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Cashing In on Kids With Phone Apps

Updated on June 9, 2012

Okay, so this is how it works:

Mommy, can I play the pet game on your phone? Oh, of course, honey. Here. The child has the phone and plays the game until the virtual dog gets sick and a message pops up, "Your dog needs help, it takes five gems to heal it but you only have two left. Either, buy 10 more for only $9.99, or you will have to wait a day. What do you want to do?

Mommy, I need your password to buy more gems to save my dog, can I? How much is it, mom replies. It's only $10. I don't want to wait. Pleeeeeeeeeease! Okay, my password is this (or, alternatively, you enter it and buy it).

Thanks, mom. The app company also thanks you many times because they know, it will happen over and over. The mobile app makers, those who make seemingly silly little games are smiling to the tune of $2.7 billion last year. Some games are initially free, like one called, Tiny Zoo, Once hooked, you have to buy coins to do things with your animals for only $100. For that amount, you get 100,000 coins.

A poll of 8-11 yr. old kids show 60% play games on cell phones and one million kids bought a game app for a phone last year. One hot game is Pet Shop Story. It grossed a cool million in one day!

Many times, the kids who know the passwords of their parents phone simply order the $5.99 game without them even knowing. This has prompted a lawsuit against Apple with is in litigation. Most parents know they have the ability to prevent purchases from their phones but cave in from the "naggers", yes, those notorious infidels that break a parent's will. Once the game is bought, usually a choke point comes where you either can no longer play unless you buy more of something.

Parents: Just say No!


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