This Week's Mini Cooked Unit Is An Eight-Year-Old Who Accidentally Spent Over $5K Playing Minecraft
Part of Minecraft's appeal is that, for the price of about half a normal game, the amount of time you can spend getting lost in the game and creating random shit is nearly endless. It's for that reason alone that the Microsoft game, despite costing about $30, is the most popular game in the world, even outstripping the totally free Fortnite in terms of monthly active players.
Of course, none of this matters to an eight year old. They want all of the things, whether they cost money or not. And while there's an ongoing debate as to whether or not gaming addiction in kids is a real and present problem, there's definitely a prevailing trend of parents having to deal with the age of the micro transaction. While we once begged for Pokemon cards, kids these days just want DLC, whether they plan to use it or not.
One mother who's had to stare this issue in the face is 28-year-old single mom Martine, from Brighton in the UK, who decided to treat her son Leon to a five-pound DLC pack for Minecraft one day.
Thinking that was that, she left her credit card details loaded on Leon's Xbox. Leon, unleashed on the virtual toy store with no check on his desires, went about racking up an absurd bill, downloading whatever he felt like when he realised the previously locked add-ons were now available to him.
Justifiably, mum Martine went completely mad when she opened up her credit card bill to find that he'd somehow accrued over $5,400 AUD in costs. "I told him I was selling his Xbox," she said after the fact. To have been a fly on the wall while that conversation was taking place.
For those wondering just how you can spend that much money on what is essentially virtual LEGO, Minecraft has a bunch of different add-ons and spin-off DLC packs that people can buy to expand their experience in the game. Players can also buy texture and furniture packs, and even pay for entry into multiplayer servers.
Within these servers, you can privately purchase 'ranks' that afford you certain privileges within these servers and no, we don't really know either. Considering young Leon apparently managed to spend over $300 in a single purchase though, it's fair to say he probably wasn't just buying furniture.
Leon claims that he didn't know the purchases were costing his mum as much money as they were. "He had understood that he was buying something, but didn't understand the financial consequences. But now I've explained it to him and he realises what he did," Martine said. We assume that the gravity of the situation sunk in when Martin told Leon and his brother Christmas was literally cancelled, which is hilarious.
Thankfully the story has a happy ending, as Microsoft gave Martine her money back. In a statement, Microsoft said: "Family settings and tools enable parents to block their children from making online purchases. We review all reports, and in cases where we our investigation confirms that purchases were made by a minor without parental permission, we may decide that a one-time refund is appropriate. On this occasion, the customer has been fully refunded."