Letter from the Editor — 22 September 2017

A terrible thing came to my attention this week. I received a voice message from someone warning parents that they must be aware of the internet games their teenagers play.
The latest trending game is “Blue Whale” and it challenges teens to commit suicide. In other words, it is an online suicide game.
As if there are not enough broken children in the world.
According to an internet expert, it’s not a new game, but it’s new in South Africa.
It works like this – after the child has logged in and starts playing the game, a curator is appointed to the player. The curator then gives the player tasks to do over the next 50 days. The tasks can involve anything – from listening to a song to more extreme assignments such as carving words or pictures on your skin.
According to experts, the purpose of the game is to “break” children so that they would want to kill themselves later. Children interested in playing the game can apparently get a curator on various social media platforms by entering various hashtags. (#blue whale, #sea or whales, # I’m in the game, and so on.)
How sick it may sound – this is the reality and parents need to know about it.
Back to the Bushveld. The strike of Exxaro workers and how it degenerates into violence and destruction dominated the news last week. It goes beyond my understanding how people sow havoc to make a point.
It’s almost like a child throwing a tantrum to get what he wants.

— Leoni

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