Gaming: Warning for parents over 'in-game purchases'

Last updated at 10:47
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The boy who cost his mum £600 in FIFA add-ons

Lots of you love gaming, buying upgrades and special features to make things a bit more interesting.

Have you ever felt that sinking feeling in your stomach when you realise just how much money you've spent on in-game purchases?

An organisation called the PEGI says game packaging is now going to show a warning icon to make sure you and your parents know the game you're buying offers in-game purchases.

The warning is already shown on digital-only games, and will start appearing on boxes from Christmas.

Icon warning of in-game purchase as show by the PEGIPEGI

PEGI stands for Pan European Game Information, and was set up to help European consumers make informed decisions when buying video games or apps.

It decides how old children should be to play certain games, provides descriptions about the content, and gives warnings about violence, drugs, sex, and bad language.

PEGI has announced video games will soon have an 'in-game purchases' icon, showing a hand holding a credit card, that will appear alongside these other warnings.

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Gaming: 'People don't understand how much they're spending'

The problem of in-game purchases is something we've covered before on Newsround.

Now a recent customer survey taken by global market research company Ipsos found that two fifths of parents say their child spends money in-game.

There are also concerns that some in-game purchases are really gambling in disguise., which children shouldn't be exposed to.

So the point of the new icon is to inform parents who aren't in the know, that the game their child is playing lets them use real money to buy virtual items.

The warning will start appearing on game boxes later this year, so hopefully they'll be less accidentally going on credit cards without people knowing.

Managing director of PEGI S.A Simon Little says: "While we know that parents use different methods to control spending, parental control tools are a very helpful next step in making sure that the overall online experience of the child is safe, including the possibility to control spending."


This entry is now closed for comments.

  • View all (12)
  • Comment number 12. Posted by WhitePianoLemon

    3 Sep 2018 13:52
    This comment was removed because it broke the rules. Explain
  • Comment number 11. Posted by Sparkly Potter Penguin

    3 Sep 2018 9:42
    Huff 🤪
  • Comment number 10. Posted by Candy Cane Star Writer

    3 Sep 2018 7:02
    My brother spent £80 on virtual currency and used all the virtual currency in less than an hour! It was on fortnite which he was banned from anyway and still is banned!
  • Comment number 9. Posted by LollipopGirl

    2 Sep 2018 19:36
    That was definitely not an 'Oops moment'!
  • Comment number 8. Posted by galaxyspinningcat

    2 Sep 2018 19:23
    Be careful online
  • Comment number 7. Posted by U17015256

    2 Sep 2018 18:08
    Think of the people who have made the games and are getting all this money. Sat in there mansion drinking liquid gold and eating caviar, counting their diamonds
  • Comment number 6. Posted by WhitePianoLemon

    2 Sep 2018 18:06
    Take Fortnite for example they use in game purchases called V Bucks (an in game currency used within entirely in Fortnite) don't use your parents credit card (im glad PEGI is doing this) only purchase V Bucks by buying gift cards with codes on them e:g Nintendo eShop or Xbox Store cards these can be paid at stores that have these cards at GAME, HMV,WHSmith etc.
    Lemon :)
  • Comment number 5. Posted by U17133673

    2 Sep 2018 16:51
    I did some maths and I figured out I have spent between £300 and £400 on roblox during the 3 years I have played it.
    I am not proud.
  • Comment number 4. Posted by squishyslimeunicorn

    2 Sep 2018 14:41
    I hate in game purchases because my parents never let me get them because it’s a waste of money 💰 buying coins and unlocking levels and stuff they should stop them completely like if you agree
  • Comment number 3. Posted by CuteFluffyNarwhal

    2 Sep 2018 12:54
    I hate the idea of children spending money when they don't even know it. It isn't fair.