24

Fault

May 20, 2022 by Tim

So Blizzard is getting sued again (seems to be their new hobby), this time by a father who is upset that his child bought a bunch of Hearthstone card packs and can’t refund them after getting garbage.

Read More ▼

Polygon reported on it here, but the gist seems to be: Dad gives his daughter access to a device connected to his credit card, and over the course of three years, she buys $300 worth of Hearthstone booster packs. He eventually wises up, and upon realizing that a) she didn’t get any good cards and b) can’t refund the purchases, decides to sue Blizzard because they didn’t properly educate his child on the shittiness of random-draw card packs.

There’s a lot of angles to this thing. I am a parent, and I know as well as anyone, being a parent is hard. Especially in this day and age. It’s a lot of work. There are so many things you have to watch out for, dangers you have to be aware of and educate your kids on… it isn’t easy to stay on top of it all. I try my best not to be too critical of other people’s parenting; we all have our own approaches, and we all make mistakes.

I can understand not realizing that you connected your credit card to an app your kid is using. I can understand not being aware a game includes lootbox-esque purchases (and I can get on board with the idea that kids should be protected from predatory microtransaction mechanics). These are mistakes parents can make.

However the moment a parent decides that those kinds of mistakes are no longer their mistakes, but the responsibility of a massive corporation that requires litigation to remedy… I don’t know. At that point I have a hard time finding the angle to that I can agree on. I mean yeah, corporations are shitty and do shitty things. But the first line of defense has to be the parents themselves, and if you’re not exercising the most basic fundamentals, it seems silly to expect Blizzard to do it for you. Especially since Blizzard definitely does have parental controls for play time and purchases, which means this parent just chose not to implement them. And yet still seems to expect the game should have done his parenting for him?

Read Less ▲


Subscribe
Notify of
guest
162 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Stefan
Stefan
1 month ago

totally agree with you, common sense is not so common it seems

Bakhtosh
Bakhtosh
1 month ago
Reply to  Stefan

Common sense is not a gift. It’s a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn’t have it.

TimeViewer
TimeViewer
1 month ago
Reply to  Bakhtosh

My Grandmother asked me a question many years ago, “What are the 2 least common things in the world?” her answer “Common Sense and Common Courtesy” I told her I’d try to be an uncommon man

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago
Reply to  Bakhtosh

I wouldn’t say it’s a lack of common sense in this matter. The ratings of video games are very lacking right now in that they don’t warn that there are gambling like practices in games right now so unless you play that game and are aware of the details for it, then your kid can stumble upon a game with predatory practices without you knowing. As a parent, it’s pretty hard to keep up with that kind of stuff because you are so super busy. My sister was a gamer but when she had kids, she had to give them… Read more »

Extreme
Extreme
1 month ago
Reply to  Urazz

You can’t expect a warning label on everything that comes along in life. If you demand this, you end up like California where everything has 17 warnings on it and you no longer have any idea what is actually dangerous to your health and what might potentially raise your risk of cancer by 1% over the course of 30 years. The more we baby people and try to hand hold them with ratings and warning labels, the more information overload there is going to be and the less useful the warnings become. I fail to see why another “Caution: Knives… Read more »

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago
Reply to  Extreme

I dunno in the cases of loot boxes they could easily rate games with loot boxes as rated for adults.

The knives are sharp example in this comic is extremely different than stuff like lootboxes because it is a widely known fact that knives are sharp when you buy one. In the case of video games, you may not even know the game has loot boxes or even know what they are unless you played video games for a couple of years.

James
1 month ago
Reply to  Urazz

I don’t play video games and even when I did, loot boxes werent a thig.

And yet, strangely enough, I know about loot boxes.

micro transactions are well known.

Any parent who links their credit card to an account and then gives their child access to said account is inherently responsible.

Because that credit card is obviously there for a purpose.

Last edited 1 month ago by James
Matthew Stanford
Matthew Stanford
1 month ago
Reply to  Extreme

“If you demand this, you end up like California…”

With the second highest life expectancy out of all the states, that doesn’t seem like a bad thing…

Last edited 1 month ago by Matthew Stanford
Intabus
Intabus
1 month ago

That seems like literal torture. You not only live in California… but you have to live there LONGER? Hello United Nations, I’d like to report a war crime under the Geneva Convention.

Jacob
Jacob
1 month ago
Reply to  Stefan

‘Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment’. This aphorism was attributed to Dr Kerr L White.

I’ve used this for so many years, I had to look up who actually said it first. Every interaction is a learning experience, which *eventually* leads to common sense.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Stefan

I think a sense of personal responsibility (or lack there-of) is also to blame.

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

I think, what’s to blame is, that tech guys like us believe, that our skill level is average. And the same time we have no clue of other fields. Would you be confident, to tell, when your car mechanic, your handyman or your doctor tries to swindle you into a costly procedure that you don’t actually need? And if you, for some reason, actually know tons about these three fields, I guarantee you, that there are enough fields, where you don’t even know the basics. Tech guys often think, people who don’t understand tech, are stupid, uneducated and/or irresponsible. That’s… Read more »

Extreme
Extreme
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack0r

Would you be confident, to tell, when your car mechanic, your handyman or your doctor tries to swindle you into a costly procedure that you don’t actually need?

I know enough to Google the problem and at the bare minimum perform basic sanity checks on what’s being said to me. Looking up basic information on various disciplines is not a “techie thing” anymore. That is a basic life skill.

Fela
Fela
1 month ago
Reply to  Extreme

If that were a basic life skill, then everyone would have it. I’m pretty sure that’s already an advanced life skill.

Tyler Provick
1 month ago
Reply to  Stefan

Common sense is what we call things we were taught so long ago we forgot we were taught them.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 month ago

For something like Hearthstone, sure. That’s a game that’s mostly aimed at teens to adults but also grabs the younger crowd. But there are also a LOT of games that use predatory gacha mechanics that exist solely because children don’t know how much they’re spending and adults don’t find out or care. I don’t feel like this is a black-and white issue. The fault doesn’t fall solely with the parents or solely with the companies. Parents HAVE to be responsible. But there should also be a reasonable expectation, that games which are marketed to children, should not have overly predatory… Read more »

smiley
smiley
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

 But there should also be a reasonable expectation, that games which are marketed to children, should not have overly predatory monetization methods.

Try telling that to Roblox game makers…

GChatz
GChatz
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

why limit it to games marketed for children? there are adults that suffer from gambling addiction, why enable scumbags take advantage of them? what do we gain from gacha games?

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 month ago
Reply to  GChatz

What do we gain from casinos? From race tracks? From lotteries? Magic the Gathering cards? Topps Baseball cards? Those little blind bags that have a random LEGO character in them?

Look, I agree that it’s toxic, but so are cigarettes, and we don’t ban every person alive from having it. We limit it to people who are old enough to know better, and give those people the freedom to choose for themselves.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Many of those have regulations limiting them, for instance wrt advertisement.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 month ago

As they should! To make sure they’re not advertised to minors, to educate the public, and even sometimes to control usage. I’m all for regulating. Outright banning, though, is problematic, at least in the States.

GasBandit
GasBandit
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

At least the Lottery’s funds go to schools and parks.

Phoenix
Phoenix
1 month ago
Reply to  GasBandit

Any money public facilities receive from the lottery gets deducted from what they would receive from the state.
They gain 0 extra dollars, but the state has to pay them less.
The lottery is a tax on the poor and dumb and nothing else.

Halosty
Halosty
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

MTG cards have cool art. I know that’s not a stunning endorsement of their value, but it’s more than a lot of things.

7eggert
7eggert
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

From casinos we gain ruined families and crime to pay gambling bills.

Snowfae
Snowfae
1 month ago
Reply to  GChatz

Can confirm. I had to quit Genshin Impact because I sat down and did the math on how much I’d spent on wishes. I loved the gameplay but YIKES.

I’m an adult though, I can do the math and work that out. A kid genuinely doesn’t know any better and good luck trying to sue a Chinese game developer if you’re in America. Parents need to pay attention to their kids. Its not always easy, but if you don’t do it then you’re gonna wake up one day to a credit card bill an inch thick.

Briggs
Briggs
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Imo games with gambling mechanics should be rated 18+ AO. Why do games rated E for everyone (hearthstone is T) need parental controls to protect families from financial ruin? That’s absolutely insane to me.

HonoredMule
HonoredMule
1 month ago
Reply to  Briggs

That’s a damn good point. Parent lets child play a game rated E for everyone, and the whole _point_ of ratings is to simplify things like parental guidance. Upon seeing that rating, parent should have been able to say “ok, it’s safe, play away” and give it no further thought. No financial pitfalls, no caveats, full stop. The world has grown way too complicated to expect everyone to be a generalist-level expert on everything just to avoid getting swindled, deceived, sexually or physically abused, indoctrinated or radicalized, medically misdiagnosed… Corporations must be assigned responsibility to match all that power they… Read more »

Extreme
Extreme
1 month ago
Reply to  Briggs

This wouldn’t work. The entire ESRB rating system is voluntary, and for good reason: there’s a lot of subjective reasoning and value judgements that go into rating a game, which introduces all sorts of avenues for corruption, litigation, etc. if it was required for games. Additionally, you can say goodbye to indie titles if ESRB became a tangle of legislative mess. Nothing would make big publishers happier than having a mess of legal requirements that smaller companies would have to navigate to independently publish. Long story short, if “gambling” was suddenly automatically AO, nobody would get their games rated anymore.… Read more »

FITCamaro
FITCamaro
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Yeah you ruined your argument with the “parents don’t find out or care”. Parents should know and should care. It shouldn’t matter what the game does. If you don’t like the mechanics, don’t play the game. And know what your kids are doing to protect them from such things. That’s a parents job.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 month ago
Reply to  FITCamaro

My argument was that there is shared responsibility, and that companies prey on parents not being able to be 100% vigilant and 100% aware of every little thing their kids are exposed to are also at fault. Not “at fault instead of.” You say, “it shouldn’t matter what the game does.” That is absolutely false. Any company that interacts with children is held to a higher level of scrutiny and has to adhere to additional regulation, simply because children aren’t at an age where they make decisions for themselves, and no parent can be there 100% of the time, watching… Read more »

docfuturity
docfuturity
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

So your argument is comparable to the old “My house was robbed, but I am partially to blame because I forgot to lock my door.” Which, I hate to say it, is directly comparable to, “I was raped, but it was because I wore a short skirt.” Very poor logic here.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 month ago
Reply to  docfuturity

So you’d prefer it to be, “My house was robbed, and I am fully to blame because I didn’t lock my door?” Because that’s the same argument made by the people who say, “Yes, it’s greedy and immoral, but the fault rests with the parents who should watch their kids.” Also, I think the “very poor logic” is trying to say a full-on felony against an innocent person is at the same level as selling a kid a $1 randomized digital reward. Shared responsibility is a concept that exists, and you’re going to need to understand, if you ever want… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Eldest Gruff
7eggert
7eggert
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Or maybe “my house was robbed and no matter what the robber is to blame”.

Donni
Donni
1 month ago
Reply to  docfuturity

Sorry, but your comparison is faulty. You are correct in saying the argument is the same, but not locking your door is careless and you can be blamed for carelessness. In the rape scenario on the other hand wearing a short skirt is a very normal thing and not careless at all, so it shouldn’t be blameable. So Eldest Gruff is correct in his argument for shared responsibility and you’d have a very hard time trying to get your insurance to pay for the robbery if you left your door unlocked.

Extreme
Extreme
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Are we A-OK with children gambling now?

I am. I would rather they take their allowance to the casino and learn the easy way instead of being sheltered from it until they are 18 and then suddenly being exposed to gambling at the same time they’re eligible to apply for credit cards without the safety net of parental oversight.

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago
Reply to  FITCamaro

Problem is that the rating system alone should be enough warning for the parents to know not to let their kids play that game and the big game companies that pretty much control the ratings purposefully ensure that their games aren’t marketed as for adults only because of shady business practices that are basically gambling. They don’t want to limit the amount of people exposed to their games and want to maximize their profits. A lot of people don’t play video games, so they aren’t aware of the pitfalls in them right now because of greedy people hiding their shady… Read more »

Dodgy
Dodgy
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

While you make a point about some games being predatory, in the end the responsibility lies solely with the parents. It is they who should educate, monitor and take action when and where needed.

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  Dodgy

I honestly don’t feel that way. Yes, you and I, we’ve played enough games and been around on the internet long enough to know many of the pitfalls that we have to shield our kids from. But there are many smart and educated people around, who have never played a single game in their life and have hardly any clue about these issues. Many of us tech guys think, that everything digital is a basic skill that everyone needs to have, and if anyone doesn’t know it all, they are uneducated idiots. That’s just not true. We tech guys are… Read more »

Extreme
Extreme
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack0r

I would expect most parents when dealing with a major purchase or change, either one their kids are buying or one they are buying for their kids, to do their due diligence. For a kindergarten, this would involve at least calling and asking questions about the program and what sorts of things the kids will be doing, and if there’s anything they can do to enhance the experience or safety of their kids. This doesn’t make them a teacher, this makes them a parent. For a first car purchase, I would expect them to look up safety ratings and KBB… Read more »

7eggert
7eggert
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

Even adults may be vulnerable. Gambling addiction is a thing and it’s not called “addiction” just because someone liked the word. Exploiting sick people is not a honorable business model.

For normal players the option to gain advantages for money just ruins the fairness and the gameplay.

Logan
Logan
1 month ago

$300, in the span of three years? By most kids standards, I’d almost say she was being frugal! xD

Seen other horror stories where the kids went and wracked up at least 10x that amount. Sometimes in under half the time!

In this case, yeah.. he’s totally trying to redirect to cover for his crappy, lazy parenting. Hell, I’d almost question whether or not “his kid” even did it at all, given that he was upset about “no good cards”. So he’s just throwing her under the bus, as an excuse to go after Blizz.

Pulse
Pulse
1 month ago
Reply to  Logan

hes going to be out more in court costs if the judge doesnt throw it out for being frivolous. despite being who they are and the shitshow they are making of games lately, there is no way they are losing a lawsuit 90% of the app stores are involved in.

Robert Loughrey
Robert Loughrey
1 month ago
Reply to  Pulse

Exactly. He’ll be lucky if the judge doesn’t order him to pay the Blizzard legal costs which would easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Pulse
Pulse
1 month ago

im both sad and relieved there are measures against blizzard deciding to go ham with lawyer costs too.

TheDiscordian
TheDiscordian
1 month ago
Reply to  Logan

That was my first thought too. Dude got off light and his daughter showed amazing restraint. He should be happy things turned out so well.

foducool
foducool
1 month ago

“oh no, my gacha gave me shit rewards, whatever should I do?”
well, for starters, never EVER bet on anything you’ll save up a lot of money that way

Nayrael
Nayrael
1 month ago

Way too many people act like others should do the parenting for them, and this father seems like no exception. Shouldn’0t have given his daughter access to credit card in the first place.

The lawsuit is dumb. It wouldn’t pass for physical CCGs, where children buy cards in shops and people see they are kids (many of us bought many Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh cards in our childhood), yet alone here.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Nayrael

So in my opinion there are a couple issues with this. First: as a father of two, and being into gaming myself, I know for a fact, that I STILL will not have the time to get into all games that my kids will play some day. And with game updates being the norm, I cannot check every game that did not have parental controls or anything of the kind before, on a regular basis. Or if a game that was “clean” before, now has added predatory mechanics. Second: actually physically going to the store and parting with the physical… Read more »

Christopher
Christopher
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

I’m not a parent, so I could be off base here, but here’s my thoughts. Parents spend time with their kids, so can some of that time occasionally be watching or playing the game they’re playing, so you can get a sense of whether there’s any objectional elements to it? Or you could periodically do searches for game titles and terms like loot, micro transactions, mature, etc on Reddit to see if anyone is complaining. Also, for the financial piece, if you’ve given a kid’s game your card, I’d be looking at statements to make sure nothing excessive is going… Read more »

Vampyrr
Vampyrr
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

So you give them a mobile device with no card attached to it and dont have this issue.

omg omg
omg omg
1 month ago
Reply to  Vampyrr

I don’t understand why people configure their phones to have access to their bank accounts freely, with no need of a password. This kind of configuration is quite dangerous by itself.

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  omg omg

This comes back to predetory and unclear practices and missing knowledge. For example, say you have an Android phone and a Google account (might be similar with Apple, but I don’t use it and have no idea about it). So you bought a few apps, and don’t want your wife to have to pay for them as well. So you setup a family group and add her. It strongly asks you to add a family payment option now, so you do, because otherwise apps, that your wife buys, will not be added to the family group. Once you have the… Read more »

Giuliano Marques
Giuliano Marques
1 month ago
Reply to  Nayrael

Shit is, he will probably get “refunded”, Blizzard would spend much more than $300 by just sending the lawyer to argument.

Someone Concerned
Someone Concerned
1 month ago

Yes and no.

It’s kind of like the whole “We do not negotiate with t********” rules. The moment you do it once, then the other ones will assume (heck, expect or demand) you’ll do it for THEM.

Giving in here might be cheap in the short term, but then lots of people will start whining that they got garbage cards and expect “refunds.” Even when it wasn’t a legitimate “my kid did it without my knowledge” but “damn, I blew $500 on bad cards… let me get one” Now you have thousands of people wanting $500+ refunds.

Philosopher In A Vest
Philosopher In A Vest
1 month ago
Reply to  Nayrael

I mean with physical cards I’m able to sell those cards for real world value or trade them to others for a different card. So while I might spend 100$ on a box of MtG there are always chase cards like “Jace Walletbreaker” that might get me that money back.

Ashi
Ashi
1 month ago

That doesn’t diminish it at all. If anything, it makes it MORE akin to gambling!

Extreme
Extreme
1 month ago

You can dust the cards you didn’t want to get the one you really wanted. Is it inefficient? Sure, but chances were you weren’t going to get a favorable trade out of a bunch of random Magic cards either.

Actually, a trading mechanic in Hearthstone would be pretty cool. It’s a shame that we can’t have nice things because the WoW gold sellers would instantly branch out into card/dust sellers and destroy it.

GUNnibal
GUNnibal
1 month ago

kids should be protected from predatory microtransaction mechanics

This. Very much this. Mechanics that are created for the sole purpose of exploiting those who don’t know any better are simply not ok.
Does this mean that no one should have access to lootboxes/card packs? No. It means that more care is required when choosing the target audience for these.

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

“Does this mean that no one should have access to lootboxes/card packs?” Yes, it does. These things are always predatory by nature. If they aren’t preying on children, they’re preying on adults with gambling addictions or impulse control issues. And even to those who aren’t vulnerable, it’s still simply a garbage business model. Who wants to buy a random chance to get the thing they want? I just want to buy the thing I want directly. It’s certainly possible to operate digital game storefronts this way, companies just don’t want to because there’s more profit for them in making it… Read more »

GUNnibal
GUNnibal
1 month ago

First things first – this is definitely not the hill for me to die on, I’m not going to defend this business model, for lack of a better word. I realize that your position on this is solid and easy to defend, I won’t try to persuade you that somehow these things are ok (one of the reasons being that I don’t think so myself, as I already mentioned). However, I prefer to look at things realistically. You ask: “Who wants to buy a random chance to get the thing they want?” Well, if we are to examine the profits… Read more »

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

Legal pushback might help a bit. There is quite a bit of legislation on the way in the US and in the EU (and some other countries), which tries to curb at least the most predatory practices. The problem isn that advancing technology makes this an increasingly difficult battle for the customers. F2P games with their lootbox and other mechanics are designed by psychologists to exploit weaknesses in human behaviour. There are tens of thousands of highly skilled professionals working on creating systems that are incredibly efficient at tricking people into spending money. Most people would never spend even €5… Read more »

Pulse
Pulse
1 month ago

ive played a few games where the gacha systems actually progressively improve with use. after a certain usage count youre auto forced the best rewards on the next. its one way to make it less crappy, even a bad draw is actually helping you increase your chances.

Robert Loughrey
Robert Loughrey
1 month ago

While I agree with the ethics of what you’re saying, trying to control a vice with a law never works.

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago

Oh, it does. Means most companies won’t do it out of fear of getting taken to court and losing a whole lot more easily and also the potential of getting shut down as well if they break the law too much.

Extreme
Extreme
1 month ago
Reply to  Urazz

It just makes it less visible. Gambling laws get passed which force casinos to specific areas and the official gambling numbers and figures go down. Politicians predictably declare victory over gambling. Meanwhile, Grandma is now getting her slot machine fix in the back room of the laundromat with the rest of her knitting crew on a row of illegal one-armed bandits.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 month ago

I agree in theory, but at this point, collectible cards have been a part of our culture for over 150 years. You’re not going to be able to bar fully grown adults from wasting their money on cardboard, at least not in the US, where 45 out of 50 states’ governments are partially funded from lotteries.

Last edited 1 month ago by Eldest Gruff
Pulse
Pulse
1 month ago
Reply to  GUNnibal

best bet for teaching kids how to spend money safely could actually be related. get one of the loadable cards and give them it, i got one specifically for use with paypal and internet stuff. it only has what you load and they can use it as they want. boom they get to spend freely with their allowance and when they run dry and complain you shrug and say they gotta learn to not waste it.

Jaeger
Jaeger
1 month ago

Everything about this does sound like the parent messing up and refusing to own up their mistake. Funnily enough I met exactly same attitude with shop lifters, nothing was ever their fault and they never did anything wrong. Being security guard really diminishes ones faith in their fellow man. You witness so much stupidity, entitlement and disrespect towards rights of others while thinking theirs are unviolable.

TL:DR Nothing suprises me about human stupidity anymore.

HelloWorld
HelloWorld
1 month ago
Reply to  Jaeger

Same working in IT.

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  HelloWorld

As a software dev, I really hate how arrogant many IT people are. They know a lot about their profession, and harshly judge everyone who doesn’t as uneducated or stupid.

What about you? Are there fields you don’t know much about? You don’t have a doctor title in medicine? How uneducated are you?

You don’t know anything about architecture or psychology? You must be really dumb.

Do you even know how to operate an airliner? How do you even make it through the day?

Extreme
Extreme
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack0r

What about you? Are there fields you don’t know much about? You don’t have a doctor title in medicine? How uneducated are you? Between my mom being a nurse and a healthy command of search engines, I’m knowledgeable enough about medicine to self-treat minor issues and know when something is serious enough that it needs to be looked at. Degrees aren’t worth that much – I’ve personally heard from doctors that Google is indispensable for them nowadays with the sheer volume of medical information available. There are both awesome and absolutely terrible doctors that both have the same sheet of… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Extreme
Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  Extreme

No, the point was actually, that everyone has areas where they aren’t educated. And calling all people stupid, who just so happen to have other areas of expertise is completely overbearing. Putting up some store furniture and building an apartment complex isn’t remotely comparable, same with being able to google some medicine and knowing how to do surgery. I’d be very happy if my surgeon didn’t get his degree from Google. And while Google is an indispensable tool, it doesn’t replace knowledge and experience. As a dev, I spend a significant portion of my work time on Google, because it,… Read more »

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  Jaeger

Compare it to something else: There is this indoor playground, that all your kid’s friends talk about. You check it out, read a few reviews on Google Maps. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive and the place has a big “E for Everyone” sign at the door. Everything there is colourful and clearly designed for kids. You’ve never been in an indoor playground before and don’t really have any idea about them. So you send your kid there, and it turns out, the thing is actually a cleverly disguised underground gambling operation. Is this clearly the parent’s stupidity now? Or is… Read more »

Extreme
Extreme
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack0r

Did you send your kid there with a wad of cash to spend, without asking any questions as to why they need a bunch of money in order to play on a playground? That’s on you.

Jaeger
Jaeger
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack0r

You forgot that the parent also handed their credit card to the child as they send the child in to that playground/gambling den. Two brain cells is enough to make one think: “Maybe I should put some block here so the kid wont buy anything ludicrous with this unprotected payment method”. Also I have seen enough cases where parents ignore the age limit anyway, or teens using their older siblings expired ID. And big warning labels wont work, as any one who’s done retail can prove, the people will ask the price even when the item and it’s price are… Read more »

Lily
Lily
1 month ago

The second part of their argument kind of sounds like they would be okay with tricking kids into buying packs, as long as they got better odds. I feel they would of been better off not mentioning that they didn’t good cards, because that just makes them sound more petty.

SirCadian
SirCadian
1 month ago

It is hard these days. I bought my kid an android phone the week before he left primary school so that he could keep in contact with all his school friends when they moved on to other schools. That decision bit me in the bum twice over the coming years. The first incident was when he took advantage of a 30-day free subscription to Google Play. He didn’t realise that he would be charged after the 30 days were up. I didn’t realise that despite not having put my credit-card anywhere near that device it would be charged through to… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by SirCadian
Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  SirCadian

You are absolutely right. As a parent you are up against huge corporations that employ psychologists to trick you and your kids into spending money. You can be vigilant and stop some of these traps, but you can’t catch all of them.

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
1 month ago

It’s easy to judge, to bring up “that game has parental controls!” when we’re all gamers who happen to know that already. But not all parents are gamers. It seems a little unfair, a little unwilling to look outside our own bubble, and blame other parents for not knowing everything about a hobby they aren’t interested in. The knife comparison seems way off, as if everyone should know how predatory video games are these days in the same way everyone does know that knives are sharp. Why should people who don’t play video games know how predatory they are these… Read more »

GraySkye
GraySkye
1 month ago

Parental controls have been a part of life for a long time now. Sky had a pin number you could set and with the rise in tech, parental controls are a lot more common. My mum, closest she gets to being called a gamer is maybe a couple party games a year (Quiz game style) knows about parental control so its not just a ‘gamers knowledge’ thing. To be honest, the first level of parental control is not fixing a card to a game, making it easy for a child to just click buy what ever they want. I do… Read more »

John Swift
John Swift
1 month ago

Ya, ideally he should be using an overall parental controls feature on the device that should lock purchases for the whole device w/o permission cuz trying to keep track of every small app would be alot of effort since kids could eaisly bore of many basic mobile games in under an hour.

Sanquin
Sanquin
1 month ago

This has been a trend with parents, relating to all kinds of things, for years. Youtube’s crackdown on swearing and the recent age verification in europe, despite there being A YOUTUBE KIDS specifically for kids already. The oculus quest 2 requiring you to be 13+ to use it, yet tons of parents buying it for their <12 year olds anyway. And the list goes on. And every time those parents (and their defenders) cry “but what about the children?!” I’ve been saying it from the start. “Stop relying on big companies and the internet to parent your children. Friggin’ parent… Read more »

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  Sanquin

It’s been a trend with parents to rely on shops not selling their 8 year olds alcohol and cigarets. And on indoor playgrounds not to feature pornography or undue extra payments for everything, without easy ways for parents to limit their kids’ spending there.

What lazy parents.

We should remove all age restrictions for brothels, bars, alcohol and casinos, since responsible parents will make sure that the kids will never touch anything like that.

What a good thing, that there has never been underage drinking or anything like that on this planet.

nealithi
nealithi
1 month ago

This may sound harsh. But I don’t care about the micro-transactions. Parents have been singing this ‘think about the children’ song for decades. “Oh noes! Power Rangers shows martial arts! My Children are jumping off the back of the couch screaming ‘Hiyaa’! The networks need to change this! Think of the children!” To an adult broke a child swing by sitting on it. So no swings. The siren song of others should parent for them has been going on for too long. How about suing food makers because the ‘healthy’ almond milk is loaded with sugars? But on the actual… Read more »

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
1 month ago

It seems to be a running theme recently

Toke
Toke
1 month ago

I mean yeah, corporations are shitty and do shitty things. But the first line of defense has to be the parents themselves, You’re not wrong, but that doesn’t mean that we couldn’t hold gaming companies to a higher standard. Instead of depicting a knife in the first frame, what if you had depicted a toy with a rusty nail in it? I mean, games are clearly made for fun, and yet, we can all see the rusty nail. It’s right there. Does that mean that the producer of the toy should get away with putting rusty nails in toys…? Couldn’t… Read more »

GraySkye
GraySkye
1 month ago
Reply to  Toke

Problem with the ‘rust nail’ is its crap and generally an unsafe design for a toy, so the adult would have a case against said company. A knife is designed to cut, it did what is was designed to do, trying to take the company to court because it cut something is stupid. Giving your child your credit card and being offended when they use it to buy something is not something you can take the company to court over. The parent gave the kid the knife/card and when the child used said item the parent got all pissy about… Read more »

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  GraySkye

Are knives usually marketed as safe, kids friendly toys? With an age rating for kids? Today’s strip clearly acknowledges that games and microtransactions can be dangerous, otherwise it wouldn’t use the knife for the analogy. But it says, the parent should have known, it was dangerous. Say, you know nothing about games in general and microtransactions and stuff. The kid wants to play Hearthstone so you first check the age ratingn which says 7+. Ok, the kid is 7, so that works out. Next, you check out the trailer and the Play Store page. All looks nice, kid-friendly and cartoony.… Read more »

GraySkye
GraySkye
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack0r

Well then that parent lives a very sheltered life. Micros are being complained about everywhere and the bare minimum parental control is a password on anything involving your card. Not saying the game is innocent in this situation but a toy with an obvious design flaw (Rusty nail) vs Obviously intended actions (knife) was the analogy. The parent gave the child free reign with their credit card and was surprised they spent money on the crap they said they were. That is closer to allowing a kid to play with a knife and them cutting themselves then a parent buying… Read more »

nealithi
nealithi
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack0r

Pardon me but you used a cursory examination to justify responsibility. Then ‘innocently’ forget about payment options on the phone. That does not ring of responsibility. I am going to move this a little to an argument I had in the Mal of Warts. They had this cute package with a cartoon kid with a cartoon dog in the freezer section. Right next to the cartoon polar bear and other cute animals selling ice cream and the like. What is wrong with this? Oh yeah that package was for a frozen dog food treat. The only response from management on… Read more »

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack0r

Dude you’re the dumbass who made a poor example of a toy with a rusty nail sticking out of it – something that obviously shouldn’t be there.

Microtransactions are there and this is no longer 2008 where parents can claim ignorance of turning off payment options on their phone. The functionality for abuse is there, so is the functionality to prevent easily foreseen abuse

If you give your kid a phone and you didn’t password secure payments, you essentially handed them a knife an act surprised when they got hurt – or in this case, you got hurt.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kaitensatsuma
Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  Kaitensatsuma

Dude, you’re the dumbass who can’t keep usernames apart.

I didn’t make the nail comparison.

J.D.
J.D.
1 month ago

less then $10/ month? is hardly noticeable is it?
whats he complaining about? why would blizzard even let this become a lawsuit? wouldn’t it be cheaper to just give him his 300 bucks then involve lawyers?

Jacob
Jacob
1 month ago
Reply to  J.D.

Pay one, pay them all. That $300 concession would bankrupt them in the end of the landslide that follows.

Let the courts slap down the frivolous lawsuit and recoup the costs of the lawyers you already have on the payroll instead.

Smiffwilm
Smiffwilm
1 month ago
Reply to  J.D.

Sure. Then next time it’ll be just $500. Then just $1,000. Then a measly $3,000. And then a meager $100,000. Then $2,000,000.

nealithi
nealithi
1 month ago
Reply to  Smiffwilm

I think no matter what there needs to be a line.
Run your values the other way. Over three years a child spent $100, $50, $10.

When is the price so little that such a suit is frivolous?

Do we wait till someone’s child spend $1 buying a candy bar. It was full of sugars and fats. How dare <insert local convenience store> sell this. And my child didn’t even like it that much.

Cyrad
Cyrad
1 month ago

A game marketed to children should not have gambling mechanics with real-world money. Full stop.

In this case, the issue isn’t that the child made unauthorized purchases. The issue is that the parent feels outraged their purchases did not yield favorable results. *That* is dumb, and why the parent does not deserve a refund.

Pulse
Pulse
1 month ago

so 300 over 3 years, 100 a year, 8.34 a month. ive spent more than that on a wow subscription while not even having the game installed on my pc. should i sue blizzard for charging me for unused game time?

Detton
Detton
1 month ago

I’m with you, Tim. I get it as a parent, 100%, but I’m actually impressed with the kid’s ability to ONLY spend $300 over 3 years, comparatively. Shows a lot more restraint than the parent would probably have had. Really though, this isn’t a “class-action lawsuit” issue, this is a “we need to have gambling classified as gambling so that gambling games have gambling regulations associated with their gambling mechanics.” This lawsuit isn’t going to go anywhere on our current laws. The parent is ‘right’, but it’s not illegal for companies to do this. Class-action lawsuits won’t change that. Seems more… Read more »

FireballDragon
1 month ago

Have you ever heard the urban legend about the elderly lady who tried drying her cat off in her microwave after giving it a bath, and then sued the microwave company for not explicitly stating one shouldn’t put animals in there after the cat died as a result? Yeah, same energy.

Logan
Logan
1 month ago
Reply to  FireballDragon

No… O_o. Daphuq?

Kerrune
Kerrune
1 month ago

I totally agree the parent is responsible and is probably just using their kid as a scapegoat to get some bucks from blizzard for their own actions. But I do see a problem with the pay for a random reward system. It is 100% gambling and needs to be regulated as such. Kids under 18 aren’t allowed in casino’s, why should they be allowed to gamble in video games? Also those casino’s have a regulated pay out rate, these games set them by the interest level. Less people play increase the rewards more people play reduce them. Hell it can… Read more »

Ashi
Ashi
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerrune

We allow kids under 18 to buy physical CCGs. Either forbid both or neither.

Extreme
Extreme
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerrune

To be honest, I don’t have any problem with kids under 18 being permitted in casinos to gamble if they’re accompanied by and permitted to do so by their parent or guardian, the same as any other adult-ish activity like R rated movies or M rated games. It’s probably a better idea than having them go on their own and have no idea how to handle it or what to watch out for at 18 or 21. It’s not like anyone is twisting the parents’ arms and making them go to the casino.

Last edited 1 month ago by Extreme
Dave
Dave
1 month ago

Eh… I find it very hard to be on Blizzard’s side in anything these days.

Alcor
Alcor
1 month ago

I don’t believe she got no good cards. Hearthstone has some bad luck protection in there.

Extreme
Extreme
1 month ago
Reply to  Alcor

There’s a pity counter that automatically gives you a legendary after X packs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a *good* legendary.

Michael Delaney
Michael Delaney
1 month ago

There is precedent Apple already lost a similar case(s) where they got sued for a child spending money on microtransactions without parental consent, in nearly all cases it delivered improvements in customer service and refund policies (policies Blizzard doesn’t have)

Epic Games also lost a case over loot boxes, and ended up giving refund to customers.

Also any legal agreement signed by a minor may not be valid under the law, without guardian consent… so every EULA could be considered null and void making Blizzards arguements very interesting.

Jengo
Jengo
1 month ago

I have heard WORSE with candy crush! Most parents are technology idiots and are VERY unaware of how shit works. This is a thing that has been happening since i-pad exists and only god )if at all) knows when parents will be so detached from electronic devices.

Logan
Logan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jengo

it’s less that they’re technologically illiterate, and more that these types just want the phone/tablet/games to play babysitter for them. Rather than actually do some parenting.

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago
Reply to  Jengo

Yeah, I can tell you that my sister is not a technological idiot. She just doesn’t have the time to keep up with video games and predatory practices in them like she did before she had kids. Having kids and providing for them can eat up a lot of time to learn about other things unless you are in a career that lets you keep up with those kinds of things.

Robert Loughrey
Robert Loughrey
1 month ago

He can sue, but he certainly will not make it past the first day in court. Somewhere in the EULA was permission for Blizzard to do exactly what they did.

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago

EULA only applies to adults actually. I’m pretty sure a EULA is null and void when a kid approves it without the parents involved.

nealithi
nealithi
1 month ago
Reply to  Urazz

Question: How do you know the parent is not involved?
EULA is a contract and is several pages long in legalise. How many people read every single one? How many people read their rental agreement contract?
I am betting it was not very many because I annoyed people because I spent an hour in the office reading mine and noting discrepancies.

Elisa
Elisa
1 month ago

The lawsuit may be on the stupid side, but randomized card packs whether in real life or digitally are just a form of gambling. They are inherently predatory IMO. They’re just the original loot box format.

Snark
Snark
1 month ago

Ah come on, don’t blame him. “I’ll sue you” mentality became so deeply ingrained in American culture it is literally a national sport now. Even more – simple knee-jerk reflex. He just couldn’t control himself.
(Obviously, non-American here… Seriously, the readiness with which Americans are going to the court for the smallest things never fails to amaze).

Foxhood
Foxhood
1 month ago

I would note that Blizzard’s parental controls on purchase limitations only apply to their own storefronts. On mobile devices the respective platform storefronts supersede blizzard. So even if you set it in blizzard a kid could spend thousands if you hadn’t configured your mobile device itself to limit purchasing.

Just a word of caution to any parent with children playing hearthstone.

Totte
Totte
1 month ago

I do agree with you. Unfortunately I also believe the quickest way to get rid of the scumminies of micro transactions is to hit where it hurts the most. Since people are still buying then a healthy fine in court could do the trick.

FITCamaro
FITCamaro
1 month ago

Yeah….case of a bad parent. If you’re just letting your kid have access to a tablet/phone without any idea of what they’re installing and haven’t disabled purchases without your consent/password, that’s on you.

There are a couple mobile games our kids play on tablets. But they can’t make purchases and we monitor what is installed.

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago
Reply to  FITCamaro

Then again, they might’ve just looked at the game real quick and saw it was just a card battle game and didn’t think much of it. Not everyone is super tech savvy or aware of all that goes on in video games.

GurrenLagann
GurrenLagann
1 month ago

Only 300$? bruh remember that kid that spent 2000$ on FIFA? hahahah funny shit.

Bierfan
Bierfan
1 month ago

Hmmm…right here over in germany, we are regulary arguing about violence in videogames in the same way.
What, my 5 year old Child is killing People in GTA?!?
My 11 year old child is raging around and yelling at people in Call of Duty?
Blame the Videogame-Companies!
I mean…there are laws in germany that forbid to sale Games and Movies to children not in the right age.
And biiiiiig green, blue and red lables that say: “18 NOT for children under this age”

But who cares…those parents doesn’t and that’s the real problem.

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  Bierfan

Hearthstone has an age rating of 7+. It’s bright and colorful and clearly aimed at kids. So what’s your point? There is no real indication on the marketing material or even the first half hour of the game, that it is such a grindfest with gambling aspects. Usually, material rated with 7+ doesn’t have any dangerous pitfalls, that’s exaclty what that rating is there for. But microtransactions are not considered in that rating. With the games you mentioned, it is very clear from the cover what the game is about. They also all have high age ratings. With Hearthstone that… Read more »

Verdiekus
Verdiekus
1 month ago

I personally hate that companies can get away with gambling, especially with minors. I understand there is a bunch of legal crap that says it’s not gambling… but it is.

Soup
Soup
1 month ago

Normally I’d agree, but in this case, microtransaction systems are specifically designed to encourage this sort of behavior, particularly from children. And yet these systems are entirely unregulated and lawsuits are likely necessary to bring attention to the problem, even if they seem ridiculous on their own.

Dodgy
Dodgy
1 month ago

Let’s state it as it is. That parent is a cunt. Knowing what your kid is up to should be your first priority and as a father of 3, I know what I am talking about. My eldest (daughter of 7) loves to play games on her tablet. Those games also have micro transactions. We made damn sure that her play account is not connected to any sort of payment system like a phone, bank account or credit card. We use a giftcard code to put 5 euro on her account every month and if it’s gone, it’s gone. She… Read more »

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago
Reply to  Dodgy

I can tell you right now not everyone is tech savvy to know everything they can do on a cell phone, tablet, computer, etc. My parents and sister are such examples. My sister has kids and has fallen out of step on technology stuff and news around it since she became a parent. My father works on computers and is knowledgeable about computers but not games since the only games he ever really played are windows games like solitaire or minesweeper, so he is clueless in the matter of predatory practices in gaming. My mom knows enough to navigate around… Read more »

Ashe Frostwyrm
Ashe Frostwyrm
1 month ago

300 only ;D lmfao, he got lucky

back in the days with dream of mirrow online (so 2004), i had a clan member and she asked the support to remove the 500$ monthly limit becaus she hit its again after 3 days in the new month and dont want to wait again.

Allen
Allen
1 month ago

I dunno… I think companies including addictive, gambling mechanics in their games targeted at kids is kind of sleazy, even if their parents allow it. It’s like how food companies dump a bunch of sugar into all their foods. They do it because it’s addictive., not because it’s what makes a high quality product. And sure, it’s the parents job to read the nutritions and teach their kids “don’t eat junk”. But being a parent, 50% of everything I spend on my kids is to give me a break… ice cream, toys, video games, etc. $100 a year for an… Read more »

Simon Beech
Simon Beech
1 month ago

If you buy a horse race ticket for which you are rewarded in a random outcome decided by a horse race is gambling because there is little or no skill in the game. Children are therefore protected under gambling laws by an age limit in the UK. But a games company selling loot boxes…? That okay because, although the game is still completely random, the child isn’t winning anything tangible. ie: they don’t ‘win.’ As I deal with the massively increasing number of gambling addicts in my work place I find myself wondering when the rest of the world catches… Read more »

Xanthicirs
Xanthicirs
1 month ago

300 over the course of 3 years? That’s it? THAT’S WORTH SUING OVER???

ThatMageGuy
ThatMageGuy
1 month ago

I feel sorry for the kid.

Kids deserve more attentive parents.

DanVzare
1 month ago

On the one hand, I hate people who just carelessly let their kids spend money on micro-transactions and other things, without educating them.
On the other hand, I hate how companies get away with marketing micro-transactions to kids with no repercussions (yet the Game Corner in the Pokemon games is considered gambling and had to be removed, despite not involving any real money unlike micro-transactions).

Hmm… this whole situation is too nuanced for me… so I’m going to side with the parent on this one. Simply because I hate those type of companies more than those type of parents.

Sinnirr
Sinnirr
1 month ago

100% Positive that parent is a lib…

It’s always someone else’s responsibility.

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
1 month ago
Reply to  Sinnirr

Please don’t be so naive to pretend stupidity is unique to only one side in politics. It makes you seem even worse than this guy.

Sinnirr
Sinnirr
1 month ago
Reply to  GeorgeV

The parent is lawsuit happy over less than $9 per month? 🙄🙄🙄

Suck it up as a case of ‘I shouldn’t be allowed to use electronics’ lesson.

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
1 month ago
Reply to  Sinnirr

I’m not disagreeing with your sentiment that it’s a moronic lawsuit.

I just disagree with your notion that simply because it’s a moronic act, it somehow has to be conveniently related to the political side you disagree with.

And I honestly consider the notion of equating one political party with stupidity (and thus assuming that anyone being a moron has to be associated with said party) to be far more harmful than this lawsuit.

kylem16
kylem16
1 month ago

Blizzard isn’t liable, but nor should they be allowed to exploit these kinds of vulnerabilities. This is the exact role of regulation, where a strong FCC or some other org should be given the power to work with developers and push back on gambling or advertisement. It’s honestly a prime example of how government can protect both businesses and consumers.

Stabbmaster
Stabbmaster
1 month ago

The sad part is people use this same logic and apply it to EVERYTHING they find they didn’t want to take the time to prevent themselves in society.

RogueAgent
RogueAgent
1 month ago

Learned a slightly expensive lesson about children and devices with attached payment methods when I gave my son my old iPhone and forgot to remove the Amazon app, which still had my card on it. A couple hundred dollars and a few toys showing up on the front porch a couple days later and I corrected the issue (I admit, I’m pretty lax about checking my bank statement) but I didn’t take it out on my son or Amazon or Apple. I resolved what I could and went on with life. I will say that I’m glad my XB1, our… Read more »

raven0ak
raven0ak
1 month ago

Its never smart to give your kid direct access to your bank account, rather if you can do make separate account and card that your kid can use for entertainment, having only amount of monthly allowance… this helps kid also understand value they are throwing into gacha (eg, no more candy because you spent all into lootboxes)

Kaogen
Kaogen
1 month ago

I might be basing this off the ‘foot in the door’ method of rigging some early packs to give some good cards, but I find it hard to imagine someone could go through 300 bucks and not get some good cards. Also, I couldn’t find it, but does this mention her age at all? Because unless the father is well versed in what cards are good or not, there’s a good chance the kid was basing good/bad off what the cards looked like than anything else, and if the kid is like 17 then she should be entirely aware of… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Kaogen
Kelibath
Kelibath
1 month ago

I don’t know – I mean, I agree with pretty much everything in the comic update, but I wonder whether ultimately the only way to move companies TO protect kids from predatory microtransactions and the like is to have to do so in face of litigation attempts, with the way the world is atm

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago

In (at least most of) Europe, the parent would be clearly in the right. Over here (and I’d be kinda surprised of it was different in the US) children under 14 are legally not able to make purchases, since they legally don’t own money. Over here, as a parent, you are legally allowed to revert any purchase your kid has made. Otherwise, imagine your kid stole your credit card and bought something really expensive. It’s also to keep companies from targeting kids for purposes like that. I don’t understand, why we say, if a kid stole their parent’s credit card… Read more »