MOMO Game Update from Darlington Safer Internet Partnership
Just a quick update on this game, please share the information on your webpages etc. to support parents and carers helping their children stay safe online, we know from our most recent healthy Lifestyle Survey data that the use of the internet and online gaming has grown again for primary aged children and continues to develop and change rapidly.
Some of you may of heard about the MoMo Game as it has featured in a number of newspapers in recent weeks and we have had reports about parents having issues with primary age children getting very upset after coming into contact with MoMo images online.
What is it?
MoMo Game apparently began on Facebook and has now spread to YouTube and WhatsApp. It involves users receiving a message from an unknown source who challenges the recipient to complete various dares and orders which are gruesome, cruel and violent in nature. The final challenge apparently demands the user to commit suicide and the MoMo Game is currently being linked to the suicide of a 12 year old girl in Argentina.
The controller of the game uses the attached image of a women who is half bird an half human as there avatar. It’s this image which that we’ve been told has led to primary aged children becoming scared and upset. The image is taken from a sculpture that was designed for a Japanese Horror Art exhibition.
The trouble with the MoMo game is like Slenderman, killer clowns and the Blue Whale game it looks like it’s becoming a modern day urban tale/myth. There is very little evidence that people are playing it as it’s being reported in the press. What appears to be happening though is children and young people are sharing images about it and stories that they think are real and it’s having a negative impact upon some of them. YouTube now has a number of MoMo themed games/videos as well that involve jump scares and disturbing images that I imagine will spread it further and lead to sleepless nights for those scared by it.
What can we do about it?
Awareness is key so we can support children and young people who come across it and are upset or disturbed by it. Pointing out it’s not real and encouraging parents and carers especially those of primary aged children to have appropriate controls and checks in place to prevent access to such material.
Internet Matters is an excellent website for parents around internet safety. It offers lots of practical advice. You can visit the website by clicking here.