A “sinister” video character who sings songs about hugging and killing people has horrified teachers at a South Australian school, who say that it’s encouraging children to copy its behaviour.
Huggy Wuggy, a blue monster with fanged teeth and long arms, features in the horror-themed computer game, Poppy Playtime, which is set in an abandoned toy factory.
Since its release last year, it’s sparked fan-generated spin-offs including a song on YouTube in which the creature sings, “sink my teeth in and you’re consumed”.
According to an Adelaide primary school, “the latest harmful trend going the rounds” has had a devastating impact on students, as reported by the ABC.
“Kids as young as five have been playing games in the playground, hugging each other and whispering frightening lyrics such as ‘hugging you to death’ and ‘till you breathe your last breath,’ leaving many upset,” the school said in a letter to parents.
It claims the “sinister online character” had made its way “into children’s mainstream content” on social media and gaming platforms, including TikTok, Roblox and Minecraft.
The South Australian Primary Principals Association reiterated that the game has encouraged negative behaviour among children.
“What children are doing is giving each other hugs but whispering creepy things in their ears, because that’s what Huggy Wuggy does,” President Angela Falkenberg told ABC Radio Adelaide.
She is urging parents not to overreact however, saying they should “chat it out, don’t freak out”.
Mums and dads have taken to social media to voice their concern, with many saying their children had come across videos of the viral monster.
“My son says at school the kids play Huggy Wuggy with him so when he first told me about it I didn’t think anything of it,” one woman wrote, “until I saw it for myself.”
“We saw one of Huggy Wuggy chopping up a body then there was another one of him going into Peppa Pig sleeping, pulling her out of bed and cutting her up, I was mortified,” another said.
“They shouldn’t be allowed to post anything like that on YouTube,” someone else added.
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