All of the violence, language and sexual connotations attached with a lot of video games nowadays, can make the gaming arena a difficult place for parents to mitigate some of the images and words certain children may not be ready to experience.
However, with the perfect blend of freedom, security, flexibility and service, Virtual Piggy is the answer for those who wish to monitor their children's spending and what they purchase. Best of all is the service is free.
The company is based out of Hermosa Beach, California, and their purpose is to provide parents with the tools needed to allow their kids to make online purchases safely, without revealing their name or age.
Parents also have the ability to monitor their child's purchases to ensure the content is suitable for their kids and so they can control their spending as well.
When Dr. Jo Webber, Founder and CEO of Virtual Piggy, was interviewed this past week, she said there is a lot of money that children have access to nowadays, and with the explosion of the Internet, it can result in a lot of money being spent by kids without parents knowing of it.
"When kids want to buy and play games, it's almost inevitable for problems to arise when they purchase games on their own," Webber said.
She went on to say that there have been many cases out there where a child has taken a parent's credit card and purchased over thousands of dollars in games, hardware and software.
"This results in parents not wanting those purchases on their cards.
"About six to seven percent of business is fraudulent, which has resulted in credit issues for some parents," Webber said.
Virtual Piggy has developed a method to help eliminate some of these problems, by providing an account that parents can start up with their kids for free.
Parents can place an allowance or specific amount of money into an account per month for their child to spend on whatever they desire, as long as those game's maturity ratings fall within certain parameters as determined by the parents.
Webber said both the parents and the kids can go into their account to see what the recent purchases and activity has been like.
"The accounts also shows a list of merchants they can purchase from," Webber said. "This provides more transparency for parents when it comes to their kids purchases and games."
The site helps parents who are less familiar with gaming by suggesting certain games for specific ages, and certain merchants for different demographics as well. Rated M for Mature games are not available through Virtual Piggy.
It is interesting that with the way the site and service is put together that this will indirectly teach kids a little bit about money, spending and managing it all. Yet another reason why Virtual Piggy may be the option for you and your family.
Webber said that the west coast of the United States has been the busiest for them, with California, specifically, producing the most business for Virtual Piggy.
Jo was also nice enough to discuss their plans for business in the future, as they are planning to expand into Europe sometime this year or next.
She said the company has already received interest from countries such as Finland and England for expanding their business.
To start an account today, go to their official website at www.virtualpiggy.com