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Sadag warns parents to be prepared for sinister online games

The 'Blue Whale' game has made international headlines with reports of 130 teenagers committing suicide after completing some of the challenges.

A screengrab of the 'Blue Whale' game.

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) has urged parents to look out for suicidal tendencies and be prepared for any new sinister games that their children may be playing online.

The Blue Whale game has made international headlines with reports of 130 teenagers committing suicide after completing some of the challenges.

The online social media game is believed to have originated in Russia but there are hundreds of teenagers who are currently participating by posting pictures of their self-mutilated arms, legs and lips.

While not available in South Africa at this time, the game is downloaded onto a computer or smartphone and the user is then presented with daily tasks by an assigned administrator. The challenges are dangerous and sinister, with users encouraged to kill themselves on the 50th and final day.

Social media analyst and MD of Black Box Theory Yavi Madurai - who has been researching the game - warns that its arrival in South Africa is imminent.

Sadag’s Cathy Chambers says they are aware of this new trend.

“It is very concerning but I think for a parent, this is the time now where we can really prepare if it does hit the shores if we do start hearing about cases in South Africa.

“Again, we’ve to remember that this is done online, so parents have a little bit of control here to what access they allow their children online."

WATCH: 'Blue Whale' suicide game may hit SA shores soon

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