What Parents Need To Know About Video Game Character ‘Huggy Wuggy’
By Movieguide® Contributor
A new cartoon character named Huggy Wuggy might seem harmless, but parents need to be on their guard about the misleadingly named video game character.
Parents.com recently reported on “Huggy Wuggy,” a character from a 2021 video game, “Poppy Playtime.”
Huggy Wuggy looks like a blue teddy bear, but has a terrifying set of sharp teeth. He’s the villain in the game — players must solve puzzles in an abandoned toy factory while Huggy Wuggy hunts them down.
Despite the fact that Huggy Wuggy is supposed to be scary, many young children like the character after being exposed to him in a variety of different media.
“Some children have played Playtime Poppy despite its 12+ rating by Common Sense Media. Other children have seen videos of the monster-bear hybrid on YouTube and TikTok, and some simply know of Huggy Wuggy based on the toy, which is sold in gift shops across the country and is regularly given out as a carnival prize,” Parents.com reported.
The danger of Huggy Wuggy and Poppy Playtime is the cuddly appearance of the bear and cute name that is in direct contrast to the scary, somewhat violent nature of the video game.
“It is a very deceiving character, as hugs should be seen as something kind and loving,” Deal Parochial Primary School head Justine Brown wrote in a letter to parents about the game.
Brown reminded parents remain vigilant about their children’s media habits, which includes educating themselves about new trends, getting their child’s opinion, and communicating with them about what they are watching.
Movieguide® previously reported on warnings about Huggy Wuggy and Poppy Playtime:
A Wisconsin sheriff’s office released a warning for parents about a video game character named “Huggy Wuggy,” who initially looks appealing to young children but is, in fact, dangerous.
“The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office looked at the origins of a controversy about a character named Huggy Wuggy from a survival horror video game called ‘Poppy Playtime,’” begins the warning. “Poppy Playtime is a survival horror video game developed and published by American indie developer MOB Games in which the player plays as a former employee who is revisiting an abandoned toy factory previously owned by the game’s in-universe company Playtime Co. Ten years after the staff have seemingly vanished without a trace. The player navigates through a first-person perspective and must solve puzzles to progress further while avoiding various enemies, such as Huggy Wuggy, a blue bear-like character, with razor sharp teeth. Huggy Wuggy and other animated toys stalk players in an abandoned toy factory.”
The video game is targeted toward children ages 8-12.
“The game teaches younger audiences that their toys and other things they previously felt comfortable with are now scary and can kill them,” the warning continued. “The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office is issuing a warning to parents due to a series of videos surrounding Poppy Playtime character Huggy Wuggy. The warnings are due to the character’s initially child-friendly visuals, which very quickly turn nightmarish.”
Additionally, the sheriff’s office raised concerns about fan-made content easily accessible to children on YouTube.
This alarming warning further emphasizes the necessity for parents to remain engaged with their children’s media consumption habits. Some reports indicate that children are watching the videos and replicating the activities.
Parents cannot turn a blind eye to what their children watch on television or streaming. Instead, parents can teach their children to be media-wise, asking their children media discernment questions in order to help them better process what they watch and know when some content is completely unacceptable for them.
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