23 comments on “Eh?

  1. There are rules regarding contracts with children. But yes they can effectively make contracts.
    As can the parents of course.

  2. @Gamecock

    Source for that statement?

    (Genuine question; I heard the same statement – “employees can’t get discounts” – literally yesterday and couldn’t confirm or refute it).

  3. “Over the past 10 years, the business model of gaming has changed. What we once called computer games were bought, complete, on a disk. The advent of cloud computing allowed for software updates downloaded in the course of play – and for getting gamers to pay for them. Modern games are no longer products you buy and use – they have become a gateway to perpetual spending opportunities.”

    Stop playing shitty free games on your phone.

    The games are utter garbage and many of them are designed so that you buy your way to the next level or to not have to wait so long. It’s like being back in an arcade, putting 10p into the Galaga machine.

    Best option is to buy little kids a Nintendo Switch, which is stuffed with great games, but if they need a phone, just buy them paid games.

  4. It’s not that “Children are being ripped off” so much that children are being used as a conduit to the wallets of their parents. Anyone who thinks that this is acceptable is not thinking clearly.

    As for the attitude of the games industry that benefits from this (especially EA Games with the likes of the FIFA franchise, Star Wars Battlefront, etc.), the whole lie about “Their not Loot Boxes, there surprise mechanics” is utter garbage. It’s gambling and therefore any game which includes it should be R rated for Adults Only.

    Not that this will stop idiots buying GTA V for their 14 year old kid, but there needs to be a mechanism where the game companies are penalised for their flagrant lies, abuse and greed.

    I won’t buy or even download games involving Pay-for-Play or Loot Boxes, since it simply encourages this sort of shitty behaviour and I’m an avid gamer.

  5. Back in the 80s we had sticker albums and card packs – the card packs were expensive and were effectively a loot chest, could end up buying 10 or more to get the one sticker you needed.

    Lots of games over the years have had expansion packs, new versions, updated rules etc. Did anyone complain about these? How about Warhammer 40,000 army books – some in their 8th edition, that’s 8 purchases of one book to keep playing with one army….
    Or how about roleplaying games – can start with gamebook but add in another 20 sourcebooks, add-ons etc.

  6. What Martin says.

    I’m an avid gamer too, and pride myself on simply not buying the loot boxes, so the win is all the sweeter. What’s needed here is more parental responsibility. Not more government interference.

  7. @BonM4: Never been much of a handheld console gamer, but the Switch is an awesome piece of kit. I bought one for the Pokemon games, but have found a lot of charming little games to keep me busy on it.

  8. “As for the attitude of the games industry that benefits from this (especially EA Games with the likes of the FIFA franchise, Star Wars Battlefront, etc.), the whole lie about “Their not Loot Boxes, there surprise mechanics” is utter garbage. It’s gambling and therefore any game which includes it should be R rated for Adults Only.”

    No-one stops kids playing the penny rollers at the beach.

    I’m not sure that kids getting scammed isn’t a good thing. I remember getting scammed a lot as a kid. Toys that looked great in the ads but were terrible, tacky knock-offs of Star Wars at the local ABC, losing your money in the penny roller at the fair. It all contributes to your development. Better to have kids realise there’s people who are trying to scam them when they’re small, than when they’re signing up for a degree in Underwater Basket Weaving at Tipton Poly.

  9. I’m an avid gamer too, and pride myself on simply not buying the loot boxes, so the win is all the sweeter.

    The problem here is that games like Star Wars Battlefront are deliberately engineered to make the grind so hard that the garbage Loot Boxes are essentially required for reasonable game play.

    Never been much of a handheld console gamer, but the Switch is an awesome piece of kit. I bought one for the Pokemon games, but have found a lot of charming little games to keep me busy on it.

    Gotta say that I love my Switch. I bought it just for Zelda Breath of the Wild which is (imho) the most awesome game ever. Just need more time…

  10. JuliaM,

    I’m getting one soon. I want the kids to play out in the sun a bit longer, but October time I’ll get one.

    Switch is a sensible port for a lot of game companies because it has controllers. And if you build your game with something like Unity 3D, you reuse a lot of what you built. And game companies can see it’s a good platform because they can sell to portable gamers. It’s offering what no-one else is for them. Which is why you’re getting a ton of non-Nintendo on there like Diablo 3, Rocket League, TerraTech, Wolfenstein and Terraria.

  11. I was never much of a gamer (too spaz) but I did enjoy Tomb Raider and Sim City. When the games went online (requirement) I didn’t follow. When the internet is down is when I want to be gaming.

    Plus – sell me something and fuck off out of my life. Cxnts.

    (took me ages to get a smart phone, and still haven’t downloaded an “app”. Not even properly old yet)

    (humbug)

  12. No different from the Panini football sticker albums of the 70s and 80s. You buy hoping for the Brazilian Socrates, but you keep getting Alan bloody Brazil.

  13. I see sticker packs, card booster packs etc are still on sale. As they have been for years.
    Offline though so no one thinks of kids using parental credit card with it – instead kid pays cash or parents pay by card in person.

    There’s an X-wing board game out – OK its a mini fig game. Nice enough to play. Lots of expansion ships.
    There’s a plane dogfighting game out – basically similar except with machine guns not lasers. Lots of expansion models and rules. Oh look more cost….

    The thing that annoys this writer is that people choose to spend money on things the writer does not like.
    That’s what is annoying to them.

  14. There are a a lot of fun games that don’t involve a screen, such as Seven Wonders and Settlers of Catan, plus a lot of ‘railroad’ games. Of course, these involve face-to-face contact with other people…

  15. Well, if not the game industry, who should it be?

    As someone noted above – as long as the littel bastards pay out of their own funds, its a good learning experience.

    Pissing away your own money on crap that your pre-intelligent peers think is worthwhile… Should teach something’s perspectives change.

  16. I sneeze in threes,

    “No different from the Panini football sticker albums of the 70s and 80s. You buy hoping for the Brazilian Socrates, but you keep getting Alan bloody Brazil.”

    I remember how no-one in the playground had Stig Blomqvist, the rally driver. It was weird how everyone had a gap. Then, soon after, everyone got him.

    I can’t help but wonder if they held back on Stiggy. Get kids pouring money into cards, desperately trying to complete, string it out a bit longer.

  17. Dammit, Justin, if I have to explain my jokes . . . .
    Government has banned child employment. They can’t get employee discounts cos they can’t be employees.

    And here’s a clue for Bedell:

    ‘the $137.9bn (£110bn) gaming industry makes much of its profit by ripping off children. Young people are being nudged, enticed and coerced not only to carry on playing but also paying.’

    This is akin to the CM scum claiming the rich got rich by taking from the poor.

    The poor are poor because they DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO TAKE! Similarly, kids don’t have ANY MONEY. You can’t get £110bn from people who don’t have any money.

  18. The Switch is a nice bit of kit but the premium games are £40+, not much cheaper second hand. When did this stuff get so expensive?

    Anyway, I’m still trying to finish Leather Goddesses of Phobos.

  19. Everything Bloke on M4 says here is on the money. The Guardian would do better by its readers passing on his advice than whining for the government to fix everything.

    I’m about to get a Switch, too. Definitely a good idea to get your kids something like that instead of a phone. That said, my kids are currently playing Planet Coaster on our PC and it’s really creative and they’re learning real physics in their attempts to design roller coasters. There are some excellent games if you go looking for them.

  20. “No different from the Panini football sticker albums of the 70s and 80s. You buy hoping for the Brazilian Socrates, but you keep getting Alan bloody Brazil.”

    I remember how no-one in the playground had Stig Blomqvist, the rally driver. It was weird how everyone had a gap. Then, soon after, everyone got him.

    I can’t help but wonder if they held back on Stiggy. Get kids pouring money into cards, desperately trying to complete, string it out a bit longer.

    Just the working of probability: Just because tails came up last time doesn’t make it any more likely to get heads the next.
    The stickers were always printed with a complete set on every sheet, and then cut and randomised before packing.. (The in-house designed machinery to do that was far from simple)
    {I worked for Panini in the 1980s]

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