by Dennis Yang
Thu, Oct 25th 2007 4:47pm
NetSafe, New Zealand's Internet safety group, warns that parents may be shocked to learn that their children's purchases in virtual worlds rack up real world charges on their credit cards. They warn that in virtual worlds like Second Life, it is possible to quickly run up huge credit card bills -- real money is spent when buying real estate, avatars, and clothing in the game. NetSafe used to discourage youths from spending any money in these virtual worlds, but has since changed their policy. They reason that while they might not understand the need for someone to buy a virtual good, it is not their place to judge where people spend their money. They stress instead that the most important lesson is for parents to set limits on their children's spending habits, but this seems pretty much like common sense parenting, and not something specific for online spending. Then again, our increasingly digital world has made it more difficult to teach children the value of a dollar. And with kids spending thousands of dollars on real estate that only exists in cyberspace, that lesson may get even harder to teach.
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