The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia has announced that a 47 video games will be banned in the country for allegations that two children killed themselves over a mysterious game called the Blue Whale. Apparently, it's the last game you'll ever play.
The Associated Press reported that the decision came way of the Saudi General Commission for Audio-Visual Media, who announced it on Monday. So far, there are no official reasons given other than "unspecified violations of rules and regulations".
The move came after a 13 year old girl and 12 year old boy were reported dead for killing themselves while reportedly playing Blue Whale. Unfortunately for the Saudi government, and common sense if you will, Blue Whale has as much to do with gaming as David Cage.
First off, Blue Whale has been called a sensationalist hoax many times over, mostly for nobody having any real evidence of it - everything is based on hearsay. Add to that recipe some notoriety, such as suicides, and you've got yourself a real self-perpetuating fear shrouded in mystery.
In truth, Blue Whale's only connection with gaming is purely linguistic The administrator, who is a game master of sorts, gives a series of tasks to the participant. The given tasks range from mundane ones, such as listening to a song, to more sinister ones, like etching a picture of a whale onto your skin. The "game" lasts for 50 days and ends in suicide.
As you can see, it's a game of preying on the weak and psychologically susceptible. Its creator, Philipp Budekin, was a 21 year old Russian who admitted to inciting 16 teenage girls to suicide, with his intentions ranging from cleansing the human race to just having fun.
Saudi Arabian list includes games such as The Witcher, Grand Theft Auto V and Assassin's Creed, although doesn't seem to available for the public just yet. It does seem a bit unjust though, seeing video games associated with such horrors, even when there's barely a link present.
You can find the original Associated Press article here.