One of the most challenging aspects of video-games culture for a newcomer, especially for a busy parent, is trying to learn and understand the many, many acronyms and specialised terms. GameHub HQ entries are jargon-free, so you can get the information you need as easily and painlessly as possible, but there are still some words worth knowing. Every Monday, we break down one Word Worth Knowing from the world of gaming.

For our first word, we are going to hit you where it hurts, in the wallet! What is an IAP, what do you need to know and why do you need to care?

What It Is: IAPs = In-App Purchases

What It Means: Real world money paid for digital goods. This could be a new outfit for a character, an upgrade for  a weapon, a fee to remove advertisements or a new pack of levels. Often instead, the money is converted into a digital currency “coins” or “game dollars” or something similar and it is this money that is spent on the item.

Why You Care: In-App Purchases can get very expensive. Sums of up to £80 for one item pack are not uncommon and kids with quick fingers may not realise that they are spending real world money when they press that button! Getting to grips with your device’s parental controls is vital to avoid scary and surprising bills. Our research talking to families around the country reveals that sometimes children are suffering from peer-pressure bullying over not having the “right” outfit/weapon/etc for their character when playing with friends, and sometimes this can be a driving factor in their desire for a particular digital good. Talking to children about why they are interested in purchasing digital goods can help parents understand their rational, as well giving parents the opportunity to to impress on their child that these IAPs cost real world money which cannot be reclaimed and spent outside the game.

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