Video games have become one of the best selling leisure products in the world. They are enjoyed by billions of people of all ages and from all walks of life. Their growing number, along with technological advances, has made them less expensive and more accessible. This has led to the popularity of downloadable games on the Internet. These games can easily be downloaded from a variety of websites and are often available for free.
Although these games are popular, their growing popularity has also led to increased concerns about privacy. Many consumers are concerned about the amount of personal information they have to share in order to gain access to various game platforms. Despite the fact that personal information is required to register or purchase these games, many companies have taken steps to change these privacy settings.
The video game industry has reacted to the issue of privacy by developing technology which creates in-game privacy features. These technologies enable players to control the amount of time that they spend in-game and restrict how much information they disclose to others. One of the techniques used is called “mature content” or “limited usage” where players are asked to register, before they can access certain areas. However, a new problem arises when a player makes an in-game purchase and then begins to disclose their personal data to other players or the game system itself.
There are two main issues that arise from the practice of hypermonetization and the use of video games as a medium. The first issue pertains to ethical concerns, which relate to the collection and use of user data. The second is related to issues of structural abuse – that is, if a video game system exploits a weakness of the structure of the game in order to make its users feel that they are in violation of video game design principles. This type of exploitation is known as “malware”, or destructive software.
This practice of hypermonetization is becoming a major cause of concern among video games enthusiasts, and this is leading many companies to seek new methods of protecting their players. Many companies have already taken steps to protect their user data. For example, one of the biggest game design companies, Electronic Arts, has created a database which stores all of the games and user data of its millions of customers. In order to encourage customer loyalty, EA has implemented a point system based on game sale records which rewards those players who choose to remain with their games long past the point at which they were acquired. This approach has led to more sales and more revenue for Electronic Arts.
Other game developers and publishers have taken similar measures. EA is not the only developer to have addressed the issue of video games privacy. At the recent Game Developers Conference, publishers such as Valve and Blizzard Entertainment openly discussed the need to address the issue of online games privacy in the face of consumer fears. In fact, even Nintendo discussed the issue of security in the face of consumer fears about video game safety.
As the Internet becomes increasingly used for many daily activities, including shopping, checking email, researching product information and participating in social network discussions, video games are no exception. Anyone who uses the Internet has to be concerned about how their personal information is being used by unscrupulous people, and that includes both members of the public and the video games industry. Most people recognize the problems with online advertising and other forms of manipulative design. However, it takes one person to bring issues to light and create discussion about how personal information is being used in video games.
Video games require a lot of programming in order to function, and developing games requires talented programmers and artists. Unfortunately, game makers do not have the same safeguards in place to protect against the unethical practices described above. In short, anyone who wishes to play games online has to be aware of the possibility that they are giving away data to malicious users who can use that information to obtain goods or services.