back to article Parent discovers the cost of ignoring Roblox: £2,500 and heart palpitations

As if you needed another reason to change the subject whenever your child brings up Roblox, a 10-year-old girl has managed to spend over £2,500 ($3,113) on the online game. For the blissfully ignorant, Roblox has similar clout among kids as Minecraft and Fortnite, but its unique selling point is that it enables users to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Apple says children shouldn't be given passwords or Face/Touch ID access to iDevices"

    Great, unless as I've said in another thread, your kids look enough like their parent that face unlock works for them. Fortunately, our kids seem to cope with playing free to play games without spending in-game cash, otherwise we'd have to disable face ID on my wife's iphone.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Or buy an iTunes gift card and use that for the only payment method on the device, with no credit/bank cards set up as a payment method. That sets a hard limit on how much they can spend even for kids not as responsible as yours.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Virtual credit cards, such as the ones offered by privacy.com, can also have various spending limits (such as per month) attached to them.

        Of course, that assumes you secure your account with the VCC provider better than you did your device...

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      I got into a friend's phone's facial recognition merely by the fact of both of us having a beard. The fact he wouldn't have looked out of place in ZZ Top and while mine is only a few weeks' growth was apparently not important to the detection algorithm.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        A lot of Android phones use facial "recognition" that isn't secure at all - there was just an article about this a couple days ago though I can't remember if it made the Reg or not. Basically you could show it a picture of its owner and it would unlock! Higher end stuff like Samsung Galaxy S series has something reasonably comparable to Apple's 3D depth mapping so the "show it a picture" thing cannot work, but in many cases for the low/medium range Androids the facial recognition should not be trusted for anything.

  2. xyz Silver badge

    Glad you caught this...

    I personally, was shocked, appalled and horrified by the use of playmobilesque figures on the Roblox Pr0n servers. Does Playmobil know? Has it become a pimp for plastic pr0n? Has El Reg been in contact to find out? Please dear readers, do not look as it's all NSFW. (except obviously if you look from the bbc site where smudgy bits have been applied)

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Glad you caught this...

      Remember the days where the Reg used playmobil to reconstruct story-lines?

      1. xyz Silver badge

        Re: Glad you caught this...

        There's story lines... and there's fevered imagination with too much grumbling in the back row.

  3. LorenDB
    Trollface

    Can we please have monster trucks added to the Reg Standard Soviet?

    1. Roger Greenwood

      No. We don't have enough digits on our calculators:-"0.1315789473684211 monster trucks". 1/8 of a truck is close enough anyway.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Shirley ElReg's backend programmers are aware of perl's arbitrary precision floating point maths modules?

  4. CommonBloke
    Childcatcher

    Obligatory explanation of Roblox's exploitation of nearly free labor. Almost 2 years old now, but I bet it didn't change much since then.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gXlauRB1EQ

  5. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

    Dystopian

    The parents thought (and why should they not, they are not experts) that the ipad was locked. Smart kid unlocks it. Short of hovering over them all the time they are playing, what's the solution?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Dystopian

      A separate iPad (or much cheaper Android alternative) without any payments linked to it?

      Yes it costs money, but a lot less than this sort of fsck-up does!

      Or simply not having any payment method linked to your own iPad, if shared?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Dystopian

        Simple, but not that simple. Odd that they polish the user experience on a tonne of things until the corners are rounded, but when it comes to not including a payment method the hoop jumping starts.

        Anyway that info is a bit old, you can't make an Apple ID any more without linking it to a phone number. Perhaps they helpfully automatically enable operator billing for you if one of your devices is an iPhone...

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Dystopian

          Apparently the way to do it is to register for an Apple ID at their recruitment website. I haven't done that so I can't confirm.

          What I did do was to buy an Apple Gift Card and register that as my payment method.

          1. Rich 2 Silver badge

            Re: Dystopian

            I have no payment method at all associated with my iPhone account. And I’m quite happy to leave it like that.

            I appreciate this doesn’t work for everyone though.

      2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Dystopian

        I have an inexpensive droid tabber, and I set my other half up with her own profile, so she can use it with her social media logins, and I with mine, and the two are separate and don't bleed over. I presume iPads can do the same. Although my biggest question here, is why Roblox don't have some reasonable limit or safeguard, who spends couple of grand on a game, surely that's an outlier?

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Dystopian

          Roblox gets money for nothing – they're selling in-game content, which are non-rival intangible assets. They lose nothing but transaction fees if a purchase is reversed; there's no good that they've lost the ability to sell to someone else.

          So they have no motivation whatsoever to limit purchases. Occasional "whale" purchases either will stand, in which case they've made a heap of profit in exchange for essentially nothing; or be reversed, in which case they suffer only a negligible loss (plus they get the PR benefit of bragging about how they'll reverse unwanted charges). Preventing the latter would prevent the former.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Dystopian

          You'd presume iPads can have more than one user profile, but they can't.

          Apple probably worked out there were enough gullible people in their target market willing to buy his and hers matching iPads with iPad Minis for the children.

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Dystopian

        "Or simply not having any payment method linked to your own iPad, if shared?"

        Even if the device isn't shared should it have some sort of payment method attached to it? Yeah, it's a bit more typing each time to buy something on eBay or some other online shop, but impediments to spending money are a good thing. It's also not a great idea for parents to hand their children the parent's device to use as a toy. The younger the child, the more they'll see that device as nothing but a toy. I grew up with Tinker toys, Lincoln Logs, Legos and an Erector set (Mechano). Later I got into plastic models and rockets. I have a strong feeling that if I were growing up today, my dad wouldn't have entertained there being a video game console in the house nor us kids having phones/tablets. Our computer would have been set up in a common area rather than in our rooms. As it was, if it wasn't hissing down with rain/snow/locusts, we were strongly encouraged to go out and play if we didn't want the parental units to find us something to do to occupy our spare time and we already had chores assigned so extra chores weren't something we were looking for. Reading was encouraged on rainy days, but getting ahead on school work or puzzles were also approved.

        There's not very many skills being learned through playing video games and interacting online. I understand when younger people don't get my pop culture references, but when they also miss a joke based on classic literature that they should have read for school, that's where I have some concern.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Dystopian

      Yeah, the parents can't really be blamed.

      Maybe blame Apple, maybe Robolox, maybe assign some of the blame to the parents, or maybe a combination of all 3.

      However, the bank seems innocent in this, and obviously paid up as a PR exercise.

      I'm not sticking up for the banks generally, but I hate reading stories of people being complete morons (not this case), and losing money in the most ridiculous ways, and then it gets mentioned in the tabloids, or daytime TV, and the bank refunds them under pressure. It's simply done as a PR move that we all end up paying for.

      1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: Dystopian

        "It's a PR move we all end up paying for."

        No worries, it just comes out of the advertising budget. We were paying for that anyway.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Dystopian

        "Yeah, the parents can't really be blamed."

        Of course not! Why on Earth should parents be required to actually parent? That's what the nanny-state is for!

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Dystopian

          That's not what I was saying at all, and you know it.

          Do many parents "dump" their kids on the internet (or in front of the tv) instead of engaging with them? Of course!

          But it's a leap to then equate that with a story about a non-techie parent who lets her child use the tablet to play a game, whilst she's led to believe by Apple that it's safely locked up against transactions. - That's what the article is about - not some kid left alone with pornhub and 4-chan.

          1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

            Re: Dystopian

            I'm torn. I want to upvote you and downvote you.

            Maybe, just maybe, the parent should have learnt enough to adequately supervise her child. From the article it sounded as though the parent didn't even bother checking her bank statement until the bill was enormous.

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Dystopian

              From the article it sounded as though the parent didn't even bother checking her bank statement until the bill was enormous.

              Does it? The article says it was a series of small purchases, but unless I've missed something, not over what period of time. Looks like it would have been around a hundred purchases, which could be made quite quickly.

            2. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Dystopian

              Possibly they didn't check the statement until the next time they balanced it, and the purchases were made somewhat quickly? I have alerts set up for charges, but not everyone wants those or is willing to have the banking apps that deliver them.

      3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Dystopian

        It's simply done as a PR move that we all end up paying for.

        It's worse than that; it's usually the end of it. Those who lost money are happy they got it back, those who helped get it back can brag about their part in it, and everyone lives happily ever after.

        Except nothing happens to address the underlying problem which continues to cause untold suffering for those who don't have enough of a sob-story to get people interested in helping them get redress.

        The kid might get a slap on the wrist, told not to do it again. Parents are warned to learn lessons. Meanwhile the bastards are allowed to keep extorting as much money from kids with impunity as they ever did.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Dystopian

          "Meanwhile the bastards are allowed to keep extorting as much money from kids with impunity as they ever did."

          There is no extortion, the kids are voluntarily paying the money.

          HOWEVER, and the elephant in the room, is that kids in most countries are not legally allowed to enter into a contract without parental (guardian) consent. No matter how you look at it, these so-called "microtransactions" are just as much of a contract as purchasing a car or a house. At some point, some hot-shot lawfirm is going to file a class action asking that all these transactions entered into by children should be nullified and the monies returned to the parent/guardian (less the lawyer's fees, of course!) ...

          1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

            Re: Dystopian

            I upvoted you but I feel obliged to point out that here in bonny wee Scotland they are trying to reduce the age at which you are an adult.

          2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Dystopian

            Often there's some click-through agreement stating that the purchaser is an adult, or has permission from one. That could be a tough disclaimer of liability for the plaintiff class to climb over, since it implicates the purchasers in fraud (even if, as children, they're presumed to have reduced capacity) and given the paucity of alternatives for verifying age in online purchases.

            And every big organization that sells stuff online would be amicussing up a storm in such a case. Not many law firms are going to want to go up against Amazon.

          3. unimaginative Bronze badge
            Stop

            Re: Dystopian

            Its more compkex than that - otherwise kids coukd not buy anything at all.

            In thw UK there are limitations on which contracts another party can enforce on a minor - so they can get out of a contract, for example if sued for breaching it.

            That does not let them get their mobet back on anything they want.

            I am right now arguing with Citizencard to get money back after they rdused my 15 yeae old a refund because their online service did not work - and that is a case where its not just a change of mind butbtheir fault. I have had problems too with low cost online services not working but its not worth the effort to get your money back, but that is another issue.

          4. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Dystopian

            "No matter how you look at it, these so-called "microtransactions" are just as much of a contract as purchasing a car or a house"

            Yeeeessss but,

            The parent has set up the payment account and should have put in some safeguards against it being used without their permission. The vendor has no way to tell who the person is tapping the screen for each transaction. The device makers and everybody in the transaction chain have all worked to make spending money an almost thoughtless process. One-click transactions, automatic payments when a shopper goes to checkout, auto-pay bills, tap/bonk/proximity, all of them. The less you have to think about a purchase, the more likely you are to go through with it. I install my own road blocks to force myself to think about every exchange.

            I haven't heard of this happening but, if somebody were to break into a home and use a person's computer to make some expensive online purchases after 'updating' the addresses, it might take the victim some time before they are aware. In the mean time a highly resellable lot of kit might be sent to a drop address. High value items taken from a home may be identifiable, but brand new items offered for sale won't have recorded serial numbers or other markings the owner put on them. I have some pretty nice camera gear and know that if it were stolen, getting it back is unlikely and it would sell for good money. Plenty of people buy or are gifted similar stuff and wind up selling it as it's way over their head to use. I'm always looking for those sorts to add to my collection. The trouble is they rarely buy professional lenses and the consumer grade stuff that comes with a boxed kit is awful most of the time. I do buy that stuff for rocket launches to use up close. It's less painful if it gets trashed. The point is, cameras and tools can fetch good money in nearly new/new condition.

        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Dystopian

          Well said

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Dystopian

      Don't install any default payment details in your tech? Sure, it's a little more faff for when you want to purchase something, but not impossible. What is impossible is for anybody (thief, child, dishonest partner) to run up huge bills on your account.

    4. xyz Silver badge

      Re: Dystopian

      I bet it was the boyfriend/hubby/whatever wot dun it. It all sounds a bit too "the dog ate my honework" for my liking.

    5. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Dystopian

      Maybe don't let them play on a platform that has your banking details ?

    6. Tom Chiverton 1

      Re: Dystopian

      Don't tie it to a card with funds in it

    7. jake Silver badge

      Re: Dystopian

      "The parents thought (and why should they not, they are not experts) that the ipad was locked."

      What ever happened to the concept of due diligence?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dystopian

        My kids play Minecraft on an iPad in "Guided Access" mode (which prevents exiting the app), with the button to open the menu disabled through Guided Access. You'd think that would be a pretty safe way of keeping them from getting to the menu to change settings, swap to the other kid's world and mess it up, mess with character appearance including purchasing outfits, etc. Nope - hitting the power button to put it to sleep, then pressing it again to wake it up opens the menu, even with all Guided Access settings still set. How exactly are we supposed to do "due diligence" when we don't know every single feature of the software?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dystopian

          The problem with Jake, which is common in our industry, is that he's one of those techies who assumes that everyone else must be too.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Dystopian

            (The AC who posted the Minecraft comment)

            I *AM* a techie, having worked in a dozen languages, use Linux almost exclusively at home (the SO has a Macbook, we're Windows-free), I make my own Ethernet cables, etc. etc. But that doesn't mean I automatically know about and understand every feature in every piece of software. It's things like the "push the power button twice" trick that the parents simply aren't aware of that tend to allow access to things they don't want their kids to get to. (Another one is running the battery dry till the device shuts down, then plugging it in and turning it on.)

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Dystopian

              Indeed. I've often remarked that there is not a single person in the world who understands all the features of the software products I work on. That is almost certainly true for any significant contemporary OS or other large software product. Not only is it impossible for end users to know all the quirks and features,1 regardless of technical expertise; it's impossible even for those who work on the thing.

              1Apologies to Doug Demuro.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Dystopian

          "How exactly are we supposed to do "due diligence" when we don't know every single feature of the software?"

          You don't need to. You just need to know that you shouldn't establish a payment system on a device that you will hand to a child to use as a toy. I could add a caveat that you could, but in a manner that puts limits on purchases and that doesn't require intimate knowledge of the game the child is playing.

          If you can't afford to get a child their own device, that's still no excuse to hand them yours. I wasn't allowed to use my stepdad's classic Studebaker if my car was out of order. It was shank's mares or the bus until my car got fixed.

    8. Rich 2 Silver badge

      Re: Dystopian

      I don’t understand the excuse (if indeed there is one at all) for not implementing a global payment lock on all iPhone/iPad/Android accounts that needs a SEPARATE password to unlock!!

      It’s a pretty blindingly simple solution to this problem that has been about since “smart” phones were invented.

      Even for an adult, it is way too easy to accidentally buy some vapourware on one of these devices through an application

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Dystopian

        Actually, Android does have that. It can be set to require your google-password every time before authorising a transaction.

        I have mine set up that way, not because of children using my account, but because I'm one of those clumsy adults you mention! (Also, I don't trust the apps)

  6. heyrick Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Two and a half grand on a game

    Damn.

    The worst I ever did as a child was discover the joy of modems and run up a six hundred quid phone bill...

    Icon, because my mother was definitely not amused when the bill, all twenty odd pages of it (!), landed.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Two and a half grand on a game

      "The worst I ever did as a child was discover the joy of modems and run up a six hundred quid phone bill..."

      I rode my Bultaco to Stanford with a handful of 8" floppies. The latency sucked, but my bandwidth was much higher than your modem.

      I didn't have your phone bill problems, but did run the risk of getting busted by the cops (the Stanford Police hated dirtbikes on campus ... ).

    2. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Two and a half grand on a game

      When was this? Inflation adjusted it could be worse than 2'n'a'half grand nowadays.

      <click click> ah, the helpful Bank of England inflation calculator states that £600 in 1985 is £1733 today. Not that far off, then.

      You now owe us the rest of the story! Back then, parents still parented, so what were the consequences?

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Two and a half grand on a game

        Back then, parents still parented, so what were the consequences?

        Probably something that would be decried as child abuse these days.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Two and a half grand on a game

          Yup, I got a good smack around the head, and threatened with an orange plastic mixing spoon that used to terrify me as a child, but it didn't really work once I'd upgraded to "teenager" status.

          To any snowflake who's like "oh my god, your mother hit you?". Yes, she did. And as an adult now, I fully approve. I had ADHD (and other stuff) and was generally an obnoxious shit. Sitting me down and talking would not have worked. A short sharp dose of pain made the message clear. I don't call it child abuse. I am just kind of sorry for all the shit I made her put up with back then.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Two and a half grand on a game

            "Yes, she did. And as an adult now, I fully approve."

            I'm of the same mind. My dad did it properly and after a few lessons all it took was a sharp word and a 'look' to get me to stop and analyze what I was doing. I don't think I was ever a major obnoxious shit, but I did become much more thoughtful.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Two and a half grand on a game

        Been there, done that.

        Around 1991 I managed to increase my parents normally small phone bill to over a thousand pounds a quarter.... TWICE (By the time the first bill had arrived, I'd already clocked up a lot of use, and also contiuned to use it when my parents were asleep)

        My story? I left Uni in 1991, and didn't get a job for some time. I still had various UNI accounts (Edinburgh tardis, Loughborough HICOM, Bradford unaXcess) and continued to use them regularly. I had managed to obtain a dialup number to the local university PAD, but it was often broken or engaged, so I'd end up dialing London Universities which I think was about £3.60 an hour! ... for many hours a night.

        This wad made all the worse by a *SINGLE* phone call to a girl in Israel I "met" online via IRC, for about 90 minutes at £1 an hour!

        By the time the second bill had arrived, I'd already pissed off to Israel for 3 months to meet said girl.

        My parents also had to bail me out with my spendings abroad, and I didn't manage to pay them back completely until I got a computery job at ICL in Feltham, London about 2 years later.

        I was young, naive, but still paid them back as soon as I could (without being nagged.... Unlike my sponging brother, but that's another story...)

        Still, it was due to my IRC use that I got the job in London, so it all worked out well (apart from the Israeli relationship, but that'a another-another story!)

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Two and a half grand on a game

          Ah, remember the days when stories of a romantic relationship (or attempt thereat) which started with meeting online were actually rare enough to be interesting? Before Eternal September (to say nothing of today's swamp of eHarmony and match.com and Tinder and god knows what else) made it all so mundane?

          That sort of thing probably died for good when The Shop Around the Corner was remade as You've Got Mail.1 Meeting someone on IRC or Usenet or a BBS had a certain nerd cachet; meeting them by actual handwritten letters is sentimental; meeting them by AOL email is just sad. By website or app doesn't bear thinking about.2

          1Went to Wikipedia to confirm the titles and discovered TSAtC was itself a film adaptation of László's Parfumerie. Credit where it's due.

          2Though I did used to enjoy the television commercials for chemistry.com. "I was blocked from eHarmony! What's wrong with me? Find me on chemistry.com!" Yes, yes, that is an appealing prospect. Donovan's Not a Match is also mildly amusing in this regard.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Romantic relationship, (was Two and a half grand on a game)

            A few months after I lost my partner, I found the ideal woman on an adult dating site (that no longer exists), and spent much dosh flying over to meet her. Our first week was exhausting, but extremely satisfying, and we arranged for her to come to stay with me for a month (at my expense, I might add).

            Just before she departed she mentioned that she needed to take a pregnancy test. I was horrified, I had assumed that she was too old for that sort of outcome. Luckily, it was negative, and she admitted that she had only let me have my way with her because she wanted another child, and had been touring around Europe shacking up with as many men as she could in the hope of doing so.

            Lucky escape, $Deity knows what would have happened had she scored!

          2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: Two and a half grand on a game

            Yes, it was the talk of the UK irc channel at the time. 15 years later she published a book on "how to succeed at online dating", or something like that.

            I've not read it!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The wise parent sticks a couple of emulators on and introduces them to such classics as Chuckie Egg, Head over Heels, Mario and early Zelda (to get them ready for later Zelda). Also, teach them EA is the work of the devil. There are lots and lots of other games and they need imagination so they are a double bonus for growing kids.

    I played roblox with my kids many years ago and it becomes a relentless torrent of requests for robux. I only did it because I wanted them to get into the design side of it. More fool me. Though I was happy to say no mum was a bit stupid.

    1. jake Silver badge

      We introduce the littles to text-based adventure games. By the time they are ready for NetHack they are already programming the old classics (wump, trek, et alia) to introduce new trips, traps and tribulations for their friends to work around. Actually learning how the computer works, and no network needed, go figure. Recommended.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Alert

        That's how mine learned. On prototype machines, to boot ("don't stick your fingers inside")

        3.5" floppies and MSDOS.

  8. Skiver

    I'm glad this stuff wasn't around when my kids were growing up.

  9. martinusher Silver badge

    Microtransactions?

    "mostly in transactions of 20 pounds". To some a twenty might be small change, to others its a significant chunk of a person's weekly income. Its definitely not the sort of sum that a 10 year old should be working with (even allowing for inflation its way more than the weekly allowance I used to get). So Roblox is definitely at fault here -- they market a game to children and then blithely turn a blind eye to what is obviously an out of control series of transactions.

    Saying that the kid is autistic just gives the child a free pass. Being autistic means you have problems communicating, its not an excuse for poor or irresponsible behavior. (Yes, its something that lots of people live with.)

    Incidentally, my credit card providers are rather good at identifying and handling abnormal transactions. The Apple payment system may be the problem here; this isn't the first time its failed to flag unusual behavior (I have a colleague that got caught for $450 because his preschool kid got hold of his unlocked iPad).

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Microtransactions?

      The NatWest Pocket Money Index says that children get an average of £6.42 per week now, so quite a bit less than £20.

  10. bertkaye

    the next AI peril

    "ChatGPT, find a way to bypass my parents' restrictions on this laptop."

    "Done. You now have admin privileges."

    "Oh boy! Ebay, I want that big shiny thing, and lots of candy, and that playhouse looks nice. The one with the beachfront property. Also, what's that jet thing..."

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: the next AI peril

      So long as they don't get into eBay Platinum Reserve and buy Airwolf and Keith Moon's head.

  11. IGotOut Silver badge

    Simple...

    Don't save payment information!

    I have two autistic girls (FFS stop using that as a pretext for everything). One us an absolute sod for guessing / watching her mum's passwords, but neither of us have payments stored.

    If they want to buy something in Roblox (they have grown out of it mostly), we buy a Roblox gift card and added it directly to the Roblox account. Same for Fortnite etc.

    Next week, kids buy stuff because parents left their cards laying around.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is absolutely no excuse for including in app purchases in games marketed to children. TBH there is very little justification for it in games marketed to adults.

    It's not really very different to online gambling apps. It is essentially a scam and needs to be properly regulated.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "There is absolutely no excuse for including in app purchases in games marketed to children. "

      Time to take some business courses. Marketing at children is a great way to make money. Adults can ignore ads, but their kids will be far more persistent and will home in on all of the right buttons to press to get a parent to bend to their will. If they have a proper home with two parents, their chances double.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "It is essentially a scam and needs to be properly regulated."

      It's getting to the point where people have abdicated all responsibility and are looking to the government to be their nanny. Out and out scams should be shut down with people banged up in the slammer and all of their money/stuff confiscated, but in-app purchases give a company a chance to get their games into the public for a low cost and still have a way to make a profit if people like it. If every new game started at £39.99 and came pretty much fully featured, even a good one might take a lot of time to gain traction.

  13. ChoHag Silver badge

    If we know that the play of one child is 0.132 monster trucks, can we use that to work out the speed children play at in units of variously laden swallows?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    units of variously laden swallows?

    African or European?

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