Post by Dan @ 08:57am 19/09/12 | 13 Comments
ABC reports that Australian Federal Senator Nick Xenophon, the independent politician known for his pursuit of poker machine reform, has set his sights on in-app purchases in mobile games, specifically at the perceived lack of protection he believes parents have from their children running up huge bills on their Apple iTunes accounts.
"We need to have a revamp of Australian consumer laws so that these sorts of purchases will be covered by it," he said.Senator Xenophon will reportedly be proposing amendments to consumer law to combat the issue.
Most gamers will know that this problem extends well beyond mobile gaming, with micro-transaction support free-to-play business models becoming more and more common throughout all platforms and genres.
Parents do certainly need to understand that giving their children their account passwords where a credit card is attached is much the same as giving them the credit card itself, but focusing on iTunes, which already does make several considerations to prevent this occurring, does seem to be a little misguided, as Apple and other big players do have a PR incentive to self-regulate.
However, there are certainly many unethically designed games out there now, particularly in the social-game space that could probably use a bit of a heavy hand. What do you think?