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'My son spent £3,160 in one game' (A disturbing article by BBC)

Lanrutcon

Member
Mom and parental controls so long as she actually uses them. Don't save the card to the system or require password for use. Many banks also offer some form of two-factor authentication for online purchases too. Physical cards for digital currency are another way around it. Make your kid save their own money and use it for PSN/estore cash for example.

Companies can market all they want, but a kid can't spend money they don't have. If a parent can't handle the responsibility of keeping a card safe they shouldn't be trusted with the responsibility of raising a child.

And now I'm 100% sure you don't have kids. Call it a hunch.
 

Blancka

Member
I'm right though, aren't I?

I should be a PI.
Yep, not like it's something I need to hide.

That being said, I'm also the go-to guy for my SO's family, as well as my own extended family when it comes to gifting or setting up new consoles etc for kids in the family, and ALWAYS turn on parental controls for purchases, because knowing what tech illiterate people are like, I'll never hear the end of it if the kid does something stupid. Literally all it is is setting purchases to need a password and/or warning people not to save card details. Letting them know about physical currency cards too is another way to avoid this kind of crap.

There's so many protections out there that there's no excuse not to use them.
 

Lanrutcon

Member
Yep, not like it's something I need to hide.

That being said, I'm also the go-to guy for my SO's family, as well as my own extended family when it comes to gifting or setting up new consoles etc for kids in the family, and ALWAYS turn on parental controls for purchases, because knowing what tech illiterate people are like, I'll never hear the end of it if the kid does something stupid. Literally all it is is setting purchases to need a password and/or warning people not to save card details. Letting them know about physical currency cards too is another way to avoid this kind of crap.

There's so many protections out there that there's no excuse not to use them.

You're not wrong, you're just...well, I guess you're relying on a level of diligence, awareness and tech knowledge that isn't always perfect or even close to. Regardless of the possible protections, like I said earlier: I'd put my money on the tech savvy youth being spurred on by the corporation's machinations.

(also it's less of a secret book and more of a series of life-changing realizations written on a napkin)
 

Blancka

Member
You're not wrong, you're just...well, I guess you're relying on a level of diligence, awareness and tech knowledge that isn't always perfect or even close to. Regardless of the possible protections, like I said earlier: I'd put my money on the tech savvy youth being spurred on by the corporation's machinations.

(also it's less of a secret book and more of a series of life-changing realizations written on a napkin)

Lack of basic tech literacy is a danger in this day and age, parent or not, and people need to learn that it's not ok to live like that because it can have consequences. It's becoming the modern version of, well, actual literacy. The way the world is going, people need to learn, rather than restricting things to suit the lowest common denominator. It's a danger these days to not be able to tell what's safe and unsafe to do with tech, especially regarding payment info. They should be thankful that their kid used their card on PSN or whatever instead of somewhere actually dodgy that leads to it getting stolen and causing a lot more damage.
 

Blancka

Member
Usually everyone who raised children has something to teach you when you have them.

Usually people will lose the plot if you point out any flaw at all in their parenting because they're all perfect parents. Got into an argument in a supermarket last week because I told a mother of 4 kids to stop letting their kids kick a football around the busy store because apparently not having a kid means I'm not qualified to tell someone to stop being a cunt.
 

Lanrutcon

Member
Usually people will lose the plot if you point out any flaw at all in their parenting because they're all perfect parents. Got into an argument in a supermarket last week because I told a mother of 4 kids to stop letting their kids kick a football around the busy store because apparently not having a kid means I'm not qualified to tell someone to stop being a cunt.

I'd wager that anyone who becomes a parent and doesn't rapidly realize that they're in over their head has no idea what they just signed up for. Napkin knowledge.

Who has 4 kids these days? goddamn.
 

Blancka

Member
I'd wager that anyone who becomes a parent and doesn't rapidly realize that they're in over their head has no idea what they just signed up for. Napkin knowledge.

Who has 4 kids these days? goddamn.

When you live in a country where people can take advantage of social welfare and not have to work a day in their lives if they pop out a few gremlins, a lot of people.
 

PocoJoe

Banned
100% fault of parent AND the kids.

Parents should do parenting

And if we are not talking about 0-5y old kids, they understand what they are doing (unless mentally challenged, and then it is parents fault again)
 

PocoJoe

Banned
When you live in a country where people can take advantage of social welfare and not have to work a day in their lives if they pop out a few gremlins, a lot of people.

True

Natives here try to get educated, get a job, be good citizens = difficult and takes long time, many cant have families because getting a regular job aint easy.

Then "refugees"(tourists from middle east/africa that come here trought 10 safe countries because of our social security) and lazy native bums/addicts make lot of kids because they dont have to care about money.

It is pure shit and natives are minority in 2053 or something like that.
 
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In my country there is a good joke for such situations.

No fault with the thief ?
Nasreddin Hodja has his donkey stolen. Grieving over his loss to his neighbours, he hears them all talking at once:
-“hodja, why on earth didn’t you put a good lock on the barn door?”
says one.
-“A thief breaks in, and you are unaware!” criticizes another.
Yet another blames Hodja:
-“Please don’t take offense but you alone are to blame for it as you do not even have a decent barn. I’ts falling to pieces, period!”
Indignat at the criticism, Hodja reacts:
-“For Heaven’s sake! If you say but is the fault all mine? No fault with the thief?

That is a hilarious joke!
 

ROMhack

Member
I went to a tech debate the other week with a guy who used to work for a mobile developer, now an academic in Holland. He explained that they're fully aware of the negative impact apps/games have (including micro-transactions) but they can't do much about it because you have to be ruthless in a crowded marketplace. The rest of the panel, who all work in tech, agreed. I asked if they follow any ethical frameworks for design and they said no, obviously.

Point is, these apps can be a problem and everybody knows it. Especially the people who make them.
 
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Saruhashi

Banned
Looks like 2 different arguments that the BBC are trying to tie into one single argument against dame developers.

The issue of predatory practices in games comes with the fact that many games offer some kind of gambling mechanic that encourages players to pay X for a 1 in Y chance of getting an in-game item. Oh look your character has a shit loadout pay 5 bucks to get 5 lootpacks containing 1 legendary item, oh and there are some crazy awesome legendary items.
This is effectively online gambling and should be treated, and regulated, as such. EA wants to have this kind of mechanic in your FIFA game? Fine, they should abide by the rules and regulations concerning age, spending limits, donations to charities etc. If those regulation do not exist then they should.

The issue of parents irresponsibly giving their kids access to credit cards, bank accounts and outlets where money can be spent quickly and easily is down to people not seemingly even understanding the content and mechanics of the games they allow their kids to play. Not understanding how easy it is to make purchases. Not understanding what steps to take to prevent unwanted purchases.

Throwing the irresponsible parents argument into the mix does NOTHING to bolster the arguments against lootboxes, microtransactions etc.
It just makes these people look like fucking reckless morons.

It's possible to make many valid arguments against the content within the games without this transparent "tugging at the heartstrings" bullshit.
 

dan76

Member
As much as I despise these kinds of predatory business practices we are living in a culture where nobody wants to take responsibility for themselves or their children. How stupid must you be to let your kid go wild with a bank account attached to a game or an app.

There should be tighter regulation, auto renewal shouldn't be the norm, but ffs wise up.
 

CeeJay

Member
100% fault of parent AND the kids.

Parents should do parenting

And if we are not talking about 0-5y old kids, they understand what they are doing (unless mentally challenged, and then it is parents fault again)

And not even 1% the fault of an unethical company out to squeeze as much money out of their customers in an unregulated industry?
 

ROMhack

Member
The issue of parents irresponsibly giving their kids access to credit cards, bank accounts and outlets where money can be spent quickly and easily is down to people not seemingly even understanding the content and mechanics of the games they allow their kids to play. Not understanding how easy it is to make purchases. Not understanding what steps to take to prevent unwanted purchases.

I agree but it's worth remembering that digital literacy isn't something that people above the age of 30 will naturally 'get'. If you studied computer science or network administration at college then sure you're tech savvy but most people aren't -- it's one of the reasons why tech companies have become so dominant as people insist on convenience or death.
 
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Blancka

Member
I agree but it's worth remembering that digital literacy isn't something that people above the age of 30 will naturally 'get'. If you studied computer science or network administration at college then sure you're tech savvy but most people aren't -- it's one of the reasons why tech companies have become so dominant as people insist on convenience or death.

It's not the 80s anymore, tech and the internet have been standard for about 15 years at this point, and there's no long a valid excuse in not growing up with this stuff. It's not a passing fad, and refusing to learn about it has nothing to do with age, it's down to wilful ignorance. Tech is no longer an enthusiast thing, it's a part of life that won't be escaped by people who refuse to learn about it; it'll just cause more issues for them. As time passes tech literacy will become the modern version of actual literacy. It was just for enthusiasts and the rich in the past, now it's strange if someone can't understand or never learns it.

Plus it's not like things haven't gotten easier. At this point there's no need to know what setting is where and how X thing affects Y thing, you can literally tell your goddamn phone to do whatever you want for the most part, and for anything else, you can ask it how and it'll tell you in spoken words.

I don't see a reason to cater to people just because they refuse to keep up with changes that make everyones lives better. Call it an idiot tax is what I say. There's no need to make things less convenient and force me to go through extra hoops when I buy things because Derek down the road didn't think twice about handing his bank card to his kid and not checking things out himself.

The crazy part is, people used to be cautious with this stuff. I had to really plead with my older sister back in the day to let me pay her so her card could be used for my WoW subscription, but she didn't want to use her card on it initially, because it wasn't something she had heard of and she didn't want to take risks. Nowadays people seem to not give half a shit.

After I moved in with my GF, we gave her ps4 to her younger sister, as I'd brought mine and we had no need for two. So common sense kicked in, and every trace of my PSN account/payment details were scrubbed from the console. It's not that hard to look after these things, and I really don't get people calling for regulation when a bit of sense would solve the problem for them outright. It's like watching people burn themselves with hot soup and then cry that the government isn't blowing the soup on the spoon to cool it down first. Can we tell people to get a bit of sense instead of heading down this slope that ends with us all wearing mandatory bubblewrap suits and safety helmets?
 

Saruhashi

Banned
I agree but it's worth remembering that digital literacy isn't something that people above the age of 30 will naturally 'get'. If you studied computer science or network administration at college then sure you're tech savvy but most people aren't -- it's one of the reasons why tech companies have become so dominant as people insist on convenience or death.

That's fair but I think it has no bearing on lootboxes.

They are 2 separate issues, I think. One is an issue of unregulated online gambling. The other is an issue with people who are not tech savvy.

I think they both have different solutions.
 

brian0057

Member
"My kid blew $1.000 through my credit card by purchasing micro transactions."
"This is clearly the fault of the developer and we, the parents, bear no responsibility whatsoever."
"Educating my kid to be responsible with money? Surely, you jest."
"Let's get the government to punish these greedy corporations since I can't be bothered to keep my kid in check. It's their fault. They held a gun to my head and forced me to give the infant a phone tied to the credit card and to tell him to spend as much as he could."

If this article is supposed to make me feel sorry for the family and anger towards the developers, it's not doing a great job at it.
 

GhostOfTsu

Member
Bullshit comparison.

if you spend $2000 on M&Ms you have to find a shop that holds all of that stock, buy It, transport it and take it home and you still have $2000 worth of stock.

A game is £50. One time purchase, you shouldn't then be able to spend £2000 in that one game by clicking one or two buttons.

One is a concious decision with planning required, the other is an excuse to trap people into spending thousands on nothing more than what used to be in a game any way.

Anyone who defends this practice is a corporate ball-washing leach.

Yo Sterling junior, those games are not 50$/one-time purchase. There are plenty of them if you want. Those are f2p+mtx and it's pretty clear how they work. Don't play them if you have issues and don't let your kids mess around with your phone on your account.

Yes it's that simple.
 

ROMhack

Member
That's fair but I think it has no bearing on lootboxes.

They are 2 separate issues, I think. One is an issue of unregulated online gambling. The other is an issue with people who are not tech savvy.

I think they both have different solutions.

Yeah that's a good point. Maybe I was talking a bit too generally.

It's not the 80s anymore, tech and the internet have been standard for about 15 years at this point, and there's no long a valid excuse in not growing up with this stuff. It's not a passing fad, and refusing to learn about it has nothing to do with age, it's down to wilful ignorance. Tech is no longer an enthusiast thing, it's a part of life that won't be escaped by people who refuse to learn about it; it'll just cause more issues for them. As time passes tech literacy will become the modern version of actual literacy. It was just for enthusiasts and the rich in the past, now it's strange if someone can't understand or never learns it.

Plus it's not like things haven't gotten easier. At this point there's no need to know what setting is where and how X thing affects Y thing, you can literally tell your goddamn phone to do whatever you want for the most part, and for anything else, you can ask it how and it'll tell you in spoken words.

I don't see a reason to cater to people just because they refuse to keep up with changes that make everyones lives better. Call it an idiot tax is what I say. There's no need to make things less convenient and force me to go through extra hoops when I buy things because Derek down the road didn't think twice about handing his bank card to his kid and not checking things out himself.

The crazy part is, people used to be cautious with this stuff. I had to really plead with my older sister back in the day to let me pay her so her card could be used for my WoW subscription, but she didn't want to use her card on it initially, because it wasn't something she had heard of and she didn't want to take risks. Nowadays people seem to not give half a shit.

After I moved in with my GF, we gave her ps4 to her younger sister, as I'd brought mine and we had no need for two. So common sense kicked in, and every trace of my PSN account/payment details were scrubbed from the console. It's not that hard to look after these things, and I really don't get people calling for regulation when a bit of sense would solve the problem for them outright. It's like watching people burn themselves with hot soup and then cry that the government isn't blowing the soup on the spoon to cool it down first. Can we tell people to get a bit of sense instead of heading down this slope that ends with us all wearing mandatory bubblewrap suits and safety helmets?

I do agree that people have dropped a necessary level of skepticism towards technology as it's become normalised in every day life. Somebody else explained it quite by suggesting the Timmy Tech and X Corporation's R&D department has created this false narrative that digital services are working for the benefit of society, which clearly isn't always true. Add in ridiculous marketing budgets and I'm sympathetic to the idea that we're living in a world where companies have instilled a false belief in the value of everyday technology. Tristan Harris, and other proponents of the Time Well Spent movement, discuss it quite heavily. Unfortunately, the fact people don't administer, say, total skepticism towards social media despite the ongoing narrative about fake news, echo chambers and stealth advertising (influencers) suggests people won't change. In the words of 4chan, fucking normies man.

Basically my real point is exactly the same as yours - that people are ultimately lazy. It's not great.
 
How in the fuck
True

Natives here try to get educated, get a job, be good citizens = difficult and takes long time, many cant have families because getting a regular job aint easy.

Then "refugees"(tourists from middle east/africa that come here trought 10 safe countries because of our social security) and lazy native bums/addicts make lot of kids because they dont have to care about money.

It is pure shit and natives are minority in 2053 or something like that.
Fuck you and your shitty AFD-lingo! (I guessed right, did I?)
 

Mista

Banned
Here son, have my card in your console and just do whatever the hell you want. WHAT?! £3k?! What have you been doing? Buying stuff for your friends?!

Eat SHIT! I’m starting to believe that people have been doing this for attention or fast fame I don’t know. It’s just straight up stupid. The easiest thing to do is set restrictions on the account and whenever someone is buying something, the process won’t go through. Until then you’ll know what’s going on. I’m sick of reading dumb fucks stories

Now let’s blame video games right? Right.
 

Yoshi

Headmaster of Console Warrior Jugendstrafanstalt
Lack of basic tech literacy is a danger in this day and age, parent or not, and people need to learn that it's not ok to live like that because it can have consequences. It's becoming the modern version of, well, actual literacy. The way the world is going, people need to learn, rather than restricting things to suit the lowest common denominator. It's a danger these days to not be able to tell what's safe and unsafe to do with tech, especially regarding payment info. They should be thankful that their kid used their card on PSN or whatever instead of somewhere actually dodgy that leads to it getting stolen and causing a lot more damage.
Manipulative techniques to get children to spend a ton of money on a bunch of nothing behind the parent's backs that requires at least some level of tech-knowledge by the parents to prevent effectively are unethical though and should be legislated. These games use several layers of manipulation:
- Repeat microtransactions to mask the amount of money spent (in ways that even many adults fall prey to it)
- Putting a layer of fantasy currency in between to mask the worth of any individual in-game purchase
- Selling the product within a game context, which makes it harder to grasp that real world money is being exchanged...
- ... and also lacks a clear cut between gameplay and financial decision, so puts people in mindsets more easily exploited
- Putting emotional pressure on the player to make them pay for microtransactions (by it being tied to a game contextualisation)
- in some instances, making use of group dynamics (e.g. some children are being bullied for not owning non-standard clothing in Fortnite)

All this under the disguise of, in many cases, games with low age ratings and without huge warnings for the parents. This is a situation that disproportionally hits lower educated people (because of tech being less important in their lives) and single parents (because supervision becomes harder in this case). It is a huge problem for society and especially for the field of video games. Such practices need to be illegal or strictly regarded as adult-only content.
 

Blancka

Member
I do agree that people have dropped a necessary level of skepticism towards technology as it's become normalised in every day life. Somebody else explained it quite by suggesting the Timmy Tech and X Corporation's R&D department has created this false narrative that digital services are working for the benefit of society, which clearly isn't always true. Add in ridiculous marketing budgets and I'm sympathetic to the idea that we're living in a world where companies have instilled a false belief in the value of everyday technology. Tristan Harris, and other proponents of the Time Well Spent movement, discuss it quite heavily. Unfortunately, the fact people don't administer, say, total skepticism towards social media despite the ongoing narrative about fake news, echo chambers and stealth advertising (influencers) suggests people won't change. In the words of 4chan, fucking normies man.

Basically my real point is exactly the same as yours - that people are ultimately lazy. It's not great.

Why change things to suit that though? Why take convenience away from the responsible user to suit the ignorant one? There's nothing that irritates me quite like "nanny laws". For example, we recently got a sugar tax on goods sold in ireland, so there's a markup on drinks like coke, while other drinks have changed recipes to avoid the tax. Essentially all it does is punish people like me, because idiots lack the self-control to look after their health. Now drinks like Irn Bru and Lucozade don't taste half as good, and taste more like their generic knock-offs, and I have to pay more for coke.

It just makes sense to me that we shouldn't be rewarding ignorance and idiocy, while punishing sensible people, and I don't see the need for more laws like that. In this example in particular, every platform has the option to require password for ALL purchases. On top of that, many banks offer two-factor authentication for online purchases too, but that's all beside the point that nobody's kid should have access to any system with CC info saved to it to begin with. If you don't fully understand any sort of system or account, your card details shouldn't be saved if you use it.
 

Fox Mulder

Member
It's sexy to shit on the big bad evil corporations, but a lot of these stories are just pathetic lack of personal responsibility. Feels better blaming anyone else though.

I would have got spanked bad for spending a thousand dollars from my parents bank account on a fucking mobile game. Put a password lock on all purchases.
 
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Blancka

Member
Manipulative techniques to get children to spend a ton of money on a bunch of nothing behind the parent's backs that requires at least some level of tech-knowledge by the parents to prevent effectively are unethical though and should be legislated. These games use several layers of manipulation:
- Repeat microtransactions to mask the amount of money spent (in ways that even many adults fall prey to it)
- Putting a layer of fantasy currency in between to mask the worth of any individual in-game purchase
- Selling the product within a game context, which makes it harder to grasp that real world money is being exchanged...
- ... and also lacks a clear cut between gameplay and financial decision, so puts people in mindsets more easily exploited
- Putting emotional pressure on the player to make them pay for microtransactions (by it being tied to a game contextualisation)
- in some instances, making use of group dynamics (e.g. some children are being bullied for not owning non-standard clothing in Fortnite)

All this under the disguise of, in many cases, games with low age ratings and without huge warnings for the parents. This is a situation that disproportionally hits lower educated people (because of tech being less important in their lives) and single parents (because supervision becomes harder in this case). It is a huge problem for society and especially for the field of video games. Such practices need to be illegal or strictly regarded as adult-only content.

They are adult only in that no kid has access to a card with such funds without being given it by an adult.

-Repeat purchases aren't morally wrong. The onus is on the buyer to be responsible for themselves. As pointed out above, any customer is either an adult, or has been given access to funds by an adult who should be supervising any purchases.
-False currency is dumb as hell, but $20 of vbucks, psn wallet, MS points or any other equivalent still costs $20. The price is ALWAYS displayed in real money. Again, onus is on the buyer.
-I've yet to come across a game where I was unsure if something was going to charge me or not. Perhaps you can provide some examples here, because in my experience, games generally bring you to the platform storefront after pressing any in-game option to purchase anything.
-The clear cut is that one costs real money, and the other doesn't. As above, I've yet to come across a game that hasn't been explicitly clear about when something's going to charge real money.
-If emotional pressure to spend is wrong then you best start lobbying against charities like Trocaire for their TV ad campaigns. They're definitely the reason everyone is poor...
-That last point isn't gaming specific at all. Kids that don't get to buy into trends have always had some trouble fitting in. However unless you're not allowed to sell anything to kids ever, this will always be an issue.

Some of your points could maybe have an effect on kids in extreme examples, but only if the protective measures available aren't used by adults.

-Get the damn kid their own debit account, and deposit their allowance into it. It gives them freedom to buy what they want with no financial risks to the parent. It also teaches them that cards aren't just unlimited money and how much easier it can be to spend when you've got a card, which is a very valuable lesson many adults could have done with when they were younger
-Use password protection for purchases. Pretty sure steam, PSN, nintendo online and XBL all have options for this, as well as most other clients.
-Don't save your card to your childs device if they aren't old enough/responsible enough to be trusted not to use it. Saving 30 seconds of finding a card and inputting a number here and there isn't worth putting every penny you own at risk.
-Combine these ideas and set your child up with password authentication on their own card for purchases until they learn the difference between in-game and real money purchases.

Setting your kid up with their own debit card would take a couple hours. The other suggestions take mere minutes. There is no excuse.

How do you define what should be adult only? What about genuine expansions? Normal online game purchases? How do you decide what's actual DLC vs MTX? Why can't parents be expected to parent?

You mention single/low income parents and the disparity there, but it's not like any of this is overcomplex. It's not like tech and the internet hasn't been standard day to day business for most of the world for a decade and a half at this point, and it's not like these people lack the ability to spend 5 minutes on google learning how to be safe with their card.

A lot of people being stupid doesn't make them right. It just means there's a lot of stupid people. Anyone can learn how to be safe/responsible with payment cards in 20 minutes or so on google, once, ever. These people don't need excuses, they need to be told that if they don't look after their own kid and their own finances, it's them that's up shit creek and nobody else, and maybe then they'll put in the few minutes and learn
 

flacopol

Member
Yep , I'm from Argentina , here 1 US dolar = $45 pesos, and a big mac cost around $150 pesos

My friend's son expend 8000 dollars on Clash of clan in one shot , because they leave to use the phone on a car travel.

Yes sure my friend has kind of responsibility , but the predator mobile business model is shit
 

Zog

Banned
Look, if kids weren't irresponsible gamblers then we wouldn't have stories like this. I say we blame the schools because they should be teaching kids how to gamble responsibly. Blame the parents too if they aren't helping their kids learn to gamble responsibly. Don't blame the corporations though, they exist to make money and there are no limits to that. /s
 
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Blancka

Member
Yep , I'm from Argentina , here 1 US dolar = $45 pesos, and a big mac cost around $150 pesos

My friend's son expend 8000 dollars on Clash of clan in one shot , because they leave to use the phone on a car travel.

Yes sure my friend has kind of responsibility , but the predator mobile business model is shit

So your friend gave their kid a phone with non password protected purchase authentication and is surprised the kid could buy things without authentication?

Reminds me of that time I left my sack of cash in the local park and came back the next day and it was gone. The government really needs to regulate our parks better
 

Blancka

Member
All those Surprise Mechanics Fans in here... would laugh about it, if it wouldn't make me vomit uncontr:sick:
You don't have to be a fan of something to respect people's right to do it. I'll happily get behind this if there's proven legitimacy behind it. What I won't get behind is excusing irresponsible parents from being irresponsible. Every major platform has an option to not save a card as well as the option to require password confirmation for purchases. Ignoring those options when giving a device to a kid flat out stupidity. Just because I'm not a fan of the games that do it doesn't mean they should be banned or changed. I'll just make the informed decision to not waste my time on them.
 

Ballthyrm

Member
In-game/app purchases? -> automatic adult rating.
The rest is up to the parents

I think it should be flagged by the app to the operating system when the app get submitted to the store.
The operating system can then turn them off with parental controls.

Right now it seem you have to go trough each app to turn the money faucet off.
 

Blancka

Member
I think it should be flagged by the app to the operating system when the app get submitted to the store.
The operating system can then turn them off with parental controls.

Right now it seem you have to go trough each app to turn the money faucet off.

Or just use the option requiring password auth for purchases?
 
I never said, "parents, stop supervising your kids"... BUUUUUUT... give this shit an age rating. I'm a big fan of the idea "You have MTX? Here, have your R-Rating /Adults only / PG 18 or something on this level"...

Bam, gone are the games that a parental lock for age rated apps/downloads (here is the responsibility we so crave from people with children, they have to make sure the ONE parental lock is on) right out hinders from installing.
Or do like Belgium and fuck all those greedy companies...

In this vain... were there any outcries from Belgian FIFA-Players about the oh so unfair lootbox-stopping? (serious question, because it would be interesting to know, if their reception of the game in itself changed for the better or worse)
 

Yoshi

Headmaster of Console Warrior Jugendstrafanstalt
They are adult only in that no kid has access to a card with such funds without being given it by an adult.
This is too abstract. It is a danger specifically tied to the software, so it should be reflected in the restrictions on the software.
-Repeat purchases aren't morally wrong. The onus is on the buyer to be responsible for themselves. As pointed out above, any customer is either an adult, or has been given access to funds by an adult who should be supervising any purchases.
Obviously, your assertion that the parents are always aware that such purchases are possible for their child is wrong. Many parents assume that if the child uses a specific game application, then this is a sandbox within which they operate. They are unaware that the game itself can be an entrypoint to spending money.

-False currency is dumb as hell, but $20 of vbucks, psn wallet, MS points or any other equivalent still costs $20. The price is ALWAYS displayed in real money. Again, onus is on the buyer.
These false currencies put an additional abstraction step on the purchase. The buyer only makes the decision to buy "gold coins for puzzle game" and then disconnected from that, within the game, to spend "gold coind for puzzle game" on a certain item. The cost of the item itself is obfuscated and the buying process is abstracted away from the real-world meaning.
-I've yet to come across a game where I was unsure if something was going to charge me or not. Perhaps you can provide some examples here, because in my experience, games generally bring you to the platform storefront after pressing any in-game option to purchase anything.
Perhaps you are not an eight year old child anymore.
-If emotional pressure to spend is wrong then you best start lobbying against charities like Trocaire for their TV ad campaigns. They're definitely the reason everyone is poor...
Putting emotional pressure on children to buy something is wrong. Manipulative tactics may also be used in other contexts and of course, commercials are such manipulative tactics, but you know why people regard surreptitous advertising differntly than ads? Because the contextualisation makes it more difficult to reflect on the advertising effect and children, in particular, are extra vulnerable in that regard.
-That last point isn't gaming specific at all. Kids that don't get to buy into trends have always had some trouble fitting in. However unless you're not allowed to sell anything to kids ever, this will always be an issue.
I did not claim it was gaming specific, but it plays into the whole picture.
-Get the damn kid their own debit account, and deposit their allowance into it. It gives them freedom to buy what they want with no financial risks to the parent. It also teaches them that cards aren't just unlimited money and how much easier it can be to spend when you've got a card, which is a very valuable lesson many adults could have done with when they were younger
-Use password protection for purchases. Pretty sure steam, PSN, nintendo online and XBL all have options for this, as well as most other clients.
-Don't save your card to your childs device if they aren't old enough/responsible enough to be trusted not to use it. Saving 30 seconds of finding a card and inputting a number here and there isn't worth putting every penny you own at risk.
-Combine these ideas and set your child up with password authentication on their own card for purchases until they learn the difference between in-game and real money purchases.
These are solutions for informed parents to prevent their child falling prey of predatory practices, but the state also has a responsibility - both, towards the children and the parents - to ensure that children are not being abused by predatory practices.
How do you define what should be adult only? What about genuine expansions? Normal online game purchases? How do you decide what's actual DLC vs MTX? Why can't parents be expected to parent?
Adult only content, ideally would be any content that matches the following criteria:
- Repeat purchases from within the application (including linking to the storefront; not including if the user must manually go to the storefront instead of being linked there from the software)
- Repeat purchases tied to gambling mechanics
- Fantasy currencies that can then be used in the game to make purchases
- Any sort of in-game call to buy something that requires real-world expense

If these three things were outlawed or put behind strict 18+ rating with explicit warnings about the reason for that, then the predators would have a much harder time to prey on children and classical DLC would not be limited at all.
 

Saber

Member
Most of those games are designed to have those predactory functions on purpose. Trap exactly specific kind of people(vulnerable, weak wills, no morals) and kids into buying these. It's totally reasonable to blame the parents, but again this is exactly how Lootboxes likes it. Everybody knows that parents aren't taking care of their kids 24 hours/day. Sure one may be ahead of the time and how those things works, but most of them dont. Most of the parents buy those things and believe they're a safe heaven for their kids to play.

You know whats funny? This reminds me of a Simpson episode.

The episode was about Homer creating his own farm. And since it wasn't working, he uses his energy plant nuclear stuff to make their vegetables grow.
It grows, but with mutated side effects. His tomatos tasted weird but very addictive. You know who were the first to come at him? A big cigar company. They were willing to pay Homer a huge amount of money for his "Tomaco". The reason was because they can't sell smokes and cigar for kids. But selling tomatos is another story, they could sell and make kids addicted without the fear of backlash.
 
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Blancka

Member
This is too abstract. It is a danger specifically tied to the software, so it should be reflected in the restrictions on the software.
Obviously, your assertion that the parents are always aware that such purchases are possible for their child is wrong. Many parents assume that if the child uses a specific game application, then this is a sandbox within which they operate. They are unaware that the game itself can be an entrypoint to spending money.

These false currencies put an additional abstraction step on the purchase. The buyer only makes the decision to buy "gold coins for puzzle game" and then disconnected from that, within the game, to spend "gold coind for puzzle game" on a certain item. The cost of the item itself is obfuscated and the buying process is abstracted away from the real-world meaning.
Perhaps you are not an eight year old child anymore.

Putting emotional pressure on children to buy something is wrong. Manipulative tactics may also be used in other contexts and of course, commercials are such manipulative tactics, but you know why people regard surreptitous advertising differntly than ads? Because the contextualisation makes it more difficult to reflect on the advertising effect and children, in particular, are extra vulnerable in that regard.
I did not claim it was gaming specific, but it plays into the whole picture.

These are solutions for informed parents to prevent their child falling prey of predatory practices, but the state also has a responsibility - both, towards the children and the parents - to ensure that children are not being abused by predatory practices.

Adult only content, ideally would be any content that matches the following criteria:
- Repeat purchases from within the application (including linking to the storefront; not including if the user must manually go to the storefront instead of being linked there from the software)
- Repeat purchases tied to gambling mechanics
- Fantasy currencies that can then be used in the game to make purchases
- Any sort of in-game call to buy something that requires real-world expense

If these three things were outlawed or put behind strict 18+ rating with explicit warnings about the reason for that, then the predators would have a much harder time to prey on children and classical DLC would not be limited at all.

Purchases aren't a "danger". Selling products isn't inherently evil.

Every app on android warns of in app purchases on the store page. Unsure about ios as I don't use it. Consoles themselves always have access to a store. Bottom line is don't hand a 4 year old a device with CC information that doesn't need a password for purchases.

Price isn't obfuscated by digital currency. As pointed out, you'll always be given a confirmation screen confirming the real world cost. Yes perhaps I'm not 8, and in my wise old age, I've learned the ancient wisdom of not giving my card details to minors for their own free use.

The contextualism of advertisements within media, rather than separate commercial advertisements in a traditional sense is a part of the world these days. You can't watch media without experiencing it, and parents should be teaching kids how to deal with that rather than sitting back and letting netflix or PSN raise their child.

Children aren't being abused by predatory practices, or rather, they can't be if they have responsible parents. We don't put safety nets at the bottom of every cliff, instead we expect parents not to let their kids wander off cliffs. We don't need more nanny laws. We need people to take some damn responsibility.

You think the same parents who give 8 year old timmy a credit card with free reign will abstain from buying 18+ games? Remember CoD's time in the limelight? remember how many kids played that? It was yesteryears fortnite. ESRB ratings aren't much of a limiting factor realistically when the problem is parental negligence.

There's already solutions for every problem you've listed. You can't just call them all not good enough because they require parents to actually be parents for 15 minutes. What's next? Safety barriers on all roads for children that steal their parents car keys?
 
Lack of basic tech literacy is a danger in this day and age, parent or not, and people need to learn that it's not ok to live like that because it can have consequences. It's becoming the modern version of, well, actual literacy. The way the world is going, people need to learn, rather than restricting things to suit the lowest common denominator. It's a danger these days to not be able to tell what's safe and unsafe to do with tech, especially regarding payment info. They should be thankful that their kid used their card on PSN or whatever instead of somewhere actually dodgy that leads to it getting stolen and causing a lot more damage.

Who is going to teach these people though? The older generation are willfully ignorant and the government seem to give them exceptions due to their lack of understanding new technologies and systems.

Hell, some drive on the road with no knowledge of the new Highway Code because the Government knows they lose a majority of their votes if they piss them off despote being a danger to themselves, younger drivers and pedestrians.

I agtee with you but no one is willing to to teach them nor will they are willing to learn to be safe.
 
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Blancka

Member
Who is going to teach these people though? The older generation are willfully ignorant and the government seem to give them exceptions due to their lack of understanding new technologies and systems.

Hell, some drive on the road with no knowledge of the new Highway Code because the Government knows they lose a majority of their votes if they piss them off despote being a danger to themselves, younger drivers and pedestrians.

I agtee with you but no one is willing to to teach them nor will they are willing to learn to be safe.

Then let them learn their lessons through their own fuckups. If a child touches a hot stove it'll hurt like hell, but you can bet your ass they won't be playing touch the stove again anytime soon. I'm absolutely against laws that idiot proof things while making the world less convenient for responsible people and would always vote against nanny-type laws. Wilful ignorance is just that. Wilful, it's a choice. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. In this case the price is a nice big "idiot tax"
 

Wink

Member
Loving the apologists as always. It's of course completely fine to prey on children and weak minded people cause fuck them, parents having to hold a job and raising a child really should also be absolutely aware how publishers of a silly phone game their kids play go whaling in their bank account cause they were uncareful with a toy. Fucking hate unchecked capitalism and people who think there needn't be room for ethics in it.
 
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Blancka

Member
Loving the apologists as always. It's of course completely fine to prey on children and weak minded people cause fuck them, parents having to hold a job and raising a child really should also be absolutely aware how publishers of a silly phone game their kids play go whaling in their bank account cause they were uncareful with a toy. Fucking hate unchecked capitalism and people who think there needn't be room for ethics in it.

Parents shouldn't be giving kids access to any accounts with credit cards linked to them. Predatory business models or not, that's just asking for trouble. It's hilarious to me how sketchy people are covering their pins at ATMs, some of them genuinely look like they're trying to hide nuclear launch codes, when their withdrawal pin is useless without the card itself, meanwhile people will happily give their credit card linked accounts to a 5 year old.

Financial responsibility is something we all have. If someone leaves their front door wide open every morning when they leave for work instead of locking it is it not their fault when they get burgled? Yes, people want to take your money if they can. So don't be an idiot and use it wisely/protect it. Whether a kid buys $5000 of VBucks of any other shit online that's not gaming related, the core issue is the parents failing; a child shouldn't have the ability to make these purchases to begin with
 
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