In what is merely the latest instance of a gaming teenager's parents being blissfully unaware of How These Darned Console Things Actually Work, a 17 year old in Pembroke, Ontario is now without his Xbox after his dad banned video games from their household. The reason: the small matter of a $7,625 (£5,255) credit card bill, the result of purchases made within his son's FIFA game.
(Which is presumably FIFA 16, but the CBC article that we're borrowing this story from doesn't specify a particular iteration, so neither will we.)
I appreciate that this sort of thing isn't always easy for people to get their heads around – hell, even Yeezy has problems with in-app purchases, and he's married to a Freemium Legend. But come on now, mums and dads – if you're going to give your teenage boy a credit card of his own, even if it's "for emergencies" only, you know there's going to be some shady spending before long. Lance Perkins certainly knows that now, telling CBC News:
"It floored me. Literally floored me, when I'd seen what I was being charged. He thought it was a one-time fee for the game. He's just as sick as I am; he never believed he was being charged for every transaction, or every time he went onto the game."
Just let that sink in for a second: "he never believed he was being charged for every transaction". Nope. Not buying that. Look, Lance, your son was being a dick with your money, and he definitely knew what he was doing. It's right there on the screen. Unless he actually didn't, which makes him an idiot, and sorry.
All modern Xboxes, be they Ones or 360s, have settings to prevent in-game purchases from being made – especially useful if those footing the bill are not around to supervise their children's sessions. The guidelines are on Xbox.com, here. This being the case, it's highly unlikely that either the credit card provider, or Xbox themselves, will repay the money. CBC reports that said unspecified card company would only take action if Perkins wanted to charge his son with fraud. Which is quite obviously not the thing to do.
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If you're worried about this happening to you, heed these words of advice from Kanye's Hollywood-pushing wife, Kim Kardashian: "You just have to make sure that your parental controls are all set. I think you just have to be responsible, and don't have your credit card linked to where your kid can just spend if they want to, or ask permission."
Imagine asking your dad if it's okay to spend five grand on your Ultimate Team. Imagine your dad laughing so hard he spills his hot tea into his lap, but doesn't feel a thing. He's laughing at a level where his nerve endings have retreated into his body, to gather around the diaphragm and get up close to that sweet cackling action. His jaw should be hurting like hell, but it's just flapping like an open wound in a healthy breeze. He's late for work now, so off he goes, to the car, a fantastic stain right across his crotch. There's steam and everything. He's still howling. The neighbours are looking. You've ruined your dad.