We know our mobile gadgets are often the object of addiction. We also know that gaming can be incredibly habit-forming as well. Combine the two, and it’s enough to take down many an adult. But what about the children? Just think of the kids!
Well, that’s what a group of parents are doing via a class-action lawsuit against Apple. They allege that the company lures young users with free, but addictive gaming apps that wind up inducing them to make costly in-app purchases. According to the court filing, these games are “highly addictive, designed deliberately to be so, and tend to compel children playing them to purchase large quantities of game currency, amounting to as much as $100 per purchase or more.” One seven-year-old British kid even charged up $2,000 buying animals for Tap Zoo on the family iPad.
It’s almost as if they’re likening game app developers to drug dealers who give the first hit for free. And when the users are kids (with parents footing the bill), the situation becomes a much bigger issue.
The thing is, this case doesn’t seem to have a leg to stand on. The settings on iOS devices have already been tweaked so parents could block these kinds of transactions. And even though Apple provides the App Store marketplace and the framework for the developers, it’s the third-party devs who design the actual games.
Maybe so, but that didn’t stop a San Jose, CA, judge from greenlighting this lawsuit.
Mothers 1, Apple 0.