Free-to-Play video games are fun. Mobile gaming is good. Freemium is a fine business model. Don’t sell your children for the sake of video games.
A couple in China has done just that, discarding two children to help save money so that they can continue on with their addiction for in-app purchases in free-to-play games. An unmarried couple, A Hui and A Mei, have spent many years together happily playing games side-by-side. The couple became so addicted in their passion for games that when they bore their first child together he didn’t make it long before the couple decided they couldn’t live with games and a child – then later sold the boy to child traffickers to have enough money to support their gaming habits.
While trafficking is a severe situation in China for children, especially females, the enabling of this act as well as their in-app purchasing addiction led to further trouble beyond that of their first child. A Mei later became pregnant with another child, another boy. This boy was sold to traffickers yet again before Chinese police were notified of the couple’s acts, and action was taken against the pair. With thousands of people affected by child trafficking every year and a market to buy children in China, children are sold to street peddlers, street gangs and international couples. Despite these acts being illegal, availability for purchase, and overpopulation in the country results in a hard to moderate system of corruption in the region.
Given the severity of the crime, Chinese people may be sentenced to death for selling their children. In an act of honor, A Hui’s father took action against the couple, notifying the police himself. With a $28.9 billion dollar economy, mobile gaming may be extremely popular across the globe, but no amount of money is worth a life. A Hui and A Mei are awaiting trial in a regional detention center and await sentencing for their crimes.