Reports claim that a 15-year-old Russian boy named Pavel Mateev reacted to losing a video game by heading to his yard and beheading himself with a chainsaw.
According to a report from The Sun, police are investigating into the case of Mateev, who was described by state-owned Russian television network NTV as a teenager from the Tomsk region who was obsessed with an unnamed computer game given to him by his single mother. A “female source,” who was not identified by NTV, added that the boy spent hours on end playing the game on his computer before his “nerves gave in.”
Following the incident, which reportedly took place on Monday, police officials opened a criminal investigation into incitement to suicide. At the moment, no further details on Pavel Mateev’s case have been disclosed by the Russian Investigative Committee’s local office.
Although there have been numerous “death groups” in Russia which allegedly convince young gamers to commit suicide while playing online games, it is also unclear whether Mateev’s death was in relation to any involvement with such groups. These groups have been known to encourage children and teenagers to play the “Blue Whale” challenge, where players are required to complete 50 daily tasks, including those that involve self-harm, until they are ultimately asked to kill themselves.
Cant believe this happened… https://t.co/Zz2OP3EEpH
— THE GAME HIVE (@TheGameHive513) September 5, 2018
The reports on Pavel Mateev’s apparent suicide came after 26-year-old postman Ilya Sidorov was sentenced to three years of hard labor at a Russian penal colony for allegedly trying to coax a 14-year-old girl into committing suicide as part of the Blue Whale challenge. According to Newsweek, Sidorov was also accused of trying to extort money and send death threats to the girl as a punishment for failing to kill herself.
In addition to how purveyors of the Blue Whale game and the similar “Momo suicide challenge” have allegedly used social media platforms to entice young people to participate in them, reports have also suggested that icons associated with the latter challenge have made their way to video games.
Fox News wrote last month that the bird-woman associated with the Momo challenge had recently been made by “modders,” or creators of customized gaming content, to appear in Minecraft, a game which is considered most popular with children and teenagers. Although there have been no reports of suicides related to the Momo icon appearing in Minecraft, parents have expressed concern that their children might be convinced to take part in the challenge after seeing the figure unexpectedly appear in their games.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.