What do we all know about taking candy from strangers?
Take This Lollipop 2 — known online as the Lollipop Challenge or the Zoom lollipop game — is an interactive online experience spotlighting the perils of the Internet (while giving viewers quite the fright).
So, how does it work? And what do you need to know before you play? Keep reading to find out!
What is ‘Take This Lollipop 2’?
Take This Lollipop 2 is an interactive horror short film and a sequel to 2011’s Take This Lollipop, which won two SXSW Competition Awards and a Daytime Emmy.
The new film uses users’ webcams to insert them into the narrative. And as director Jason Zada explained to Fast Company in October 2020, a webcam horror story is especially relevant these days.
“In the last seven months, there has been a major technological shift in the way we communicate,” said the filmmaker, who also helmed the 2016 horror film The Forest.
"We turn on our webcams every day and communicate with strangers, business colleagues, schoolmates, and family. Combine that with the ongoing threats of deepfakes, voice/text AI, identity theft, and there seemed to be a lot of scary things looming.”
How does 'Take This Lollipop 2' work?
When users go to TakeThisLollipop.com, enter their name, and turn on their webcam, they find themselves as a character in a horror story, as an online stalker takes the participants of a Zoom-like chat “offline,” so to speak.
“I think we’ve all become increasingly more technologically savvy while becoming increasingly more comfortable with the amount of information that exists about us online,” Jason told Fast Company.
"Privacy has become a lot more important, hence the reason we were unable to use a platform like Facebook to make a really entertaining sequel. Also, it seems like the amount of different platforms we invest our time in has really diversified. When we did the original Lollipop, Facebook and Twitter were the major social media hubs. Now people are scattered across everything from Twitch to Discord to TikTok.”
The original ‘Take This Lollipop’ was a Facebook app.
The original Take This Lollipop was a 2011 Facebook app that put users in the middle of a horror movie, just like its successor, but used a user’s Facebook data to creep them out.
“The first film experience played on the very real growing concern about data security that for years had been splashed endlessly across major news headlines,” Jason explained to Rolling Stone. “Lollipop codified a collective feeling about what could happen if personal data got into a stalker’s hands.”
Like the 2020 version, the original Take This Lollipop became a viral hit.
“Audiences loved it. Facebook, didn’t. Their lawyers called,” Jason added. “Every major press outlet called. The website saw hundreds of millions of visitors, and the film received billions of media impressions. More than that, it left an indelible mark on our collective sense of security online.”
Jason also described how the Lollipop project has evolved:
“The first Lollipop warned people of the dangers of sharing personal information online. Now we want to show the world how someone can actually become you.”