It's been reported that a teen in Austin, Texas took his own life last week, over a viral stunt game that is said to have originated in Russia, and live-streamed it to the internet.
Isaiah Gonzalez committed suicide by hanging himself in his bedroom closet while streaming the act on his cell phone.
Gonzalez's father told journalists that he believes the "Blue Whale Challenge" is to blame for his son's death, in a story shared by Inverse. He added, "I don’t know if that’s what made him look into it but whatever it is I can’t beat myself up for it because I tried."
The "Blue Whale Challenge" is described as "a mysterious series of stunts that supposedly began in Russia," and Gonzalez isn't the first American teen death attributed to it.
A Georgia family feels there's reason to believe that their 16-year-old daughter took her own life because of the mysterious game.
The issue that investigators have run into while looking into the matter is that there is no concrete evidence of the game's existence.
Earlier this year, there were a string of teen suicides in Russia that were all linked to the "Blue Whale Challenge." The name of the game has never been officially explained, but the most prominent speculation is that it comes from the idea of whales who intentionally "beach" themselves, which is basically a form of suicide.
Per a report from the BBC, "There are also reports of suicide cases being investigated in Ukraine, Kazakhstan,
The closest that anyone has come to determining the validity of the game, was last year when a Russian website published an interview with a man named Philip Budeykin who claimed that he was involved with a "death group" on a Russian social network site.
When Budeykin was asked if he and the other members of the"death group" were urging teenagers to kill themselves, Budeykin said, "Yes. I really did. Do not worry, you’ll understand. Everyone will understand. They died
It was later reported that Budeykin had been arrested for using the "blue whale" group to convince teens to commit suicide and, at the time, was awaiting trial.