UK Government Investigates Ethics of Freemium Games

UK Government Investigates Ethics of Freemium Games

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In-app purchases that encourage kids to buy premium content might be breaking UK laws.

We've all heard the horror stories - an unsuspecting parent leaves their child alone with the tablet for two minutes, and when they come back the kid has spent the family fortune on power-ups and bonus outfits. Though adults can download a free game and resolve not to spend a dime of their paycheck on premium content, it's harder for kids to understand which levels they're allowed to play and which levels are off-limits. This has the UK's Office of Fair Trading concerned about the "fairness" of in-app purchases targeted at children. To that end, the Office has launched an investigation into whether children are being exploited by pressure to pay for addition content in "free to play" games.

The grounds of the investigation are the UK's Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, which protects children from "direct exhortations" to make a purchase or take action that will require a purchase. The OFT is also looking into whether freemium games are misleading or commercially aggressive, causing children or parents to buy or download the apps without understanding what they are (or more critically, are not) getting for their purchase.

The OFT has reached out to major companies behind free to play web and mobile games about the investigation. The Office also asks parents and consumer groups to let them know about any "potentially misleading or commercially aggressive practices" in freemium games. If these games are found to be using exploitative methods aimed at children, enforcement action may be taken.

"We are concerned that children and their parents could be subject to unfair pressure to purchase when they are playing games they thought we free, but which can actually run up substantial costs," says the OFT's Cavendish Elithorn. "The OFT is not seeking to ban in-game purchases, but the games industry must ensure it is complying with the relevant regulations so that children are protected."

The next steps of the investigation should be published by October. You can argue about where the blame lies in situations like these, but the numbers speak for themselves: currently, 80 of the 100 top-grossing Android apps are free-to-play with premium content, and 28% of UK children aged five to 15 own a smartphone (as cited by the OFT). With in-app purchases never a menu or two away from your bank account, it can be hard to keep an unknowing child away from that digital candy shop.

Source: Office of Fair Trading

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Unfair pressure? Try Investigating ALL of Western media.

As an up standing Englishman, I have alot of quips with my goverment but when it comes to games, it seems they're fairly mature on the matter.

I never thought the term "save the whales" would go this far...

Dr.Awkward:
I never thought the term "save the whales" would go this far...

Was...Was that a pun? Good lord man, that pun was god damn brilliant! Bravo!

OT: Wonder what this will mean for us? Will we perhaps adopt the outcome of whatever this comes to be?

Dr.Awkward:
I never thought the term "save the whales" would go this far...

It took me a minute to work out what you meant but it was worth it, funniest post I've seen for ages!

OT: Seems fair, too many of those games are set up as traps for unsuspecting kids with ridiculously over-priced items. Hopefully the coalition government can enforce some strict standards of the industry.

Finally we get some attention on the matter, microtransactions are going more rampant every day and the devs are only now fully realizing no one is wise to their game.

This was why I didn't like Zanga. Not because I thought their games were bad and unoriginal but because they make most of their money by exploiting people who don't know better. I read in Game Informer that even though a huge amount of people played Zanga games like Farmville, only a tiny percent of them were will to spend money on the game. The thing is, those who spent money spent a lot of money every month which where most of Zanga's profits came from. Those could be kids or even mentally disabled adults who don't understand what they're getting

ffs its just more lazy parenting. Once kids would just get dumped in front of the TV and then when bad or stupid things happend. TV IS THE DEVIL ! WHY WONT ANYONE OR THE GOVERNMENT DO ANYTHING THINK OF THE CHILDREN !!!!!!.

NO if your a lazy parent these days it might very well cost you, these days its more important then ever to take more interest in what your kids are doing or where you are dumping them.

AstaresPanda:
ffs its just more lazy parenting. Once kids would just get dumped in front of the TV and then when bad or stupid things happend. TV IS THE DEVIL ! WHY WONT ANYONE OR THE GOVERNMENT DO ANYTHING THINK OF THE CHILDREN !!!!!!.

NO if your a lazy parent these days it might very well cost you, these days its more important then ever to take more interest in what your kids are doing or where you are dumping them.

Blaming parents may just be shifting the blame. It is better to investigate thoroughly than to go for easy excuses, which goes for all parties.

AstaresPanda:
ffs its just more lazy parenting. Once kids would just get dumped in front of the TV and then when bad or stupid things happend. TV IS THE DEVIL ! WHY WONT ANYONE OR THE GOVERNMENT DO ANYTHING THINK OF THE CHILDREN !!!!!!.

NO if your a lazy parent these days it might very well cost you, these days its more important then ever to take more interest in what your kids are doing or where you are dumping them.

In many of these cases the kids managed to rack up thousands in charges despite parental restrictions on purchasing in the phone and the child being in the same room as the parent at the time. I don't think it's lazy parenting to let your child play games without looking over their shoulder the whole time.

Gee. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could have an investigation like that in the USA? To bad Reagan deleted our governments right to do anything of the sort during deregulation.

AstaresPanda:
ffs its just more lazy parenting. Once kids would just get dumped in front of the TV and then when bad or stupid things happend. TV IS THE DEVIL ! WHY WONT ANYONE OR THE GOVERNMENT DO ANYTHING THINK OF THE CHILDREN !!!!!!.

NO if your a lazy parent these days it might very well cost you, these days its more important then ever to take more interest in what your kids are doing or where you are dumping them.

But at one point, you should feel free to ignore the child and let it do whatever it wants without worry. I mean, you do want to take a break from having to care for it right?

Besides that, this is quite new for most people, especially the ones that never pay attention to gaming media, where this is a well known thing.

JoJo:

Dr.Awkward:
I never thought the term "save the whales" would go this far...

It took me a minute to work out what you meant but it was worth it, funniest post I've seen for ages!

....

Psst...

....

I don't get it. What whales?

OT: I can see an issue if kids can buy the in-app items without needing parental permission, passwords, or credit card info. If they can just do it, then the kids could be making purchases against parental wishes. Kids put pressure on parents to buy them things all the time. However, if kids could just MAKE the purchase, that gets out of hand quickly.

Bara_no_Hime:

JoJo:

Dr.Awkward:
I never thought the term "save the whales" would go this far...

It took me a minute to work out what you meant but it was worth it, funniest post I've seen for ages!

....

Psst...

....

I don't get it. What whales?

OT: I can see an issue if kids can buy the in-app items without needing parental permission, passwords, or credit card info. If they can just do it, then the kids could be making purchases against parental wishes. Kids put pressure on parents to buy them things all the time. However, if kids could just MAKE the purchase, that gets out of hand quickly.

One of the countries that is part of the UK is Wales. I think that's where the joke is.

thebobmaster:

Bara_no_Hime:

JoJo:

It took me a minute to work out what you meant but it was worth it, funniest post I've seen for ages!

....

Psst...

....

I don't get it. What whales?

OT: I can see an issue if kids can buy the in-app items without needing parental permission, passwords, or credit card info. If they can just do it, then the kids could be making purchases against parental wishes. Kids put pressure on parents to buy them things all the time. However, if kids could just MAKE the purchase, that gets out of hand quickly.

One of the countries that is part of the UK is Wales. I think that's where the joke is.

No, I think it's a reference to a 'whale' being a term for an easy mark in a casino - someone who's willing to keep spending no matter how much they lose. I vaguely remember it turning up in a movie somewhere.

(Edit: this is driving me nuts now. I can hear the quote in my head 'He's a fucking whale, I promise you' - I think at this stage someone's trying to con the conman, because the mark in question had nothing. Aargh - was it John Cusack? Leo Di Caprio? Dammit!)

thebobmaster:
One of the countries that is part of the UK is Wales. I think that's where the joke is.

Yes, but... but the OP had nothing to do with Wales.

Okay, if that was the pun, then I did get it. I just didn't realize I'd gotten it because... really, that's what everyone was saying was funny? Were the other posters being ironic?

Flatfrog:
No, I think it's a reference to a 'whale' being a term for an easy mark in a casino - someone who's willing to keep spending no matter how much they lose. I vaguely remember it turning up in a movie somewhere.

OH! That is actually pretty clever.

I hope that is what the pun was, because that is actually fairly amusing. I just didn't know that term for an easy mark.

Johnson McGee:

AstaresPanda:
ffs its just more lazy parenting. Once kids would just get dumped in front of the TV and then when bad or stupid things happend. TV IS THE DEVIL ! WHY WONT ANYONE OR THE GOVERNMENT DO ANYTHING THINK OF THE CHILDREN !!!!!!.

NO if your a lazy parent these days it might very well cost you, these days its more important then ever to take more interest in what your kids are doing or where you are dumping them.

In many of these cases the kids managed to rack up thousands in charges despite parental restrictions on purchasing in the phone and the child being in the same room as the parent at the time. I don't think it's lazy parenting to let your child play games without looking over their shoulder the whole time.

If your child can't be trusted to not spend your money on a game that isn't theirs then you have failed as a parent already. If they are too young to understand right and wrong then why the hell are you letting them play games on anything that connects over a network? These are not insurmountable problems for a parent to deal with in the slightest. People raise brats because they are terrible parents and then blame everything else for their shortcomings.

Too many parents these days are no better than their own children when it comes to taking responsibility. This is half the reason right here that i'm in favor of forced sterilization of the population.

28% of UK children aged five to 15 own a smartphone

My mum's boss' 6 year old has a laptop, iphone and ipad (all latest ones of course, then when a new one comes out it just has to be upgraded). It seems really silly to me to do this, especially when I'm fixing the laptop every other week getting rid of whatever virus it has this week. Every time I install an anti-virus and firewall and every time I get it back they've been uninstalled, her precious little daughter doesn't like having those programs on there. I'm not arsed though I get 20 every time I fix it.

The problem is most parents aren't responsible these days let alone their kids. I see so many parents who blame anyone else other than their kid or themselves when the kid does something wrong. Example I saw a kid in Tesco not so long ago grab a can off a shelf and throw it at someone, the parent saw this and said to the guy who'd just been hit by a can of beans "god I wish they wouldn't put things on the bottom shelf where he can reach" no apology, no disciplining the kid. Just blame Tesco and carry on shopping.

Senare:

AstaresPanda:
ffs its just more lazy parenting. Once kids would just get dumped in front of the TV and then when bad or stupid things happend. TV IS THE DEVIL ! WHY WONT ANYONE OR THE GOVERNMENT DO ANYTHING THINK OF THE CHILDREN !!!!!!.

NO if your a lazy parent these days it might very well cost you, these days its more important then ever to take more interest in what your kids are doing or where you are dumping them.

Blaming parents may just be shifting the blame. It is better to investigate thoroughly than to go for easy excuses, which goes for all parties.

TV never asked the kids to "CLICK HERE FOR SUPER AWESOME CARTOON OF EPICNESS" at the cost of "virtual" money.
You download a free game for your child to play, come back later to find he or she has spent thousands of pounds on microtransactions.
First of all, it should not be that simple to allow a child to spend their parents money.
The parents didn't make it easy, it was already there in the free game just a click away.

Second don't assume you know how the parent's of this child raise their kid.

Aramis Night:

If your child can't be trusted to not spend your money on a game that isn't theirs then you have failed as a parent already. If they are too young to understand right and wrong then why the hell are you letting them play games on anything that connects over a network? These are not insurmountable problems for a parent to deal with in the slightest. People raise brats because they are terrible parents and then blame everything else for their shortcomings.

Too many parents these days are no better than their own children when it comes to taking responsibility. This is half the reason right here that i'm in favor of forced sterilization of the population.

People telling others how to raise their kids, thats all I'm seeing in this thread.
Rather than, oh shit people are using CHILDREN to leech money out of parents via micro transactions, a scheme I might add is widely despised by a good portion of this website.

No one can trust a kid not to spend their parent's money when it is disguised as "tokens for teh win teehee"
You expect this child to understand micro transactions and be trusted not to spend all the money, all while at the same time he urrm what is the word I'm looking for? IS A FUCKING CHILD.
It's late, I'm tired and I don't much care for this argument anymore, so I'm going to finish it in bullet points.

1. If the child did understand what he was doing (which I highly fucking doubt)
then yes he should be to blame a good ten minutes on the naughty step should straighten out that bad egg.

2. Parents are not fully to blame, but they are not innocent of blame either.
Yes, they should have checked to make sure their kid did not rack up thousands in a free app game.
They are most likely sorry for not having 20/20 foresight and would like everyone to stop being judgemental pricks and telling them how to raise their kids.

3. Someone within an industry we all love, has made stealing money off parents via their kids a viable business model.
Which in case your moral compass is broken, which I assume yours is, THATS REALLY FUCKING CHEEKY.
And the majority of people here are on the side of the the cheeky, money grubbing scum who make stealing from children their bread and butter.

4. I will under go a voluntary sterilization, if you do it first.

I'm surprised our government has been able to sober up enough to do something about this or anything especially since Thatcher died this week. The story has been somewhat buried. Here is the BBC version of the article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22109188

EightGaugeHippo:

Senare:

AstaresPanda:
ffs its just more lazy parenting. Once kids would just get dumped in front of the TV and then when bad or stupid things happend. TV IS THE DEVIL ! WHY WONT ANYONE OR THE GOVERNMENT DO ANYTHING THINK OF THE CHILDREN !!!!!!.

NO if your a lazy parent these days it might very well cost you, these days its more important then ever to take more interest in what your kids are doing or where you are dumping them.

Blaming parents may just be shifting the blame. It is better to investigate thoroughly than to go for easy excuses, which goes for all parties.

TV never asked the kids to "CLICK HERE FOR SUPER AWESOME CARTOON OF EPICNESS" at the cost of "virtual" money.
You download a free game for your child to play, come back later to find he or she has spent thousands of pounds on microtransactions.
First of all, it should not be that simple to allow a child to spend their parents money.
The parents didn't make it easy, it was already there in the free game just a click away.

Second don't assume you know how the parent's of this child raise their kid.

Aramis Night:

If your child can't be trusted to not spend your money on a game that isn't theirs then you have failed as a parent already. If they are too young to understand right and wrong then why the hell are you letting them play games on anything that connects over a network? These are not insurmountable problems for a parent to deal with in the slightest. People raise brats because they are terrible parents and then blame everything else for their shortcomings.

Too many parents these days are no better than their own children when it comes to taking responsibility. This is half the reason right here that i'm in favor of forced sterilization of the population.

People telling others how to raise their kids, thats all I'm seeing in this thread.
Rather than, oh shit people are using CHILDREN to leech money out of parents via micro transactions, a scheme I might add is widely despised by a good portion of this website.

No one can trust a kid not to spend their parent's money when it is disguised as "tokens for teh win teehee"
You expect this child to understand micro transactions and be trusted not to spend all the money, all while at the same time he urrm what is the word I'm looking for? IS A FUCKING CHILD.
It's late, I'm tired and I don't much care for this argument anymore, so I'm going to finish it in bullet points.

1. If the child did understand what he was doing (which I highly fucking doubt)
then yes he should be to blame a good ten minutes on the naughty step should straighten out that bad egg.

2. Parents are not fully to blame, but they are not innocent of blame either.
Yes, they should have checked to make sure their kid did not rack up thousands in a free app game.
They are most likely sorry for not having 20/20 foresight and would like everyone to stop being judgemental pricks and telling them how to raise their kids.

3. Someone within an industry we all love, has made stealing money off parents via their kids a viable business model.
Which in case your moral compass is broken, which I assume yours is, THATS REALLY FUCKING CHEEKY.
And the majority of people here are on the side of the the cheeky, money grubbing scum who make stealing from children their bread and butter.

4. I will under go a voluntary sterilization, if you do it first.

Free games use tokens as a form of currency because its easier to keep track of in the context of the game. These games don't just operate on a single currency but have to use tokens as a universal currency to establish value while charging different amounts based on the market since actual currencies tend to not share the same value. These companies putting out free games with microtransactions are going to try to make money off as many different markets as they can. Companies exist to make money, not to help lazy parents. Companies are not moral actors. In fact they are just the opposite.

I will agree with you on saying that it shouldn't be that easy for kids to spend their parents money. But yes, parents make that incredibly easy if there handing the kid their cell phone or letting them jump on their pc's unattended.

I don't have to assume anything about how well someone complaining about this raises their kids. If you can't do anything about these problems as a parent and need government intervention to solve such an easy to solve problem then you are a lousy parent. No assumption needed. May as well give the kids to the state since you want them to be the parent anyway.

Blaming parents is not passing the blame. That is where the blame lies. There is no other scapegoat. No one else is the parent. Raising children is the responsibility of the parent. No one else. Not some free to play game company. Not the government. Ditto for your finances. Do you have your kids handle your wallet or credit/debit cards? NO? Then why do you hand them your cell phone? Its just as chargeable. Do you save your CC info on your computer/browser that you let your kid use unattended? Than your running the risk of your convenience costing you. Being a parent isn't about convenience. Nothing about kids is convenient. You lost all right to that when you had a kid. Parenting is hard, and it should be.

All i hear when i see things like this from parents is "WAAAAH!!! I expect the rest of the world to make this easy for me! WAAAH!!!".

Aramis Night:

EightGaugeHippo:

Senare:

Blaming parents may just be shifting the blame. It is better to investigate thoroughly than to go for easy excuses, which goes for all parties.

TV never asked the kids to "CLICK HERE FOR SUPER AWESOME CARTOON OF EPICNESS" at the cost of "virtual" money.
You download a free game for your child to play, come back later to find he or she has spent thousands of pounds on microtransactions.
First of all, it should not be that simple to allow a child to spend their parents money.
The parents didn't make it easy, it was already there in the free game just a click away.

Second don't assume you know how the parent's of this child raise their kid.

Aramis Night:

If your child can't be trusted to not spend your money on a game that isn't theirs then you have failed as a parent already. If they are too young to understand right and wrong then why the hell are you letting them play games on anything that connects over a network? These are not insurmountable problems for a parent to deal with in the slightest. People raise brats because they are terrible parents and then blame everything else for their shortcomings.

Too many parents these days are no better than their own children when it comes to taking responsibility. This is half the reason right here that i'm in favor of forced sterilization of the population.

People telling others how to raise their kids, thats all I'm seeing in this thread.
Rather than, oh shit people are using CHILDREN to leech money out of parents via micro transactions, a scheme I might add is widely despised by a good portion of this website.

No one can trust a kid not to spend their parent's money when it is disguised as "tokens for teh win teehee"
You expect this child to understand micro transactions and be trusted not to spend all the money, all while at the same time he urrm what is the word I'm looking for? IS A FUCKING CHILD.
It's late, I'm tired and I don't much care for this argument anymore, so I'm going to finish it in bullet points.

1. If the child did understand what he was doing (which I highly fucking doubt)
then yes he should be to blame a good ten minutes on the naughty step should straighten out that bad egg.

2. Parents are not fully to blame, but they are not innocent of blame either.
Yes, they should have checked to make sure their kid did not rack up thousands in a free app game.
They are most likely sorry for not having 20/20 foresight and would like everyone to stop being judgemental pricks and telling them how to raise their kids.

3. Someone within an industry we all love, has made stealing money off parents via their kids a viable business model.
Which in case your moral compass is broken, which I assume yours is, THATS REALLY FUCKING CHEEKY.
And the majority of people here are on the side of the the cheeky, money grubbing scum who make stealing from children their bread and butter.

4. I will under go a voluntary sterilization, if you do it first.

Free games use tokens as a form of currency because its easier to keep track of in the context of the game. These games don't just operate on a single currency but have to use tokens as a universal currency to establish value while charging different amounts based on the market since actual currencies tend to not share the same value. These companies putting out free games with microtransactions are going to try to make money off as many different markets as they can. Companies exist to make money, not to help lazy parents. Companies are not moral actors. In fact they are just the opposite.

I will agree with you on saying that it shouldn't be that easy for kids to spend their parents money. But yes, parents make that incredibly easy if there handing the kid their cell phone or letting them jump on their pc's unattended.

I don't have to assume anything about how well someone complaining about this raises their kids. If you can't do anything about these problems as a parent and need government intervention to solve such an easy to solve problem then you are a lousy parent. No assumption needed. May as well give the kids to the state since you want them to be the parent anyway.

Blaming parents is not passing the blame. That is where the blame lies. There is no other scapegoat. No one else is the parent. Raising children is the responsibility of the parent. No one else. Not some free to play game company. Not the government. Ditto for your finances. Do you have your kids handle your wallet or credit/debit cards? NO? Then why do you hand them your cell phone? Its just as chargeable. Do you save your CC info on your computer/browser that you let your kid use unattended? Than your running the risk of your convenience costing you. Being a parent isn't about convenience. Nothing about kids is convenient. You lost all right to that when you had a kid. Parenting is hard, and it should be.

All i hear when i see things like this from parents is "WAAAAH!!! I expect the rest of the world to make this easy for me! WAAAH!!!".

I think even I missed my real point, you'll have to excuse me as I've been at work all day and my thoughts get mixed up and badly translated into text. I touched on it briefly, If I actually cared for this argument I would have fleshed this point out more.

-A lot of people on here hate micro transactions in games.
-Micro transactions have fucked over a lot of people this way (there having been many stories like this in recent years)
-Government takes notice of the bad things happening to people surrounding micro transactions.
-People say "ITS THE PARENTS FAULT!"
-Nothing gets done about it, and it happens again and again.

I'm pretty much agreed with you on this, but the fact of the matter is you cannot keep 100% control over what your children do.
What I see here is the perfect excuse to either A. Rid the world of the fetid micro transactions crap (at least for a sort time)
or B. total revamp of the whole micro transactions to make stories like this not happen, either by imposing stricter pay walls, proper authentication or I don't know? Retinal scanners.

Going to bed, internet debates hurt my cognitive functions.

Aramis Night:

Free games use tokens as a form of currency because its easier to keep track of in the context of the game. These games don't just operate on a single currency but have to use tokens as a universal currency to establish value while charging different amounts based on the market since actual currencies tend to not share the same value. These companies putting out free games with microtransactions are going to try to make money off as many different markets as they can. Companies exist to make money, not to help lazy parents. Companies are not moral actors. In fact they are just the opposite.

I will agree with you on saying that it shouldn't be that easy for kids to spend their parents money. But yes, parents make that incredibly easy if there handing the kid their cell phone or letting them jump on their pc's unattended.

I don't have to assume anything about how well someone complaining about this raises their kids. If you can't do anything about these problems as a parent and need government intervention to solve such an easy to solve problem then you are a lousy parent. No assumption needed. May as well give the kids to the state since you want them to be the parent anyway.

Blaming parents is not passing the blame. That is where the blame lies. There is no other scapegoat. No one else is the parent. Raising children is the responsibility of the parent. No one else. Not some free to play game company. Not the government. Ditto for your finances. Do you have your kids handle your wallet or credit/debit cards? NO? Then why do you hand them your cell phone? Its just as chargeable. Do you save your CC info on your computer/browser that you let your kid use unattended? Than your running the risk of your convenience costing you. Being a parent isn't about convenience. Nothing about kids is convenient. You lost all right to that when you had a kid. Parenting is hard, and it should be.

All i hear when i see things like this from parents is "WAAAAH!!! I expect the rest of the world to make this easy for me! WAAAH!!!".

As gamers and (I assume) quite a few techies, we know what freemium games are, what micro transactions are and how the system works, so to us it seems so easy to understand and stupid to get wrong. However what you need to realise that not everyone even knows what a freemium game is, both kids and parents alike. Alot of these cases are from people who literally were unaware of the charges due to the way the games present themselves with ingame coins etc. Simply put, freemium games like this aimed at kids ARE exploitation, which in UK and many nations are illegal and the government is in the right to investigate and punish if required.

OT: Good to hear one government investigating, hope others do as well soon. Regardless of weather anything is done this will hopefully bring the issue out into the light so more people in the general public learn how the system works.

Well, i'd say, every smartphone able to use apps is also "smart enough" to provide settings on monitoring/restricting what these apps can do, when to spend money in any kind of market (be it the app-market, or an in-app-transaction) and have the requirement of additional security-gates, like passwords, "guarding" these crucial points. Then, if the user is smart enough to actually utilize these settings and properly read what they do and what they are buying, when they are spending money, i can barely imagine any case where money would flow without consent...
But then again i know how lazy most of those users are, how little they concern oneselves with the settings of their phones/ markets/ apps and what else they all give away without real concern (private information and whatnot). But hey, when suddenly money flows, the case gets real, i guess.
Same goes for most freemium games in browsers, or separate programs (like when i recognize the picture on the main page shows League of Legends). Usually they have some sort of gate, most of the time the way of payment they use, which needs a concious act of confirming the transaction and is in some cases still able to be set for child-safety in some way (i'm thinking about WoW on that one, don't actually know how it is with LoL or some others, but then again, the best "child-safety" is a well educated child).

And hey, if the users aren't able to utilize all these settings and gates and either throw away their money themselves, or be it their children doing it, i'd cynically say "own fault, stupid" XD
It is kind of a common problem of our current time, that many/ most people just have bad "media competence" (i know the term exists and has a well defined meaning in german, don't know if the translation has any sort of deffinition alike), especially considered our modern media are growing and transforming in an unusually fast manner.

On the other hand, i'm not a good cynic and think, if the government, or any other instance for that matter, is able to and seriously trying to increase that media competence and further strenghen the security to protect the user (while not constraining their freedom, or infringing their privacy!), it is a noble step towards a possibly better "symbiosis" of media and public/ user/ common citizen.

So, as long as they won't seriously fuck up, or build unecessary constrain, i say the UK can investigate the shit out of those freemium games ^^
And i know that the UK has a rather well system & history of, i'll call it "media management" (awesome public broadcasting system; well monitored media-infrastructure, while not infringing/ endangering the users/consumers privacy; at least that's what i know... on the other hand they seem to give shit about the privacy of "persons of public interest"... but that's another thing about media ethics.)

Freemium games are a pox on gaming, so anything that might set them back a notch is great.

 

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