As we have seen through readings and class videos throughout the semester, ethical decisions aren’t always made when it comes to the creation of video games and phone applications. The main objective of game creators is not just to get people to play their game, but to make them become addicted to it and spend as much time and money while playing. This has become a large problem with children, who spend money by making “in-app purchases” to help them complete tasks or improve gameplay. Unfortunately, children do not understand their parents do not have unlimited cash flows, and the large purchases can cause huge financial strains for families.
Thankfully, creators of The Snowman have decided to put an end to the spending craze by children through the implementation of a policy where you can spend a maximum of 20 euros total. Although consultants have told Briggs that “a pricing cap is commercial suicide”, he believes you shouldn’t exploit the uninformed decision-making of children. This is not a choice the company has decided to use on all of their apps, which is probably a smart business move. Games created for an older audience should give users a chance to do with their money as they please because it is their money.
It will be interesting to see if any other companies decide to use this strategy when it comes to games to children, or if this decision to place a spending cap gains larger notoriety. I believe it will end up being a good choice in the long run. Parents may be more tempted to download apps if they know there is at least some regulation on how much money can be spent. I hope it leads to more ethical decisions being made in the gaming industry over the next few years.