Your kids love online gaming. That means you aren’t surprised to see transactions like:
10/9/2016 STEAMPOWERED.COM BELLEVUE WA $6.99
in their account histories or card activity alerts.
They’re just buying games on one of the most popular digital gaming distribution platforms, right?
Or, maybe your kids are purchasing digital gaming currency. Why? To buy and trade digital in-game items, like “skins” in the popular game “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” (aka CS:GO). Skins are nothing more than decorative textures for game weapons. They’re purely cosmetic.
If your child is wasting hard-earned money on in-game vanity items, that’s probably something you’ll want to discuss.
Or, maybe your kids are buying and selling digital items on sketchy marketplace sites outside the game itself. In the case of Counter-Strike, look for transactions with the keyword "skin" like this:
10/9/2016 BITSKINS INC 4155159061 CA $5.46
On marketplace sites like BitSkins, gamers speculatively trade digital game loot in hopes of turning a profit.
If your child is engaging in market speculation on unregulated sites, that’s probably something you’ll want to discuss.
Or, maybe your kids are using digital gaming currency to gamble on the outcomes of online competitions or casino style games. Apparently, kids can use their Steam credentials to seamlessly log into gambling sites and place wagers using skins. That has prompted the Washington State Gambling Commission to demand that Valve Corp (the makers of Steam) prove it isn’t helping turn teen gamers into gamblers.
If your child is gambling, that’s definitely something you’ll want to discuss.
If your kid’s a gamer, it’s time to conduct a non-judgmental spending audit. Make sure that gaming habit isn’t becoming a gambling habit.
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