28 Mar 2013

ANY MORE HARMFUL THAN SCOOBY-DOO?

Having asked for the passcode to some electronic device or other, a five year old British boy ran up a huge, and I mean huge, bill when on playing a free game he stumbled across the games on-line store and managed to order dozens of costly add-ons.

Knowing nothing about this until she received a phone call from her credit card company querying the payments the boy's 44 year old mother explained ......  

"'D' was pestering us to let him have a go on the iPad. He kept saying it was a free game so my husband put in the passcode and handed it to him.

“It worried me when he asked for the password but I had a look at the game it said it was free so I didn’t think there would be a problem."

Disgusted that a child could have innocently run up such a huge bill? Of course I am even though I don't understand how he did so, wouldn't he have needed his parents debit/credit card details? BUT what worries me even more is the fact that, left alone with the device while his parents entertained friends, he was allowed to play a game with the title Zombies v Ninja, the object being to ....

 Survive as long as you can and defend yourself against hordes of zombies.

Hmm, perhaps not the best of games for a 5 year old.


Then again .......

Not a game I'm familiar with, more interactive for certain, BUT is it any more harmful than the Scooby-Doo cartoons I watched as a girl?

Maybes not but as my mam pointed out She always knew just what I was watching  which was probably true as like most children at that time (the late 1960s/early '70s) there was only 1 television in the house (I didn't get my own until I was 12, maybe even 13) with only 3 channels which people tended to sit down and watch as a family and as for home computers and the like? Well, they were merely the stuff of science-fiction.


What thinks you?

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13 comments:

Kelly said...

Many of those "free" games have ways you can upgrade or buy extras while playing. But...in my experience they always make it clear it will be an extra purchase and require some sort of number or password to complete.

Gina R said...

Yeah, Kelly is right about the add ons and most of the games before you download warn you about that option and to turn off your auto-purchase or require a password before EVERY purchase...on the other hand, at adult at quick glance or child at a steady glance may not notice it. It's a bit of loop hole. Gotta say though, the who "paying attention" bit definitely needs a reboot though...it may be harder what with all the online hidey holes now but staying abreast of what the kiddos are doing can not only help to avoid these types of situations (notice I said help not completely avoid cuz it can still happen) as well as foster a closer relationship between them that can carry on through the teen and adult years. There. Off my soap box now. ^_^

carol said...

I can totally see how the kid managed to run up that kind of bill, but really it is the parents fault.

We were actually just watching Scooby Doo the other day. We have several season on DVD. Just love them.

Suko said...

I do think there is (usually) a warning if there are extra charges. That being said, a young child should be supervised (somewhat) when left to his or her "own devices".

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I am maybe a couple of years older than yourself, so 'Scooby Doo' came into hos own, just as I was losing interest with childrens programmes. My two nieces both watched it as children, although there were extra characters in it then, in the shape of 'Scrappy Doo' and others whose names I can't remember.

I may be accused of being old fashioned, but I can't believe that parents are letting under 10's loose with any of these devices, let alone allowing them to play games which the parent has not vetted first and have some control over.

The amount of time they are allowed to sit and play for is also unbelievable. Whatever happened to parents entertaining their children, or encouraging children to use their imagination and make up games or activities for themselves, which involve them intreacting with one another and letting off some of that excess energy!

The silly parents in your story deserved a huge phone bill!!

Have a great Easter weekend,

Yvonne

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Yep this happens.

Next time they need to download the game for them and don't allow extra purchases w/o password verification. :)

Mama Zen said...

All I can say is that Scooby-Doo never sold me anything without my mother even realizing it!

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I have a friend who recently had a similar problem. I guess the parents have their credit card attached to their account- and their son got quite a bill going while the parents were busy! I can't imagine something like that happening when I was little. We had one tv- and no computer. :) Ahhh- the simple days.

Joan Robertson said...

I can also see that happening , quite easily , my 4 year old grandson would be a suitable candidate ,with iPads and iPhones you need to input credit / debit card details and it only takes a few minutes ,nothing to do with leaving the child unsupervised for long periods

Blond Duck said...

Man, they can trick you. It's so hard because I just got an I Phone and I'll accidentally think something is free but find out it's not!

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

Honey, nothing is free in this world and they should have known that. LOL!

Scooby Doo used to scare the crap out of me and I loved it. Still do...and so do my sons. When I'm asked what my favorite childhood cartoon was, Scooby is always the answer (except for that brief blip with Scrappy Doo. Really...what were they thinking?).

Rachel Bradford said...

It's really hard to monitor what kids are doing these days because they have access to SO much. We found my 8-year-old nephew had somehow gotten past the filters to find porn sites - which he was temporarily fascinated with. I refuse to think he was purposely looking for that stuff, but I can't blame him for becoming curious when he's stumbled upon it.

Joan Robertson said...

just reread my comment and sorry it sounds a tad harsh about leaving a child unsupervised, hope no one was upset