Advice for Parents and Carers
Safer Schools NI has alerted schools to a new video game, being described by some users as an “introduction to horror.” Videos, versions of the game, and associated material are becoming increasingly popular on YouTube, Roblox, and other platforms used by young students.
The video game is called “Poppy Playtime” and features frightening images and themes that are paired with child-friendly items. This may be especially upsetting to students who have not yet developed the resilience to deal with disturbing content.
Poppy Playtime is only available on PC, however there are multiple copycat versions of it for students to download and play on Roblox, Minecraft, and all app stores. It is important to note that none of these games are age-restricted. Poppy Playtime is also a part of the streaming phenomenon on YouTube, with popular YouTubers recording themselves playing the game and reacting to it, so although students may not have played Poppy Playtime themselves, they may have watched a video of someone else playing it. Posts related to Poppy Playtime have also been found across Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.
There are multiple risks that can arise from young people being exposed to frightening content before they are prepared including added anxiety and stress, intrusive thoughts, and new fears. These risks may cause young people to find it hard to focus, have a change in appetite and sleeping patterns, appear withdrawn, angry, irritable or teary.
If a child in your care comes across something scary or disturbing online, Safer Schools NI recommends they should:
- Stop what they are doing and turn off their screen/switch off their device
- Pause to take a breath and try to stay calm
- Think about something else that makes them happy
- Talk to a trusted adult about what they saw and how it made them feel
More information on this and many other Online Safety issues can be found on the Safer Schools NI Website at: Safer Schools NI