Mom With iPad

The rate at which technology is moving is getting faster and with that so are the new challenges moms are faced with and have to handle.

In the not to far away past, kids used to just say “buy” when you bring them to a supermarket. Now, they say “buy”, “upgrade” and “update” all in one breath at home. They used to only want to buy “toys” but now they want to buy “diamonds”, “jewels” and “coins”, “elixirs” and “weapons”, you name it. My son has “cleverly” set up “shop” to “sell” things to his friends.

He draws all sorts of special weapons, space crafts, animals plus food and homes for the animals in his notebook with prices listed for each of them. Then he goes around asking his friends what they want to “buy” and then he happily lists down his “orders”. No money is ever exchanged. It’s just a kids game after all.

To the kids it is all just a game. In the same manner, in-app purchases are just a game to them too. Children must be educated about in-app purchases. Otherwise, to them it is all just a game. In a free game you can buy and sell tokens. In-app purchases is yet another way of obtaining tokens. They don’t “see” or “feel” they money exchanging. The real thing and the play thing becomes a blur so what is real and what is play becomes mixed up.

That is why I don’t support in-app purchases. Not unless it is for a really useful educational site which I know we will be making full use off. Never for games. I make it a point to teach my kids about in-app purchases as Apple calls it or in-app billing as Google Play calls it. I tell them we have to part with real money if we want extra diamonds and stuff for the in-app purchases. We turn in-app purchases off on our iPad. What they have never got, they do not miss. In fact, they become better players as they economize and crack their heads over how to “earn” more money so they can “buy” more stuff for their games.

When we download a new game, they will say “Mom, look this one requires so much real money. That’s terrible isn’t it?” and on their own accord, they click away from the screen that calls out to you to buy the in-app purchases. For those interested off turning on in-app purchases, here is a video tutorial showing ¬†you how to do just that.

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