[content warning – mentions of suicide]

In this episode Don, Marcus and Sachin discuss “games” which have variously been reported as the cause of suicides: but is there any known truth to such claims? We look at the phenomena of Blue Whale and the Momo Challenge – what they are, why ideas about them have spread, and what is the reality behind the scare stories. We then look at Doki Doki Literature club, which has been described in the media in a similar way to Blue Whale and Momo: again there is a lot of misreporting on this game, but there’s still a lot to say about the game’s depiction of suicide.

We also discuss the game Catherine, transphobia within the game, and whether there’s any right way to feel about it.

We read from the following sources:

School issues warning about Doki Doki Literature Club https://abc7chicago.com/education/gary-middle-school-issues-warning-about-popular-online-game/5129344/

Speaking to the artist behind Momo https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/03/06/national/social-issues/japanese-artist-behind-ghastly-creature-viral-momo-challenge-baffled-disturbing-hoax/

RTE describes the Momo challenge https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2019/0225/1032886-just-what-is-the-momo-challenge/

An early report of Blue Whale https://news.sky.com/story/blue-whale-death-game-leaves-a-trail-of-misery-for-russian-families-10942187

An analysis of trans discrimination in Catherine: https://transgamersociologist.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/

Describing Blue Whale “hysteria” https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-40960593

A skeptic’s view of Blue Whale: https://skepticalinquirer.org/exclusive/blue_whale_game/

(Sensitive content) The Daily Mail reports on Doki Doki Literature Club being linked to a suicide https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6214165/Parents-warned-sinister-manga-inspired-Doki-Doki-Literature-Club-suicide-dating-app.html

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