world.

The latest victim was Ankan Dey, 14, who was found lying lifeless and suffocated by a plastic bag in the bathroom of his home in Anandpur, West Bengal State. The boy was said to be playing the Blue Whale challenge which provokes children into taking their own lives.

The father said his son came home from school that Saturday and sat in front of the computer. When his mother called him for lunch, the boy said he will first take a bath. When he didn't come out of the bathroom, the family broke open the door and found him lying on the floor, his head covered with a plastic bag tied tightly around his neck.

This is the third reported incident regarding the Blue Whale dare in India in the past few weeks after a 14-year-old boy from Andheri suburb jumped to his death on Aug. 1. Moments before he died, he uploaded a photo of his feet dangling on the seventh-floor building terrace with the words "Soon the only thing you would be left with is a picture of me."

Two other teenagers who were about to commit suicide were saved in the nick of time within 24 hours. One of them, a 13-year-old, attempted to jump off a window from the third floor of his school in Madhya Pradesh's Indore. Hours later, a 14-year-old who was on his way to complete the dare was intercepted on a bus in Solapur.

The Blue Whale Challenge manipulates players into fulfilling 50 dangerous and harmful dares including carving a blue whale into one's arm. The game has led to 130 teenage deaths in China, U.S. and elsewhere. Its Russian creator, Philipp Budeikin, 22, said the game was meant to "clean society" of "biological waste" in reference to its participants.

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