Sunday, December 29, 2019

What it means for parents

Ethical-Game is mostly for parents. It is for you to be able to trust what your kids are playing. Depending on the age of your kid, the ethical aspect of the content might not matter that much, but for that, you should always check what your kids are playing: anything above bronze should be ok at most ages (at least from the recommended age of the game), anything without anything could still be ok but could be fully unethical.

 A disclaimer: always watch what your kids are doing. And educate them on what they do. If you let them play games with In-App-Purchases (IAP), explain to them how it works, and the worth of it. Unlimited purchase of a virtual currency is not worth much (or anything), but costs actual money. The earlier they understand that the better. The same attitude is probably helping with everything digital: give them the tools to deal with them themself. As there will always be a time when you will not be able to control what they do. Make sure they are in control before!

But for the ethic of the product, everything from bronze means that the game will not bankrupt you. A bronze game could end-up quite a bit more expensive than the initial price but to a limit. Any game with unlimited IAP, so typically in-game money, will never get any badge. A silver badge means that the game will not cost much more than the initial price, but the initial price could be an unlock full game IAP: so the game will typically be free, but an IAP unlock the full game or remove the ads. A gold badge means that the price of the game is clearly known initially. IAP should be for significant additional content, not needed for the initial game, or small cosmetic/fun IAP if the price is low (especially if the game is not expensive too).

Of course, some different cases could occur. But the product badges means that the product is honestly sold. Examples would be:

Free game with IAP for removing ads, plus IAP for x2, plus IAP for skins: probably bronze. Silver if the IAPs are very cheap and/or very limited
Paid game with Ads and IAP for removing ads: bronze or nothing depending on the price.
Paid game with Ads: nothing.
Paid game without Ads or IAP: gold.
Paid game with DLC adding significant content but with some premium edition containing most of the DLCs but not all: silver or bronze, depending on the different prices.
Free game with unobtrusive ads: silver.
Free game with support IAP: gold, if the IAP is a one time purchase. Nothing if the IAP can be indefinitely bought.
Any game with in-game money (or diamond/ruby or anything) that can be bought indefinitely with actual money: nothing. Actually in the unethical category.

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