Our online safety experts have been alerted to a 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 children.
Poppy Playtime features frightening images and themes that are paired with child-friendly items. This may be especially upsetting to children who have not yet developed the resilience to deal with disturbing content.
To help parents, carers, and safeguarding professionals better understand these issues, we’ve taken a deeper look at Poppy Playtime and the wider genre it belongs to.
What is a “horror game”?
Why are these games appealing?
What is Poppy Playtime?
Where can children access it?
Poppy Playtime is available on PC through Steam for £3.99. Only ‘Chapter 1’ is available currently, but Chapter 2 has been announced for 2022. There is an added buzz around the game since it’s released in an episodic manner. This gives it more time to gain popularity and increase excitement for the next instalment.
Despite this game only being available on PC, there are multiple copycat versions of it for children to download and play on Roblox, Minecraft, and all app stores. It’s 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. While the playthrough videos are not available on YouTube Kids, there are lots of videos with associated content specifically for children that would encourage them to seek out the source. It’s important to note that while children may not have played Poppy Playtime themselves, they may have watched a video of someone else playing it.
When our online safety experts searched for “Poppy Playtime” with Google SafeSearch and YouTube Restricted Mode turned on, and the exact same top results came up when turned off. Posts relating to Poppy Playtime can be found across Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.