‘Momo Challenge’, Does It Appear In Video Games?
You will likely have seen stories in the press the last week about a viral image and story called the Momo Challenge. This is similar to a chain letter where you are challenged to complete tasks for fear of reprisals. It’s making headlines for its use of Whatsapp and sending messages that try to get the recipient to perform dangerous or harmful acts and have targeted children.
Evidence of direct harm caused by the messages is yet to be found, it’s more like a viral ghost story. But children will have heard about this from friends and YouTube and can find it unsettling. Although claims of games being hacked to include Momo Challenge character are unfounded, it is appearing in games like Roblox and Minecraft because they include user customisations and content.
Parents and carers can ensure that their children avoid these themes, by first checking they know they should not be trying to contact strangers online, regardless of the method. Setting privacy systems on devices with your child is a great way to have this conversation and agree on automatic precautions.
Fostering an atmosphere of openness and transparency about online activity is also important. If you do notice them switching screens on their devices when approached or new numbers or email addresses on their devices it’s worth checking in with them. There are also specific settings on all consoles for online interactions that should be checked.
In Minecraft, you would only see the Momo Challenge Character if your child is using mods and custom games, which are not available on the console version of the game. Also, Microsoft has removed any Momo style mods on other platforms.
In Roblox, selecting the Restricted setting for your child’s accounts ensures they can only access games that have been checked for appropriateness. Roblox has done an excellent job of removing Momo Challenge user-created content from their games.
On YouTube, select restricted mode so that children cannot access content flagged by the YouTube community as potentially sensitive.
For a full video on the viral trend and how to keep children safe, click here (video includes grotesque images).