Rio Ferdinand is campaigning to limit children’s in-game spending

Rio Ferdinand is campaigning to limit children's in-game spending

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand is campaigning for parental awareness on how to limit in-game spending.

The former professional footballer is urging adults to take control over how much time and money their kids spend on video games.

The campaign is titled ‘Get Smart About PLAY’ with the ‘P’ standing for ‘play with your kids,’ ‘L’ for ‘learn about family controls,’ ‘A’ for ‘asking what the child thinks’ and ‘Y’ for ‘you’re in charge’.

Across the past 10 to 15 years, children have increasingly been spending more and more time on their machines pottering away on various titles.

Many of the games that appeal to this demographic are often plagued with micro-transactions and are designed in a manner to make the user inclined to spend real money.

Back in June 2019, representatives from Epic Games (Fornite) and Electronic Arts (FIFA) met with the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee to discuss video game addiction and loot boxes.

One discussion was the World Health Organisation’s recent classification of gaming addiction as a disease, but the companies did not acknowledge this.

On the topic of loot boxes, EA rep Kerry Hopkins intervened and said: “We don’t call them loot boxes, we call them surprise mechanics.”

The constant battle between begrudged parents and gamers alike against companies routinely described as ‘predatory’ has persisted for some time now.

The UK Interactive Entertainment Association (UKIE) – a body which represents the video game publishing in the UK – has endeavoured to raise awareness in parents to encourage them to implement parental controls and manage both screen time and in-game spending.

In collaboration with Rio Ferdinand, the campaign has released a video describing its purpose.

During the video, the England ace said “the get smart about PLAY campaign provides parents and guardians with practical tips on how to achieve balance and set parameters on the amount of time and money you spend on play”.

Interested in reading more loot box-related stories? Discover more about UK MPs appealing for a ban on loot boxes in the country.

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