By Alexandra Segund
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A friendly smile that is expressed Very sharp teethLong fluffy arms and Songs like children Which are actually about violence or murder (“Hug me / my teeth will sink deep into your lungs”; “Do you want to know how far I want to go to find you and devour your soul” …).
Here Hug WuggyA colorful animal straight from the horror video game When playing poppyReleased in 2021. Lately, this monster with fake plush look has become a reality Social media eventsLed by TikTok, and on the playground.
Poppy Playtime video game policy
In this horror-adventure video game, you play the role of a former factory worker who makes toys and dolls that are very popular with children. You must return to the factory if you receive a letter and a videotape from an employee who went missing 10 years ago. Purpose: To discover the secrets behind this mysterious disappearance …
But behind the fashion effect, the Psychological consequences Countless for children: Aggression, anxiety, sleep disorders… parents are sounding the alarm and calling for caution.
“My son is afraid to walk home alone”
Six-year-old Franোois Hoogie is one of the traumatized children after facing Ugir. Last January, with a friend his age, they saw a video of the blue giant.
“This video shows the character walking down a kind of dark hallway, it was really scary,” he said. news.fr Virginie, mother of Francois. He admits to being “embarrassed” by Huggy Wuggy, taken from a video game “Base is really scary.”
It doesn’t have to happen to young children. It was as if I had been sold, as a child, to a ghost or a puppet of Freddie.
This video deeply identifies the two children who made it Nightmare. But not only that: Francois Hoogie continues to talk about Uggy and Afraid to go home alone. The same goes for his friend, “who didn’t want to sleep alone for many weeks.”
After that things settle down. Until François, who has no access to YouTube without his mother’s consent, comes across other videos and ads about Huggy Wuggy. “He started talking about it endlessly and started drawing it again,” said this resident of Bastia (Corsica).
An inevitable event
The problem is that The incident has now crossed the border Media and the Internet. Huggy Wuggy takes the form of a stuffed animal, a key ring, appearing as a figure of clothing, sitting on birthday cakes and even inviting himself to the colorful pages of kids.
Last week, in the playground of a fast food restaurant, Francois and a cousin of the same age cross the path with a little boy of the same age. “He had a stuffed animal bigger than him. My cousin’s daughter starts screaming “, Virginie started againnews.frForced, with his family, to leave the premises.
There was a gentleman with his son who was by his side because his youngest son was injured like Francois. We talked and she told me almost the same story as me. That’s when I realized they were going too far.
Without knowing video games, it’s hard to miss. Even YouTubers are taking up the subject And play the stage themselves When playing poppy Take advantage of the fashion effect.
These events, for example, Locklear (1.46 million subscribers) or Furious Jumper (4.16 million subscribers), their videos are “The Fear of My LIFE (Poppy Playtime)” and “Never GO to this TOY factory.” A
Night panic, nightmares, anxiety …
Many psychologists have since spoken with Hughi Ugir to condemn the consequences of this exposure to children. Among these specialists is Belgium-based neuropsychologist Lidette Anguano.
In early April, on Facebook, after several children between the ages of 7 and 12 went to his office, traumatized, he split a long message addressed to parents. A personal initiative with which he gives detailsnews.fr.
“I have seen more and more children in neuropsychological counseling who have talked to me about hoogie woogie, where he regularly returns in the form of a drawing or modeling clay. The character really captures their thinking, ”the expert said.
Other children who said they were terrified, sometimes had violent nightmares (“they were attacked, sometimes with their family”), had trouble sleeping without night light, or changed their behavior when Stimulates, tongue loose
I notice emotional turmoil: Children who are more irritable, more anxious, have unreasonable fears. Some are even more hostile to others, sometimes to the point of confrontation.
“She is a character who was created to intimidate.”
No need to confront Huggy Wuggy. After classmates narrate videos during the holidays, sometimes singing video game songs with very violent songs or bringing their staff animals carrying character images, some children let their imagination work.
“It’s even more confusing for the baby: Huggy Wuggy looks like a cartoon, but he’s a horror character, made to scare. “Explains news.fr Pascaline Bonnet, Marseille-based clinical psychologist. It is, moreover, the whole point When playing poppy Which is played in the first person.
But given its popularity outside the media, it’s even harder to pick. “Of course, this raises the question of the techniques used for this character, which does not affect the right audience,” he added. “A child does not have the same intelligence as an adult.”
This is not a video for kids her age, because they still don’t know the difference between fantasy and reality. Adults know this is not real. Growing up, he would better understand that there was no reason to be afraid because it did not exist.
“When the story of the Big Bad Wolf is told, The guardian is there to introduce the story, Change it. And the parents are acquaintances, ”continued Pascaline Bonnet. “Adults reassure, protect. There, the child alone faces the hoogie ugly in front of his screen,” Lidget Anguano added.
Talk about rubbing salt in my wounds – d’oh!
Dialogue seems to be an essential weapon to calm children’s anxiety. “Robin came home from school yesterday and told me about that famous Huggy Wuggy. He doesn’t play any video games, but he hears children talking about it, who draw it … “, in a message posted on Facebook.
Fortunately, this “tired and anxious” mother continues to say, “This is a child who is confident and talks to me.” Same thing for Virginia, who admits that she and Francois “talk a lot.” “I tell him It’s normal that he was scaredBecause the video he saw is very scary, “he explained.
His strategy: Don’t be small Fear, but stay with him, explain to him why it is valid and at the same time reassure him about the fictional aspect of the character. It is very important that the baby Acknowledge your own fears. But he may not be able to do it alone.
“This is where adults come to play, because the child is looking for a picture of authority, reassuring, to listen to him, to accompany him, to protect him,” said Lidget Anguano. An opinion shared by his colleague from Marseille.
The solution is exchange, communication. It can take time, it can take time for children to digest what they have digested.
Prohibited in school
More than two months after her intervention on the social network, Lidget Anguano noticed that her message was still being shared and commented on in Belgium, France and sometimes elsewhere. “Evidence that we haven’t finished hearing about this Huggy Wuggy”, blows up the neuropsychologist.
Some schools have chosen to take the lead. In Muscrone (Belgium), near the border, St. Marie’s Basic School has decided to ban hoogie woogie from the playground.
Contact by news.frThe director of the company did not want to talk about it.
The publisher of the video game, MOB Games, has not yet responded to our request
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