One things kids love? Apps. Apps for their phones, their parent’s phones, and their iPads. The costs can add up, and add up quickly. So a group of parents decided that they and their children aren’t to blame for the app addiction — it’s Apple’s fault, they say. And they are suing the popular computer company for damages.
Last week a California judge allowed the class action lawsuit against Apple to proceed. The big thing that the parents are irked by? The kids’ games that include “game currencies” as an integral part of the gameplay, that are considered to be “highly addictive.”
One of the games that is mentioned in the suit is the Smurf Village app which they claim is a “bait-and-switch” operation. The game is initially free, but to actually play the game the way it is meant to be played you’ll have to buy – as ABC News notes - 1,000 credits for $59. The other set of games that parents hate? The “tap” games like Tap Fish by Gameview Studios (check out the hilarious Daily Show exploration of this app). Or the Tap Zoo games by Pocket Gems.
The thing that annoyed parents was that their kids were able to purchase virtual items with very real money (since the device is tethered to a credit card) without having to put in the password. The suit was filed in late 2011 but Apple has since put in more checks so it is a wee bit harder to make purchases without the parent putting in their password. Apple also has a safeguard where you can disable the purchasing power.
Do you think that these parents are being overzealous or that someone should make Apple and the app makers accountable for taking advantage of kids and their families?