Crime: Charges Pending
Ratchet Meter: 10
Two Chinese parents have been arrested on the grounds that they sold their children to child traffickers in order to acquire more virtual items in free-to-play games. According to the parents, their two children were unplanned, and they knew that they would not be able to support them financially, nor were they particularly interested in doing so. In order to avoid the more difficult option of taking responsibility for their kids, the two parents decided to sell them off instead. The transactions occurred on separate occasions for each child.
It wasn't until the husband's father reported his son to the police that the couple was taken into custody. When asked about their bizarre, inhumane rationale for selling their children, the wife said, "[My husband] likes buying items in online games, and he likes staying out all night at internet cafes." Apparently, all of their funds were being poured into freemium games.
By the way, China's roaring market for freemium games is the the type of demographic that Electronic Arts is seeking to capitalize upon by entering the mobile games market, according to a recent interview with their mobile games executive. This statement doesn't mean to say that Electronic Arts supports child trafficking. Rather, it's simply to highlight one of the major players in this addictive and financially-damaging niche market.
Both the husband and wife are now awaiting trial for their crimes.