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Virtual Gold for Sale, Only $46,000

Sammie Chen_OpinionsGameMoney

MOOR graphic by SAMMIE CHEN
SARA HERNANDEZ
Staff Writer

Nowadays, the one product most people have in common is a smartphone. Everywhere we look, we see Apple, Android and Windows phones, just to name a few. With this much technology at everyone’s disposal, it is easy to get carried away and continuously search for new apps that can be downloaded. Once that one particularly addicting app is found it is difficult to stop playing since it only costs “$0.99 for 5 more lives.” Then the cycle of giving money to a game that can be played for free starts.

In October, this happened to a 15-year-old boy in Belgium. The teen bought roughly 9,200,000 virtual gold pieces on Game of War: Fire Age, which ran up his parent’s bill 37,000 € (about $46,000), according to Yahoo News. According to the Office of University Publications, an entire year at the University of Southern California (USC) costs equivalent to $46,000. With all the money the teen used, he could have paid for a year at college rather than just fake gold. It is understandable that parents trust their kids with credit card information, but sometimes they need to take precautions with sharing financial details. Teens need to realize that money is too valuable to use for online games and virtual lives.

This case is very extreme, but it does happen on a smaller scale to families that might not have the money to pay for it, emphasizing kids’ flippant attitude towards their parents’ money. Kids see money but they do not see the hard work it takes to earn it. In order to put a stop to kids’ potentially reckless gaming activity, parents should pay more attention to what their children are doing and not let them wander off too much into virtual worlds. Children should be able to explore the world of technology they live in today, but that does not mean that parents should experience panic when their statement comes back with an unimaginable balance.

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