Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 285–291 | Cite as

‘Blue Whale Challenge’: A Game or Crime?

  • Richa Mukhra
  • Neha Baryah
  • Kewal KrishanEmail author
  • Tanuj Kanchan
Brief Communication


A bewildering range of games are emerging every other day with newer elements of fun and entertainment to woo youngsters. Games are meant to reduce stress and enhance the cognitive development of children as well as adults. Teenagers are always curious to indulge in newer games; and e-gaming is one such platform providing an easy access and quicker means of entertainment. The particular game challenge which has taken the world by storm is the dangerous “Blue Whale Challenge” often involving vulnerable teenagers. The Blue Whale Challenge is neither an application nor internet based game but the users get a link through social media chat groups to enter this “deadly” challenge game. This probably is the only game where the participant has to end his/her life to complete the game. The innocent teenagers are being targeted based on their depressed psychology and are coercively isolated from their social milieux on the pretext of keeping the challenges confidential. To add to the woes, no option is offered to quit the challenge even if the contender is unable to complete the challenge. Blue Whale Challenge in its sheer form could be seen as an illegal, unethical and inhumane endeavor in our present society. The present communication discusses the severe effects of the game on teenagers, the ethical concerns involved and the preventive measures necessary to curb it.


E-gaming Entertainment Ethics Technology Parental concern Psychology Fear Suicides Teenagers 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding this manuscript.


  1. Etzersdorfer, E., & Sonneck, G. (1998). Preventing suicide by influencing mass media reporting: The Viennese experience 1980–1996. Archives of Suicide Research, 4, 64–74.Google Scholar
  2. Higgins, S. (2017). EXPOSED: The Blue Whale challenge. Higgypop. Available at: Accessed 10 Sept 2017.
  3. Krishnan, A. (2017a). How to identify Blue Whale game, The 50-day challenge that pushes kids to commit suicide. Available at: Accessed 10 Sept 2017.
  4. Krishnan, A. (2017b). The Blue Whale game, A Silent House, A Sea of Whale, Wake Me Up at 2.40 am and other Internet Suicide Games officially banned by schools. Available at: Accessed 11 Sept 2017.
  5. Miami Springs. (2017). Social media game “Blue Whale Challenge” increases the risk of suicide. Available at Accessed 10 Sept 2017.
  6. Mullin, G. (2017). Chilling Challenge What is the Blue Whale suicide challenge, how many deaths has the game been linked to and is it in the UK. The Sun. Available at: Accessed 12 Sept 2017.
  7. NCRB. (2015). New Delhi: Ministry of Home affairs, Government of India; National Crime Records Bureau. Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India. Accessed 6 Sept 2017.
  8. NH Web Desk. (2017). Blue Whale suicide game now available under different names: UNESCO advisory. Available at: Accessed 9 Sept 2017.
  9. Pathak, M. K. (2017). Mumbai teen jumps to death, cops suspect links to Blue Whale challenge. Hindustan Times. Available at: Accessed 12 Sept 2017.
  10. Pathare, S. (2017). Blue Whale Is a Red Herring: Let’s Talk About Suicides, Shall We? Available at Accessed 12 Sept 2017.
  11. Pondurrai, R. (2015). Suicide in India: Changing trends and challenges ahead. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 57(4), 348–354. Scholar
  12. Ramchandranan, S. K. (2014). India suicide capital of Southeast Asia, says WHO Available from: http://www.Thehindu.Com/News/National/India-Suicide-Capital-of-southeast-Asia-Says-Who/Article6381472.Ece. Accessed 1 Sept 2017.
  13. Rediff. (2017). Blue Whale Challenge suicide danger HIGHEST in India! Available at: Accessed 11 Sept 2017.
  14. Sharma, K. (2017). The reality behind the theory of killer game ‘Blue Whale’. Times of India Life. Available at: Accessed 10 Sept 2017.
  15. Thaploo, M. (2017). Blue Whale: Jammu techie has decoded the mystery: 5 Important Points. Available at: Accessed 4 Sept 2017.
  16. The Hindu (2017). Dragged into the deep by the blue whale. The Hindu: A national news paper, Available at : Accessed 23 Sept 2017.
  17. TNM Staff. (2017). Banning Blue Whale game won’t help, but here are the tools parents can use to monitor teens. Available at Accessed 6 Sept 2017.
  18. Wikipedia. (2017). Available at: Accessed 9 Sept 2017.
  19. World Health Organisation. (2017). Available at Accessed 31 Aug 2017.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anthropology, (Centre for Advanced Studies in Anthropology)Panjab UniversityChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Department of Forensic Medicine and ToxicologyAll India Institute of Medical SciencesJodhpurIndia

Personalised recommendations