If you have a child serious about video gaming, chances are they have asked for money to add enhancements to add to the fun of the game. These “extras” require a gift card or your credit card information to buy them. This may seem like a waste of money since these purchases are virtual but this process can teach kids how to budget.
For instance, Fortnite is free to play but gamers like to enhance their character with cosmetics, special tools and or custom dance modes called emotes. Kids like to jazz up their player with bright colors to stand out and make the experience more enjoyable. These purchases do not make it easier to win which is a good thing because those with deep pockets could win every time.
If your child is a gamer, make your peace with it and set time limits. Video gaming can help with hand/eye coordination, decision making skills and social skills as he or she communicates with those playing the game. They will ask for a way to buy the extras. Have a conversation about why they want them and set a budget and decide on a method of payment.
For Fortnite, real money is used to buy the digital currency, V-bucks. The game’s designers lure players into buying the upgrades, even during the middle of a game. Fortunately, account details are provided on the player profile so it is easy to spot just how much money has been spent. Most gamers spend on average 80 dollars to upgrade their experience on Fortnite. These micro transactions bring in some 300 million dollars a month for Epic which owns the game.
As with anything in life, moderation with playtime and spending is important. Encourage your child to have other interests besides gaming. Communication is key. A 12-year-old in Scotland racked up $800 in Fortnite charges and his Dad was appalled. He plead his case to Epic games and did get a refund. Avoid this scenario by having a firm spending gameplan beforehand.