Huggy Wuggy, who is (and how it was born) the doll that scares parents of children the most –

from Simona Volpe

In Rome and beyond, displayed on the windows of many toy stores. Huggy Wuggy, a blue character with sharp teeth, the protagonist of a horror video game that is becoming popular among the little ones. Despite the name, the doll does not have much to do with being kind

Can a puppet trigger controversy on social media and alert parents enough to be reported to the police? This is what happens to Huggy Wuggy, a blue character with sharp teeth and an articulated body (exhibited on the windows of many toy stores in the capital and beyond), the protagonist of a horror video game that is becoming popular even among the little ones them. Despite the fact that the name evokes sweet hugs, the doll has a bit of kindness considering that the antagonist of a video game, born in 2021, where the player to escape from a toy factory, like the Huggy Wuggy the guard, must solve puzzles and tests. . The song that accompanies his wanderings also has aggressive tones: Sharp teeth leave you bleeding. Never call me ugly. Hug me until you die. With these assumptions, it is clear why the video game is intended for an audience of over 13but the boundary between the different platforms is still thinner, and therefore the soft toy has become the main character in several videos on Youtube and TikTok, available to children despite parental controls or other restrictions.

Not only that, as psychotherapist Maura Manca tells us: Children are so attracted to scary characters and images of this type that even on whatsapp they talk about them and exchange photographs that challenge each other.. The success of Huggy Wuggy was inaugurated by Me Against You, youtuber loved by those under 13, who dedicated a video to the big doll thus entering many families’ homes, ignoring its background. This is not the first time that characters destined for a theoretically more mature audience have become a trend even among the youngest: It has already happened in recent months with Squid Game, the Korean Netflix series in which the contradictions and cruelty of capitalism.

Despite the violence in many scenes, the series was also followed by primary school children, who reproduced the modalities in play and disguises. Even more serious is the case of Jonathan Galindo, a very widespread phenomenon in the United States, but which unfortunately has also come to our country and which has already claimed some victims among children involved in extreme social competitions that have led them to self-harm, if not suicide. Here, too, everything comes from a mask that is seemingly captivating to children, but which turns out to be a true nightmare. These are cyclical phenomena that have already happened, and which unfortunately will happen again, especially in a society that is constantly looking for like and visualization, explains Manca, who in addition to being a psychotherapist is chairman of the National Adolescent Observatory. The problem is that children today are constantly and constantly living in contact with content that is inappropriate for their age (we’re talking about videos, video games, but it’s probably just watching the news), which means they do not have the emotional and cognitive tools to understand them.

Everything has a weight for us, maybe we will not see it right away, but it will leave traces because the continuity of the exhibition makes the little ones get used to these images with the aggravating circumstance, in cases like Huggy Wuggy, to strike down into their heads, the association game = violence. In the days of the Nightmare, which many may judge as violent, but the difference that those images for us were so out of the ordinary that they made an impression on us, today is no longer always like that, and in front of an emotionless child we have to worry U.S. In this basic role is played by the parent, who according to the expert has three tasks: to filter, explain and counterbalance. Only in this way do Huggy Wuggy and similar only scary dolls remain weakened by their message.

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4 May 2022 (change 4 May 2022 | 15:55)

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