Video game currency doesn’t simply exist in the virtual world. Debts racked up virtually are a very real problem according to UK finance-broker Solution Loans.
In fact, the company has seen a 15% yearly increase in individuals seeking financial assistance because of debts racked up spending in the virtual world. Specifically, the broker dealt with 25 cases in the last two months. But nationwide this volume is likely to be the tip of a much, much larger iceberg.
For many parents, monitoring how many hours their kids spend in virtual worlds is a difficult problem to track, and that’s without the phenomenon of in-game spending or microtransactions.
And it truly is a phenomenon, with £58,850,752.79 spent globally every single day by video game enthusiasts during their game time.
According to information provided by the Intelligent Economist, gaming companies make 50% of their revenue for mobile games from just 0.15% of users. Also termed, “whales”, each of these users would need to spend £11 every single day for Fortnite to make its current daily revenue.
For each whale that would equate to £4,015 a year – more than it would cost for a family season ticket for Premier League champions Manchester City.
Amanda Gillam from Solution Loans said: “This is a very real problem, and one that simply shouldn’t be ignored.
“Parents need to understand how in-game spending works and the games where users are most tempted to part with their cash. For many users it may not feel real as the transaction is quick and simple, but it is very real. And so is the potential impact it can have.
“Some of the cases we’ve seen recently have been very serious, with it often being likened to gambling addiction. We felt it necessary to highlight to parents the ongoing issue and detail steps they should take and things they should look out for with their kids at home.”
Parents should make sure they do the following:
– Monitor how much time your kids spend gaming
– Find out from them which specific games they are playing
– Learn as much as you can about the games your kids are playing and if they include in-game purchases
– Limit their time playing these games & check for how they react when you try do this – a clear sign of addiction is an inability to let something go
– Look for specific signs including if they are hiding their gaming use, specifically doing it at night
– Check how much they talk about the game and how much their life begins to revolve around it – a sign of addiction is an obsessional attachment to the game