Huggy Wuggy: a viral phenomenon worrying parents and schools

A video of a blue bear encouraging young people to take dangerous actions is currently circulating on YouTube and TikTokwrites Bastien Gauthier, director of the École de l’Oasis in Quebec, in a letter to parents last Thursday.

Parents tell us that the blue bear phenomenon “Huggy Wuggy” is known in our school. We want you to pay close attention when you hear about this.he adds.

Huggy Wuggy is a giant plush with sharp teeth and one of the main antagonists of poppy playtimea horror video game released in 2021.

For the younger readers: no, there isn’t.

But the monster that stalks the player in the video game in question has become the star of a viral phenomenon that netizens have fun putting it at the center of videos apparently intended for children. These often become violent, which can surprise and frighten young people.

In a particularly popular excerpt Wuggy chante \”des câlins et des meurtres\” et demande également aux spectateurs de \”prendre leur dernier souffle\””,”text”:”HuggyWuggy chante \”des câlins et des meurtres\” et demande également aux spectateurs de \”prendre leur dernier souffle\””}}”>Huggy Wuggy sings “hugs and kills” and urges viewers to “take their last breaths”.writes Bastien Gauthier.

Several seemingly childish videos feature the character Huggy Wuggy.

Photo: Screenshot – Youtube

To ponder

The popularity of the phenomenon worries specialists.

We have parents who have told us about night terrors that came from watching videos like this, explains Joanie Plamondon, co-owner of The Wonderland Suitcase, a family mental health clinic based in Quebec City. In a Facebook post earlier this week, she and colleague Joanie Mercier warned parents.

Huggy becomes much more dangerous in early childhood when children’s cognitive mechanisms do not allow them to tell the difference between fiction and reality. Psychological damage can leave permanent scarsyou write.

They recommend that parents turn on parental controls when possible, monitor the time their children are consuming content, chat with them, and offer help if needed. Without putting words in his mouth, in certain cases it is necessary not to hesitate to remove the tablet from the child’s hands and make him understand that this content is not for himadds Joanie Mercier.

upset

Like many parents, young Charles’s mother, 7, didn’t expect her son to ask her to color in drawings of the monster.

How does my son know about this character who kills in video games? She wondered.

Seven-year-old Charles knows the character of Huggy Wuggy well.

Photo: Radio Canada / Louis-Philippe Arsenault

The Quebec-based mother is fortunate that Charles hasn’t come across more violent videos. Huggy Wuggy and other web geeks are popular with young people, and the mother approached the faculty at her son’s school.

She calls for vigilance.

We need to discuss this with them. It’s not normal to see something like that at her ageShe says.

With information from Louis-Philippe Arsenault

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