The dangers of contracting the new Covid-19 coronavirus has led governments all over the world to declare lockdown. With everyone locked at home, many equations have changed when it comes to consuming entertainment content. People now have more time on their hands without having to spend time outside traveling from work or from school and colleges. There has been a boom of consuming entertainment content while people have been staying at home.
And one of the biggest sources of entertainment are video games. Now video games are played by people from all ages, but a major chunk of them are children. While children usually don’t have the means to spend money of their own, they rely on their parents to do so. And more and more games in recent times have resorted to the free structure with ingame purchases. And these accounts are usually linked with the credit and debit cards of the parents. According to a report by The Guardian, children are apparently raking up bigger and bigger bills for parents during this lockdown period. This is apparently directly linked to the fact that they are playing more games.
Gaming has recently become one of the highest valued markets in the world, much ahead of the other entertainment industries. And it has boomed in the last few years with the free-to-play model with ingame microtransactions. The companies are offering the games for free, while attractive items in the game would require money to buy. And children feel that the value of their accounts and game are more with better items which actually cost money. But it’s parents who end up footing the bills.
In the favor of gaming companies, they offer many safeguards to ensure children don’t spend their parents money without their approval. But according to report mentioned earlier only one in five parents in the UK ensure these safeguards are in place.