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Lilo's Lair #80: In Game Purchases and Children. Presented by Saljack Enterprises. Gaming. Animation. Media. Entertainment. Woman Owned.

Hi everybody! Thanksgiving is almost here! I’m getting exciting. Can’t wait for turkey and gravy. I also have an exciting announcement for you!! I will now be making vlogs! Yes, VLOGS! That means you get to listen to me babble out nonsense, on camera, five days a week. We’ll get to know each other better, you’ll get to laugh at my talking mistakes, I’ll respond to your comments on camera. It’s going to be a blast. So, five days a week I’ll be coming out with a vlog, but also one day a week I’ll continue a gaming deal/free game written blog for you guys. I just couldn’t take that away from all of us. I enjoy them as much as you all do, probably more.

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IMAGE FROM TUBULAR INSIGHTS

The last part of this news is that there will be weekly giveaways! Ahh! That should be starting next week. Saljack Enterprises and I are giving you guys money to have to suffer through my face–haha. Really though, $25 Amazon gift cards–be prepared!! The details of that will be shared soon.

Let me finish out this announcement to ask you all to voice your opinions! Leave comments about your thoughts on the vlogs. What you want to see, what you don’t want to see, questions for me that you want to be answered, and whatever pops into your mind. I want to make videos you are interested in so let me know these things! Expect to see gaming lifestyle topics and gaming news just like you have for my written blogs. I will also start spicing things up with things that weren’t feasible in written form. Like board game reviews (where I’ll show you the physical game), and maybe even some makeup videos–cosplay, or even non-cosplay if you are interested.

Okay, now on to today’s topic: Children and In-Game Purchases. Uh-oh! Yes, this topic came to me from the recent Star Wars Battlefront 2 drama. Some of the last bad PR news articles coming out were accusing EA of encouraging child gambling. That made me think about the whole in-game purchases overall in regards to children.

First, I want to point out parents have some responsibility here. That is, to set up built-in functions that block in-game purchases. However, even when parent’s do that it’s sometimes not enough. I’ve heard stories of kids taking their parent’s cards to buy online subscriptions for Xbox or to make in-game purchases. I even read about a teenager who kept stealing their parent’s card over and over to continue making purchases and the parents regularly having to get new cards. At that point, I think the parents have their fair share of the blame. Take the games away from the kid at that point! Get him a “dumb phone”–is that the opposite of a smartphone?

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IMAGE FROM FISHER-PRICE

However, there is a bigger problem. That is, the games being marketed to children. There are good game developers who make phone and tablet games for children that aren’t trying to manipulate your child into in-app purchases. Then there are the baddies. The ones throwing every tactic at a child to get them to want to spend money. There are games that encourage earning bonuses but make actually earning them in the game frustrating with lack of success. That’s when they offer the bonuses for a small purchase. There are games that set up fake ongoing tournaments against pretend players. There are games that even do tons of pop-ups asking to make in-app purchases. “Get this awesome character” and etc.

There is no holding back in these games drive for money. Ten years ago, in-app purchases didn’t exist. Now it’s a 30 billion a year business. 

Most of us don’t make in-game purchases. We remember not paying for things in-game. We also know it’s a rip-off. That isn’t to say we haven’t made purchases here, and there when we really think it’s worth it. If I find a particularly great free game that gives me the full experience without paying then I’m not unwilling to spend a little money on some extra features. It’s not something I do frequently…okay, I’ve only done it once. What I’m saying is it’s okay if you do spend money in-game. However, the majority of us do not. That doesn’t really matter for the business of in-game purchases. Only a small percentage of purchasers are needed for it to be profitable. I wonder who these companies think of as good targets…kids, maybe?

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IMAGE FROM POSH TIGER

What makes kid’s games trying to score in game purchases so bad, is that children don’t really understand why it’s bad. They don’t understand worth. Paying a few of their parent’s dollars for something cool they want in a game is a simple thing for them. They want it, end of story. There don’t understand these purchases are a waste of money. They don’t get that the tournaments in their games are fake. They don’t understand the difference between a cosmetic purchase and a game-changing purchase.

I think it’s a low blow to strike at young kids for in-game purchases. Not that exploiting kids for money is a new thing. I think kids are considered expensive simply because of all the things companies offer for parent’s to buy them. From over-priced baby “gymnastics” to a line of Paw Patrol play sets ranging up to and over $100, and now even buying their favorite character from a game that already costs $60 and plays on a machine that costs $400. What makes in-game purchases insidious is that it’s a place where the parents can be left in the dark. Also, they are going straight to the child, offering them something free and then trying to manipulate them to spend money directly.  

bottom_tech_border. Presented by Saljack Enterprises. Gaming. Animation. Media. Entertainment.

Click here to read Lilo Nash’s profile

DISCLAIMER: THE VIEWS AND OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS POST ARE SOLELY THOSE OF THE AUTHOR. THESE VIEWS AND OPINIONS DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THOSE OF SALJACK ENTERPRISES, ITS STAFF, AND ANY/ALL CONTRIBUTORS TO THE SALJACK ENTERPRISES WEBSITES. SALJACK ENTERPRISES MAKES NO WARRANTY OR REPRESENTATION REGARDING, DOES NOT ENDORSE, IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH AND IS NOT IN ANY WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LINKED WEBSITES OR ANY CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON IT. IF YOU DECIDE TO VISIT ANY LINKED WEBSITE, YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK, AND IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO REVIEW THE TERMS OF USE OF THE RELEVANT LINKED WEBSITE.

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20 thoughts on “Lilo’s Lair #80: In Game Purchases and Children

  1. I think kids should learn how to “earn” or “work hard” for what they want in games instead of purchasing it. This habit also translates to real life. 🙂

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  2. Mau says:

    I understand what you’re saying Lilo. It’s kind of like taking advantage of the innocence of children to make a profit. However, that’s business. Parents should be more diligent in watching over what their children are doing and playing. I believe if the parents taught their children right, the children would have more discipline.

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  3. olliivvee says:

    Great point! This is one marketing strategy for most businesses in the gaming world. Honestly speaking, the money involved in this in-app purchases are quite high; that is why, the role of the parents in guiding their children is important too. Parents should also be straight forward to their kids about the importance of spending money ‘wisely’.

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  4. Opondo says:

    It is sad that children will always bear the brunt of greedy business people. At the end of the day however, train your child in the way you want him to go, and he will never depart from it. Let the child understand the value of money, and the rest will fall in place.

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  5. What i don’t understand is why do the children know how to purchase items with their parents’ credit card anyway? And when they do, how do they know all the information?

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  6. lordyou says:

    True about the in app purchases by kids. But I think parents should also be strict on what their kids can or can not play.

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  7. numberpardox says:

    30 Billion a year business? Woah. Didn’t expect the numbers to go that much high. In-game purchase is not 100% bad but, there are just purchases that are too much.

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  8. I didn’t expect that there’ already a huge market of in game purchases on children’s games. I thought it’s only for hardcore one. Woaaah, I think this is too much.

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  9. nightcrawlerxmen says:

    I Would rather toddlers or Pre schoolers stay away from these bad boys. Enjoy being a kid get this if you get older but not now!!!

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  10. kittyprydexmen says:

    Parents should teach kids PRIORITY it comes with these things. At times we get so carried away from Playing and we are adults. How much more kids?

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  11. David Kamau says:

    Wow! I will be waiting for the Vlogs. I agree with the post that it is becoming more easier to exploit people using kids. Companies know Kids will demand and parents will pay. Although its good to also limit kids on what they play to avoid excessive pays.

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  12. roberachi says:

    wow Lilo I love the idea of diversifying the topics in the vlogs to come but I hope you will not stop talking about the game deals and new games coming out. I agree with you kids will definitely not know if they are getting ripped off if they make purchases for themselves.

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  13. Mhel Rose Aragones says:

    As a mother this in-app or in-game purchase pop-ups are very bothersome. I have a 6 year old son that is very fond of virtual-mobile games and some of his apps are educational, but it worries me a lot when those pop-up in-game purchase came on the screen, giving out relatively attractive details about the games that your, or in my case, my child will be whining to have. So parents, we should really be strict on how our children uses these smartphones and other devices.

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  14. Edwin Kamau says:

    Good news to hear that you will be doing vlogs 5 days a week. That’s a good idea. Back to the topic, kids have become a soft target for some gaming companies to get money. They know its easy to trick a kid more than a real gamer, which doesn’t make sense and its actually bad.

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  15. Del says:

    It’s kinda really very upsetting how some people try to deceive others through the young minds. And in-app purchases on games for children?…. Where exactly do you think will they get money for that?. . .

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  16. wolfbro92 says:

    It is pretty ridiculous to allow your children to just play what they want without any kind of supervision. I mean at this day and age, where porn is like everywhere, closer watch should be given to our children all the time.

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  17. I am really not impressed by these tactics they are using to make sure they squeeze all the cash from us gamers, and now they are even targeting the kids?? Like how low can they get anyway!

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  18. I always tell my nephew treat the GAME as such nothing more. Meaning take responsibility think if the game is for him or not and not just impulse.

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  19. micorobin says:

    Media is a major influence to us throughout history. I just hope that kids do not take it too far. I mean news a while ago says a kid died due to him imitating a game move from Naruto and a series move by one of the characters.

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  20. I am not a parent yet, but I already have ideas on how to raise my future kid. They should know what to prioritize and when to play and when to work.

    Like

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