The game involves an image of a terrifying character that threatens children over WhatsApp.
UAE parents are alarmed over an online 'suicide game' that is now allegedly appearing in kids' YouTube videos and online games. The 'Momo Challenge' took the Internet by storm late last year and has recently resurfaced, hacking into children's cartoon and toy review videos.
The game involves an image of a terrifying character that threatens children over WhatsApp and asks them to carry out harmful challenges, as well as to "commit suicide". Now, hackers have edited the image and life-threatening message into popular kids' review videos and cartoon shows such as Peppa Pig. It is also reportedly seen in games such as Roblox, Fortnite and Minecraft.
Khaleej Times previously reported a story of an 11-year-old boy in the Philippines who committed suicide because of the challenge. UAE authorities have also warned parents about the dangerous game. Parents who spoke to KT have said they are now closely monitoring their children's online activity as their kids have become "terrified" after seeing Momo's image, while some are trying out the daring stunts they say have been "requested by Momo".
A Dubai-based parent said on social media that her child was hiding a knife. When asked why she was in possession of it, the child said Momo had asked her to take and hide it. A parent of a 10-year-old boy, Farzana Tariq, said her son nearly jumped out of a moving car because of the game.
"My son and my nephew go to the same school and they were discussing this in class. When we picked them up one day, my nephew dared my son to jump out. He opened the door and nearly jumped out from the car. Luckily, my sister saw him and screamed at him to stop," Tariq said.
"When we asked them why they did this, they said it was because Momo had asked them to. These challenges are very scary, it makes kids feel like they are being adventurous. And this isn't the first scary online game. The Blue Whale Challenge last year really frightened my son."
Tariq said "there is only so much time" that a parent can spend monitoring their child's online activity, as today's children are required to take iPads to school.
Asma Zakir, a mother of two, said her seven-year-old son is "scared of being alone" after seeing Momo.
"My son wanted me to come with him to the toilet after seeing Momo's image," she said. "My first reaction was that it was a hoax, but it was a cause of concern. Kids need to be made aware of this and parents need to be careful about leaving kids, especially the younger ones, unattended."
Another parent of two, Hina Butt, said her son told her that Momo is "playing games" with his classmate.
"I wanted to make sure my son stayed away from this challenge, so I asked if he knew about it. He told me 'yes' and that Momo was playing games with one of his classmates," Butt said. "The next day I went to his school and spoke to his teacher about it, just asking them to warn all other parents as well."
This article has been adapted from its original source.
Copyright © 2019 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved.