By now, most adults are used to the idea that the software and services they use — including video games — record what they do to send feedback to the companies that make them. But when some third-graders found out that games they love have some kind of data-mining, it was a heartbreaking combination of funny and sad.
NPR visited a third-grade classroom in Washington DC in a follow-up to a previous piece about game-makers’ increasing monetisation of player behaviour research. The kids had listened to and talked about the preceding report with their teacher and then wrote letters in reaction to this revelation. Four of the loss-of-innocence missives get highlighted in NPR’s newest report.
The tenor of the combined segments unfortunately shores up the idea of video games as a scary, addictive threat while highlighting the need for parents to monitor their kids’ game-playing. But, then again, this is the target audience — or the most naïve, vulnerable part of it, anyway — giving a different kind of feedback. “Kind of creepy”? “Brillent [sic] idea but bad idea”? Game designers of the world, you might want to listen to them.