Sunday, December 15, 2019
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Obit: Isaiah Gonzalez; Blue Whale suicide challenge

Assorted news reports, many of them appearing in Christian publications, are warning teens and parents about the Blue Whale suicide challenge online game; they say it has been linked to the suicides of children as young as elementary school.

One family in San Antonio, Texas, for example, blames the game for the suicide death of their 15-year-old son, USA Today reports.

Jorge Gonzalez, who found his son, Isaiah, hanging in a closet on July 8 in their home, reportedly found evidence on Isaiah’s cellphone that he was participating in the game. “I think to him, it was a joke,” the paper quoted Jorge as saying. “It wasn’t him trying to commit suicide. I don’t see him doing that.”

The Voices for Children of San Antonio was urging parents across America to be on the lookout for signs of suicidal thinking in their children, including isolation, loss of interest, changes in behavior or personality, or an emotional development that’s not really keeping up with their intellectual or academic gains, which is very common in adolescents.

World Net Daily, a Christian publication, says the Blue Whale online suicide challenge has been linked to “hundreds of teen suicides.” The site mentions a few of them, but other news sources have corroborated the general trend in adolescents and adults alike.

The game engages players by, at first, challenging them to draw a blue whale or watch horror movies all night. Within the first 50 days, though, the challenges escalate and include activities like scoping out locations where they might kill themselves, such as the top of tall buildings or train stations. Beginning at 4:20 AM on the 50th day of the challenge, participants are instructed to kill themselves.

Parents, keep watch. Teens are gullible and can be convinced of any number of things—drugs, sex, and even, I suppose, suicide.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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