A 16-year-old girl in North Carolina was found dead by her family and it is believed that she committed suicide. They are pointing out the controversial online game called "Blue Whale" as the reason why their family member took her own life.
According to CBS North Carolina, the family, who asked for their identities to be concealed, was shocked when they found out their family member committed suicide. "A funny girl. Like to make silly faces, or, how we say, the puppy face when she want something," her mom said.
Her mother also said her daughter secretly hid her paintings. However, she showed her work at an art show in her school, which she theorized was connected to the "Blue Whale" game.
"At first look, you don't think anything of it, you just think of an abstract painting," the girl's brother said. "I am a whale. This is basically saying goodbye and this is basically saying goodbye as well. With the Blue Whale," he added about the drawings.
"Blue Whale" is described as an online game that triggers participants to commit suicide as part of the game. It is a 50-day challenge where players will be given 50 daily tasks by an anonymous administrator and must submit photo evidence every day to prove that they have done their task.
On the 50th day of "Blue Whale," participants are asked to commit suicide as a completion of the game. However, authorities are still questioning if the game is true or it's just an internet hoax to catch the attention of vulnerable children and teens.
Whether "Blue Whale" is real or not, authorities have already warned parents to monitor their children's internet activity. According to Sun Chronicles, the Baldwin County Public School System issued warning to parents that the game will encourage players to perform self-harm activities and potentially commit suicide.
Mental health experts also advised parents to be more aware of the internet's impact on their children as it could motivate them to commit suicide. "There's a lot of good information out there to help kids think through what's fiction, what's not fiction," Dr. Jane Pearson of the National Institute of Mental Health said.