Breeding a nation of microtransaction monsters!

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.

Then 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


  • Metroidhunter32 - April 9, 2010 8:35 p.m.

    I don't want to think about it.
  • philipshaw - April 9, 2010 10:50 a.m.

    I have never paid for add-on content in my life
  • gopikmin - April 9, 2010 12:23 a.m.

    To be sucessful in farmville, one needs many friends who actually play and semi-hardwork. if one is too lazy, he/she will probablyend up like a lot like the kid stated in the article. the kid also probably doesn't know the complete value of money. The moral: don't play farmville and/ or don't be lazy
  • speno93 - April 8, 2010 11:07 p.m.

    Farmville > GTA+Manhunt+Splatterhouse. "ban this sick filth"
  • drunkenfish - April 8, 2010 10:45 p.m.

    I go to a Catholic school and farmville is what my religion teacher does instead of teaching
  • MrDuracraft - April 8, 2010 10:16 p.m.

    "Ban this sick filth." Here, mother****ing here! (or is it hear? w/e) Recaptcha: um refund Give that to the kid now!
  • Caio - April 8, 2010 9:19 p.m.

    "Ban this sick filth". Made my day. Just think of the children!
  • Cyberninja - April 8, 2010 9:18 p.m.

    farmville is a game i will never play
  • Revanofsith - April 8, 2010 8:02 p.m.

    Finally a story I can use against my Mom to get her to stop ragging my about games. I don't play Farmville, but she does. That makes her the obsessed 'gamer'.
  • troncib - April 8, 2010 4:36 p.m.

    Good think that i dont play farmville any more
  • iluvmyDS - April 8, 2010 4:01 p.m.

    That game is the bane of my existence.
  • ultimatepunchrod - April 8, 2010 3:38 p.m.

    i thought that game was free. who would pay for that? just buy a gamecube and harvest moon. definitely cheaper than that.
  • Tronto13 - April 8, 2010 3:28 p.m.

    @jakery22 if it is anything like online MMO's (i cant say if it is ive avoided farmville purposfully) you only need the information on the card; i.e the card number and the security code on the back... You have to wonder though, what this kids mum must have been doing to not notice £600 dissapearing out of her bank, i doubt it all came off at once!
  • n00b - April 8, 2010 3:27 p.m.

    farm ville only use uses the same addicting tactics as every other mmo. check out this article that explains it more it makes sense for pay type games like mmo and farm ville to get you addicted so you can continue to pay to play their games for as long as possible which is why i will probably never play an mmo if you have to pay
  • MidSnacker - April 8, 2010 3:19 p.m.

    I fully agree.
  • TURbo - April 8, 2010 3:11 p.m.

    Maybe needing a credit card to buy additional items will be the future of gaming.
  • jakery22 - April 8, 2010 3:10 p.m.

    I actually hate farmville. It's really addictive though. I used to really like it, but then it got boring as all facebook games do. What i want to know is how did that kid manage to buy all the stuff, surely you've got to put all the bank details in to buy it? And i doubt a 12 year old boy knows his mums bank details.
  • GamesRadarJoeMcNeilly - April 8, 2010 3:04 p.m.

Showing 1-18 of 18 comments

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