I know I may get some flame on here since I am actually starting my own thread on this, but I had responded to some previous topics and felt the need to post this as its own thread. This is a long read, but I feel it is very important to be aware of this. TLR version. Apple has let companies sell "freemium" games that use principals based on behavioral addiction research. If you don't believe me, then read the 5 points below and then go to pubmed.com and look up research on gambling addiction. IMO Apple has let greed trump innovation in how it has allowed developers to build up a freemium market in the IOS app store. When the iPad first came out, very few apps were free. Developers built apps with the idea of selling them at a $0.99 to $9.99 cost range typically and Apple took 30% of sales. As the iPad models increased performance, new Apps and games took advantage of the new hardware and we saw games like Infinity Blade and open world RPG's being built that were amazing. Then developers realized they could make a game that was built similar in concept to a slot machine at a casino using cost/reward concepts that have been researched in medical psychology and proven to invoke addiction as a way of making money from micro transactions. These developers used these proven methods of addiction gaming to sell in app purchase items for upwards of $99 significantly higher than the cost of a typical console/pc game. People have spent billions of dollars on these "free" games to the extent that we now have television commercials during the Super Bowl advertising these "free" games. Not only has Apple allowed this insanity, but we as consumers have allowed it. Parents across the world are letting their children play with apps that are in essence, the same thing as letting their children sit down at a slot machine in a casino. If you haven't seen what gambling addiction looks like, go to a casino and watch people sitting at slot machines for hours on end. Look at their faces and you may realize they look quite similar in expression to the faces of children playing "free" games on IOS. Then ask yourself, should you be supporting something like this? You can actually go through and identify the different psychological tricks they do in the games. I'll use clash of clans as an example... 1. In psychology, researchers have learned that providing rewards at even distribution intervals of time decreases desire to want to continue seeking the rewards. The trick is to provide a reward at a random time in order to not be able to determine when the next reward will be given. Thus in clash of clans, they have the Gems being rewarded from trees, bushes, and the occasional gem chest. They randomly appear and when you tap on them you are rewarded with a "Ding" noise similar to winning a casino slot machine. You also get a little animation type flash on the screen if you are looking at the bush, tree, or chest box when it pops the gems out. This leads me to #2. 2. The first couple hours of playing a freemium game, you are being programmed to link reward with visual and auditory stimulation... think Pavlov's dog. The game starts out giving you free gems, a pretty decent amount if I remember correctly like 300-500. The game then walks you through the "tutorial" where you are shown "programmed" how to spend gems for speeding up actions/acquiring items in the game. Each time you are shown "programmed" in the tutorial, there is an auditory and visual stimulation so that your brain links those sounds and animations with the reward of progressing in the game. Additionally, the game provides reinforcement through the use of bushes, trees, and gem chests that give you the auditory and visual stimulus each time reinforcing the idea of using gems for rewards. 3. As the game progresses, it continues to get harder to get the reward. You were originally programmed to expect the reward quickly in the first couple levels of the game. Then as you gain levels, it takes longer and longer. This is how they get you to spend real money on the game. You spend money to get the reward to be back to being quick like it originally was. 4. Connected to #2, the game offers free gems to get started. Casinos do the same thing. If you have ever been to a casino, they usually give money for "free play" when you first sign up for an account. They also randomly send you mail with coupons for "free play". The idea of providing free gems at the beginning of the game comes from this same thought process of getting you to partake in the activities. 5. Lastly, the game provides a multiplayer aspect giving you a sense of community. When you go to a casino, ever notice how the seats are next to each other at the slot machines or how you always see people playing at table games like craps with big groups of people and very rarely is there anyone ever playing on their own at a craps table or other table games. There is a psychological aspect of gambling in which a sense of community is created. You are doing it with other people and they are practically friends even though they are complete strangers and could care less about you. Creating a sense of community draws people in to play "freemium" games because it makes you feel more attached to the game. You have to go back and get on often so that you can support your friends in the game. Each of those previously mentioned points is straight out of psychology research. Gambling addiction is real and it affects a lot of people. It isn't because someone is prone to becoming addicted, but because researchers have identified how our brains work and how we react from rewards. When we allow our children to play freemium games, we are essentially letting them sit down at a slot machine or letting them gamble at a craps table. The effect that this could have on their brains and personalities is still unknown because research on gambling psychology hasn't been conducted on children yet as far as I know. *edit. While I used clash of clans as an example, you could find the same psychological principals in just about every freemium game on the app store.