'Blue Whale Challenge': A Game or Crime?

Sci Eng Ethics. 2019 Feb;25(1):285-291. doi: 10.1007/s11948-017-0004-2. Epub 2017 Nov 11.


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.

Keywords: E-gaming; Entertainment; Ethics; Fear; Parental concern; Psychology; Suicides; Technology; Teenagers.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Adolescent Development
  • Animals
  • Balaenoptera
  • Child
  • Coercion*
  • Confidentiality
  • Crime*
  • Depression*
  • Humans
  • Self-Injurious Behavior
  • Social Isolation
  • Social Media*
  • Suicide*
  • Video Games* / ethics
  • Video Games* / psychology