18 Year Old Uses Dad's Credit Card to Spend Thousands of Dollars in Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact is technically free-to-play, but someone that wants to collect all of the game's characters will likely have to spend a significant amount of money thanks to its gacha game mechanics, wherein players don't purchase content directly but rather get a random item in exchange for their cash. Genshin Impact is estimated to have made billions of dollars from its microtransactions despite only being a couple years old, and it likely owes quite a bit of its success to specific individuals that the industry has dubbed "whales."

It's well known that the majority of people playing a free-to-play game don't spend a significant amount of money on it. It's the "whales" that keep free-to-play games afloat by spending enough money on the game for everyone, and that's likely the case with Genshin Impact. Case in point, an 18 year old girl managed to spend over S$20,000 in Genshin Impact over the course of a six week period.

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According to a report by The Straits Times, Lim Cheng Mong was contacted about 89 mysterious transactions on his account. At first believing he was the victim of fraud or a scam of some kind, Lim Cheng Mong was then informed that all the transactions were actually legitimate and that he was out S$20,000 (roughly $15,000 or so in USD). He was able to get S$10,000 back from his bank, but the rest of the money can't be recovered, having been spent on Genshin Impact premium currency and the like.

To most people, spending such a significant amount of money on one video game is ridiculous, but situations like this happen more often than one thinks. By having players spend real money to get premium currency, it creates a sort of disconnect where people may start spending more than they realize. Gacha games also use FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out to pressure players into spending money. Like loot boxes, gacha games have been compared to gambling, and in fact sometimes use some of the same psychological tactics that slot machines do to get people addicted.

This is far from the first time that someone has used their parents' credit card to spend money on microtransactions in a video game. Just a couple of years ago, a six year old spent $16,000 on Sonic Forces: Speed Battle using their mom's credit card, and in another situation, a teenager in India spent the equivalent of $21,500 on PUBG microtransactions.

Video games with gacha mechanics and loot boxes are coming under more scrutiny than ever before, and it's possible that legislation will start forcing developers to abandon these monetization practices. There are already some countries that have banned loot boxes and it's possible more will follow suit in future.

Genshin Impact is out now for mobile devices, PC, PS4, and PS5 with a Switch version also in development.

MORE: Genshin Impact: How To Complete The Lotus Eater World Quest

Source: The Straits Times (via Geek Culture)

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