TWAT News: Child Spends Over $16,000 on Sonic the Hedgehog Cell Phone App

I don’t know how a person could justify spending over $10,000 on a cell phone app. At the least, I’d prefer something as awesome as summoning a team of scantily-clad ninja maids into my home.

A Connecticut kid knows what he’d want, and that’s a bunch of imaginary rings in a Sonic the Hedgehog game. To this end, he racked up over $16,000 in charges to his parent’s credit card. By the time his parents had figured out what was going on, Apple would refuse their refund request by reason of the amount of time that had passed since the purchases were made.

As I see it, there should have been some kind of flag that would be triggered if a person attempts to spend that kind of money on something so vapid, which would prompt contacting by a real-life agent who would determine whether the purchase was being made from a sound state of mind in an effort to protect the would-be purchaser from himself.

“Are you aware, sir, that the kind of money you could be using to buy a car you are instead attempting to spend on rings in a Sonic app?” -some underpaid CS rep

“yeah i wanna get rings” -some kid with bubble gum in his shoe laces

Of course, the parents have some responsibility. They gave a kid a tablet without monitoring his activities, and apparently, the parental settings weren’t activated while the kid had access to the parents’ credit card information. It’s likely the kid wasn’t aware that real-life money was being spent.

In a sense, gamers themselves have played a part in getting gaming to the point of predatory micro-transactions. For decades, we’ve been playing pirated video games on emulators for free, and many of us have developed the idea that video games should be free. Game makers attempted the free-to-play model in an effort to stay competitive, but explored alternative revenue models, leading to games with advertisements and pay-to-win competitive elements.

As I see it, micro-transactions are a legitimate way for game-makers to make money, provided the practice is done ethically. That’s a bit of a grey area, but as I see it, it’s valid to purchase something of purely entertainment value, even if it means not ending up with something of physical substance. The same reasoning is used to attend movies and sporting events.

Having said that, I think there’s a point in which it’s difficult to justify making a purchase. I know of a restaurant that once offered a million-dollar dessert called Strawberries Arnaud. Even considering the diamond engagement ring included with the dessert, what’s the justification for spending $1,000,000 on it?

I suppose that’s a question for those with the means to afford it.

A kid who was left alone with a tablet racked up thousands of dollars in debt over a Sonic game. What a time to be alive.

A man in his twenties drew this.

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