Video games have always been blamed for society's wrongs. Even before they were invented, people were no doubt blaming every robbery and mugging on 'those infernal game things from the future'. In the past month alone, video games have been blamed for child obesity, sexualising children, bad teeth and even bad musicians.
But our console games are not the real evil here. You want to see a corrupting influence? You need look no further than the games tab on Facebook and the story of a 12 year-old boy who ran up over £600 on his mum's credit card buying crap for Farmville. And that was after spending his own savings of £288. Just the £900, then.
You may laugh, but these apparently harmless games are the crack cocaine of the virtual world and they're a danger to our society. No need to read books when you can get your fix of chickens and horseys. No need to go outside when the weather is perfectly clement in the virtual realm of browser games: Look:
Most browser games are free the first time you play. But they get their claws into even seemingly well-balanced individuals. That's when you start seeing your newsfeed turn into this.
Show FIVE similar posts? This isn't normal behaviour. But you start to see how it can get out of control. Items can be earned in-game, but what about when the cravings get too strong or too frequent for your gaming yeild to keep up? That's when the ugly 'M' word comes into play. No, not murder - microtransactions.
That's what happened to the kid in the story. He used all of his personal savings and then his mum's credit card to rack up an impressive spree of £900. This is not the product of an obsession with Manhunt, Counter-Strike or GTA. This is the product of... this:
It's refreshing to be on the other end of a reactionary statement, but there's only one logical course of action:
Ban this sick filth.
08 Apr, 2010