There’s been an enormous glut of high octane stupid going around these last few weeks in the news. Sadly, I don’t get to see much of it because I never really tune into the news. But the other night when I was visiting my parents my dad mentioned something about a lawsuit with Amazon. When I read up on it I was kind of shocked that this kind of thing is allowed in court without the judge throwing you in jail for wasting the court’s time.
Amazon is being sued because it’s games allow micro-transactions, in game purchases with real world money for goods or services in the game world. Sometimes you buy outfits for a character, new levels, entire new parts of the game, weapons or other little things. In the best cases these things are vital to finishing the game and are there to enhance the experience; in the worst cases the game is tedious or unplayable without them—sometimes even if you’ve already paid for the game itself.
So you think I’m going to side with the people bringing big shot Amazon to justice.
In this article there’s a little bit about what the law suit is about:
Amazon’s practice of allowing purchases without requiring a password or other mechanism that gives parents control over their accounts.
The unauthorized charges are often associated with children’s apps, such as games, that can be free to download but allow players to make in-app purchases by buying “coins” or other digital products with the credit card associated with the device, the FTC said in its complaint.
Sounds like you need to control you kids. It’s as simple as that. The whole thing seems to hinge on the idea that parents have to give kid’s their phones and they have to let their kids have access to the money on the car attached the the phone. There are easy ways around this (using a gift card on that device, for instance). But the easiest way is controlling your kids. Every company and group out there is expected to look after everyone’s kids. Except for the parent themselves. In some ways there are important safe guards out there like the movie industry or game industry rating systems. Other things, like this, just seem like it’s taking more of the responsibility out of having kids and teaching the kids that they won’t need to be responsible for things either.