Self-harm, depression and suicide – these are words that one would never associate with games. But the world is full of unexpected threats. The Blue Whale Game shocked world leaders by its popularity among young people and its horrible aim – to cleanse one’s society by having those with little value gone – set by the founder of the game, Philipp Budeikir, a former psychology student expelled from university. The dangerous game also sounds an alarm in our city. Warnings against the game have been circulated fiercely among parents and educators. I would like to voice my opinion over this scary issue.
The Blue Whale Game is a game which participants cannot leave once they have decided to take part in. With all personal particulars, information of family members and nude photos given to the controller of the game, participants are threatened to follow every instruction from the controller for 50 days. Either the participants complete the tasks given, which include unreasonable doings like self-harm, waking up at 4:20 a.m. every day, watching horror movies the whole day and staying at dangerous places, or they will find their personal information and nude photo going viral on the Internet. The final goal for participants after being tested for 50 days is simple. It is to commit suicide. Withdrawal from the game can even lead to death of one’s family members. Every decision is a matter of life and death. The Blue Whale Game is like a murderer in guise and should never be taken lightly.
At times like this, the teenagers are often blamed. The world would criticize how naïve teenagers nowadays are for acting recklessly by giving their personal information to strangers and following their orders. It is true that what the young people have done is not sensible, but they are at a fallible stage in which they are confused about their own values. Without enough guidance, it is easy for them to fall prey to traps as they would like to secure their values. While being not mature enough to distinguish between right and wrong doings, they may overlook the consequences and misbehave to get attention or please someone they respect. This explains why teenagers are willing to join the game, despite having to be threatened all the time.
Thus the teenagers are not the only ones at fault. Parents also play a role in the dangerous game. The game requires participants to do self-harm and the wounds are often obvious as they are usually on the limbs, large-scaled or even appearing in large amounts. Even though the wounds are covered by bandages, as a parent, they should not have been left unnoticed. For 50 days, their children have been acting abnormally and yet the parents do not seem to have any signs of noticing it. One thing can be concluded: there is not enough communication between the parents and the children. If the family members have intimate relationship and always care about each other, the tragedy should not have happened. If the abnormal behaviors are spotted and stopped in time, it should be able to prevent the teenagers from taking their own lives.
Although both the teenagers and the parents should shoulder the responsibility for the trend, one’s society should take blame for it. The game started in Russia, but it has gained popularity in China, and now even in Hong Kong. All places involved in the game share one similarity: teenagers could not be certain about their future. With internal problems such as corruption and a way-too-competitive trend spreading within our society, young people are left with few opportunities in the future. Despite having studied hard for years, young people are still not sure that the future ahead is a bright one. They fear for the worst, yet their voiced worries are unheard. The people in power are often too busy in politics or dealing with economic matters to care about how the young people, who are suffocated by the stress driven by the high expectations one’s society is having on them and the powerlessness in controlling their own future. Instead, the ones in power blame teenagers for having low resistance to stress and exaggerating social problems. The weariness and miserable feeling makes teenagers vulnerable in front of attacks from the controller in the game. The controller reminds players of their problems, which causes them to have negative emotions accumulating inside them, which are let out through self-harm.
The young people are the pillars of our society in the future. However, if they already fall at this stage, the future of Hog Kong is sure to be gloomy. There is no choice for the government but to face the current problem and treat it seriously.
All in all, the game is an alarm to all people, warning everyone that the stress of teenagers is not to be taken lightly. As world leaders are still thinking of a way to stop the control of the game. There is no time to lose. The government must take action now to help the vulnerable teenagers whose lives and future are under threat.