The “Momo Challenge,” a creepy viral game taking over people’s tech devices, is causing much distress in communities worldwide.On Tuesday, the “Momo Challenge” prompted school officials in Brick, New Jersey to warn parents about the game after a group of first graders were reportedly bullied, according the Asbury Park Press. “We are working with the parents. It’s not finished,” Gerard Dalton, Brick Township Public Schools’ superintendent, told the Asbury Park Press. “We’re trying to do everything we can to address it.”The game, which appears on popular social media apps such as WhatsApp, features an eerie avatar of a woman, who has bulging eyes and a haunting face.To play the game, social media users can message a “Momo” account on Facebook, WhatsApp, and other apps, where they are challenged to follow destructive instructions or be killed. Participants could be asked to engage in self-harming behaviors or hurt others throughout the game. It’s unknown how the game was created and why it went viral on social media. According to News.com.au, the “Momo Challenge” picture comes from a sculpture created by Link Factory, a Japanese special effects company. The name of the artwork is dubbed “Mother Bird,” and it was displayed at Vanilla Gallery, a horror art gallery in Tokyo. The creepy sculpture wasn’t intended for the game, and no one knows why the image appeared there.The sculpture was thought to be created by Midori Hayashi, a Japanese artist known for his bizarre doll artwork, however, News.com.au reported that Link Factory and Hayashi were not connected to the sinister “Momo Challenge.”This isn’t the first time the “Momo Challenge” has caused harm to children and young adults. In late August, a 12-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy took their lives in Colombia after playing the “Momo Challenge,” Fox News reported. Police took the children’s phones to investigate, which were said to contain “Momo Challenge” messages.If you want to talk to someone or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For international resources, this list is a good place to start.More on Geek.com:Ripped Kangaroo and Internet Star, Roger, Dies at Age 12Cuba Rolls Out Internet Service to Citizens for the First TimeWatch: YouTube Rewind 2018 Recaps the Year in Viral Videos, Memes, and Trends 11-Year-Old Gets ‘Scammed’ Into Paying $4K for TikTok InfluencerFacebook Reportedly Considers Hiding ‘Like’ Counts Stay on target
Stay on target Sorry, You Can’t Date Keanu Reeves in ‘Cyberpunk 2077”Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form It seems like it took at least a few years before every company with content to watch decided to challenge Netflix with its own streaming TV service, leading to our current world where the streaming wars have just tricked cord cutters into falling for the cable model again. But there arguably hasn’t even been one video game streaming service worth caring about yet and still we see battle lines being drawn.The biggest news from GDC was Google’s Stadia, a new platform to stream the biggest games from Google’s powerful data centers on any device you own with an online Chrome connection. Microsoft also reassured developers that it is working on a similar service with XCloud. But now according to USGamer another big new challenger is potentially looking to get into the game streaming game: Walmart.Considering the report is only backed up by anonymous sources, there aren’t many concrete details here beyond “Walmart wants to make a game streaming service.” But USGamer points out facts like Walmart’s Area 71 data center and abandoned plans for a Netflix competitor as proof the retail giant has been considering a move like this for a while.And it does make sense. As a huge brick-and-mortar store Walmart would definitely take a hit if consumers stopped buying physical video games and just streamed them instead. So if you can’t beat them, join them, and join them quickly while there’s still time for a frontrunner to emerge in this new space.That said, as skeptical as we are about Google’s data-harvesting hands controlling the future of video games through streaming, Walmart isn’t that much better. The ubiquity of the “family friendly” chain has basically killed any real market for Adults Only games. And its “low prices” historically come from undercutting and destroying smaller competitors while also underpaying employees.Still, more competition in the upcoming video game streaming wars is a good thing. Google, Microsoft, or Walmart can’t be a monopoly if they are all fighting each other. And it took months of Google rumors before Stadia became a thing so who knows if and when Walmart’s game streaming dreams might become a reality.For more on Walmart’s potentially creepy tech ambitions here’s their robot fry cook Flippy and check out this patent for a Walmart shopping cart that checks your pulse.