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Mobile games aimed at children - are they lawful?

(2 Posts)
MEDIA: RaveofRavendale Tue 13-Aug-13 11:44:19

Hi there,

my name's Mike - I'm a long-time lurker on Mumsnet, since I had my first child (Oliver) at the start of last year. The reason I've signed up today is because I was hoping to broach a subject with Mumsnet regulars that I'm currently researching for an article (I'm a freelance journalist by trade.)

I don't know if many of you have smartphones and tablets, and if your children play mobile games on them. There's been a lot of discussion online regarding the way in which some of the developers of these games will purposely create experiences that are aimed at unfairly pressuring children into wanting to buy "in-app purchases". Essentially, most kids' games are free to download and play, but then throughout your child's play, the game will keep suggesting that they should pay money to speed things along, or buy additional content for the game.

It's actually gotten to the point now where the Office of Fair Trading has stepped in to investigate whether these games are unlawfully encouraging children to want to spend money in the game:

I'm currently putting together an article on the topic, delving into whether or not there is cause for concern when it comes to these children's games, and I'm hoping to gather together some stories from parents whose children play these sorts of games.

With this in mind, is there anyone on the Mumsnet forums who has stories about their children playing these mobile games? I don't mind if they are negative stories, positive stories, a simple message to say that they haven't found any problems at all with sitting their kids down with mobile games - all stories are very much appreciated. I understand that some people may perhaps want to share stories in private, and if that's the case, I would love anyone to email me at

Either way, thank you in advance to anyone who has a story to share!

RaveofRavendale Mon 02-Sep-13 07:46:15

Thanks to those who have emailed me with responses - if there is anyone else who would be willing to get in touch, please do!


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