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Little Boy Spends Dad's Entire Life Savings On His Favorite Video Game

Phone app video games are clever marketing tools that can rake in a lot of money. Games are often free to initially download and start out fun, but they progress in difficulty or become repetitive, enticing players to make purchases. To keep things fun, the game maker offers players the opportunity to purchase power-ups, characters or opportunities to gain entry to new dimensions of the game. If a player isn't careful, they can charge a bundle to their phone bill without even realizing it.

One father in China realized just how devastating this game set-up can be. He went to his bank to withdraw some money, only to find out that his 11-year-old son had charged up thousands of dollars in a game and financially wiped out the family.

Xiao Hui, the young boy, had been so obsessed with a smartphone game called 'Honors of Kings' that he purchased some 55 characters from the game, as well as a number of outfits and accessories for his characters.

Mr. Li, the dad, went to the bank to take money out of his account, and he was told that he had none left. The shocked father asked the bank to see his account details, and it appears as though he had been billed some 207 times over the last three months by the same company.

Upon investigating, Mr. Li found that Hui linked his bank account to the game company without asking him. The boy proceeded to make purchases without his father’s knowledge, until it was too late.

Li was devastated - his life savings, more than $4,000, had been blown on a game.

"The amount of transactions ranged from a few jiao ($1.20 USD) to [a] few hundred yuan ($38). The most expensive one is around 900 yuan ($132)," Mr. Li said in an interview with Shenzhen Television. "We worked really hard to save up those money and I was really angry when I found out that he (Xiao Hui) had spent it on a game."

"One of my friends gave me a cheap phone so we can play together. I wanted to upgrade the power of my weapons every time I lost," admitted the boy.

Mr. Li was so angry with his son that he destroyed the phone. At least he doesn’t have to worry about any more charges.

The company that makes the game said that because a minor made the purchases, they're going to refund part of Mr. Li's money, but not the whole thing. It’s unclear if Li has any recourse he can take with the bank for allowing his minor to make unauthorized purchases.

‘Honor of Kings’ is a game played by more than 200 million people worldwide. It’s caught on with young people in China in particular and has become a popular pastime. The game gets kids hooked by offering free items at first, but then requiring purchases in order to keep things exciting.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: CUTV/SZTV

His father, Mr. Li, was shocked to see his account empty.

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