9 Μαρτίου, 2020

Cybercrime: The Internet’s suicidal game ‘Blue Whale’

«Cybercrime: The Internet’s suicidal game ‘Blue Whale’»[1]

Helen Koumidi[2]

Translated from Greek by Vasiliki Vitsara

Could a game on the Internet end up becoming a ‘crime scene? Yes. The game ‘Blue Whale’, which appeared in 2013 became a place of felony. Philipp Budeikin of Russia, age 21, former psychology student who was expelled from his university, was sentenced to three years in prison with charge of moral incitement to murder as 16 schoolgirls killed themselves after taking part in his Blue Whale game. In this ‘challenge’ game, as Budeikin had named it, he invited the participant players, within 50 days, to carry out every single day a commandment he would commit to them. They had a new challenge every day, from watching horror movies to waking at strange hours and self-harming. The last challenge of the game for the participants was to commit suicide. Some of his words: «There are people – there is biological waste- Those who do not represent any value for society, who cause or will cause only harm to society», «I was cleaning our society of such people. It was necessary to distinguish normal [people] from biological rubbish».

Budeikin has the delusional idea that weak people are biological waste for society and that’s why they have to die. We could say, a delusion with a complexion of racism, as he would distinguish people to those who deserve to live and to those who deserve to die, characterizing them as ‘rubbish’. He has the ‘mission’ to ‘clean’ society from ‘rubbish people’. Through the game, he becomes their master, the one who gives them commandments and they obey him. The victims are puppets in his hands. Budeikin, within a delusion of grandeur has taken the place of ‘God’ becoming the master of life and death. He is the one who leads them in death in a measurable time. In fifty days. The subjects following the words of their master committed suicide. In this way, they incarnate the object ‘rubbish’ of their master.

Lacan, referring to the symbolic aspects of crime emphasized the fact that « neither crime nor criminals are objects that can be conceptualized apart from their sociological context »[1]. Behind the suicidal game of ‘Blue Whale’ there was a killer who found in the Internet a new ‘tool’ for killing. Therefore, the killer in order to accomplish his mission used a manner of today’s society offers. Here lies the symbolic side of this specific crime. The Internet is a social contemporary globalized phenomenon. It is a place of learning, informing, communicating, workmanship, buying products, entertainment. It constitutes a new part in the place of the Other, so it could also become a place of crime.

This ‘game’ expanded to more countries and was taken up by other ‘game-masters’ with the idea of eliminating ‘rubbish people’, people who are considered as ‘biological waste’. On the one hand, there are these ‘delusional masters’ who find their place in this globalized civilization via Internet. On the other hand, as Bauman has pointed out, globalization of modern life is characterized by «the obsessive production of redundant people – disposable people»4, of ‘human waste’, of those who do not have room in society. The crime of the game ‘Blue Whale’ reflects like a mirror this new globalized society, a society that discriminates people. As also Miller noted: «A big popular crime is always a total social fact and to quote the expression of Marcel Mauss: it is a microcosm of society, reflecting everything»5.

  1. Product of a cartel’s work on “Crime and subject”.
  2. Member of the NLS- Hellenic Society.
  3. Lacan, J.: “A Theoretical Introduction to the Functions of Psychoanalysis in Criminology”, Ecrits, p.126 – translated by Bruce Fink
  4. Bauman Z. : Disposable Life,
  5. Miller, J.A. : Interview, Le Point, Un Psy analyse l’affaire Fritzl


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