MMORPG Under Fire for Casino-Style Feature

Remember the good old days where you had to work hard for Mario to pass a level on his way to save the Princess? Kids these days have it easy – tips and tricks on the internet and now these features are being introduced where you can win what it is that you need to succeed – honestly!

Runescape, a fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game that has been running since 2001, has introduced a new ‘Squeal of Fortune’ feature that allows players to win items that they can use to help them on their journey. You can purchase extra spins for cash. But the feature, which resembles a large spinning wheel, has been roundly criticized by players who feel it markets online casinos to children.

‘[Squeal of Fortune is] marketing aimed at habituating and incentivizing gambling, directly aimed at kids’, said Jakob Gamertsfelder, longtime player of Runescape and former gambling addict. He takes exception to the fact that at the same time as game producer Jagex released the Squeal of Fortune game, the company changed its terms and conditions to ensure it would not be liable if a player was to use someone else’s credit card details. He says this indicates that the company anticipates that children will use their parents’ credit cards to purchase extra spins.
The concept is not unlike other social network-based games reported in many casino blog articles, which players can purchase credits or spins but do not get paid real money if they win.