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Giant Tetris game on skyscraper marks 30 years

A giant game of Tetris has been played on the side of a Philadelphia skyscraper to mark 30 years since the game was developed.

Hundreds of LED lights were attached to the Cira Centre building by organiser and game designer Frank Lee, who previously holds the Guinness World Record for the largest architectural game display for a similar event, Pong in 2013.

Game designer Lee said the skyscraper Tetris project "was a personal love letter to the games I loved as a child."

Apple to refund US parents over 'pay to play' games

Apple will refund at least $32.5 million (£19.8 million) to US consumers whose children made in-app purchases without their consent, the US Federal Trade Commission announced.

Under the terms of the settlement, Apple will also be required to change its billing practices to make sure it has obtained "express, informed consent from consumers" before charging them for items sold in mobile apps.

The Apple logo on a store.
Apple will refund at least $32.5 million (£19.8 million) to US consumers following the complaint Credit: PA Wire

FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez said the complaint alleges that Apple did not inform account holders that entering their password would open a 15-minute window during which unlimited charges could be made with no further action by the account holder.

In-app purchases also face criticism in the UK from consumers who say their children have run up huge bills without their knowledge.

Read our guide on how to turn off in-app purchases on your iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Android devices

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Latest Call of Duty sets $1 billion first day sales record

Zohaib Ali became the first person to pick up a copy after its midnight release at Westfield Stratford City in London. Credit: David Parry/PA Wire

The fervour for the latest Call of Duty computer game has reached record levels, with the title breaking the $1 billion (£622 million) barrier on the first day of its release.

Call of Duty: Ghosts smashed the previous record set by Grand Theft Auto V, which generated sales of $800 million (£498 million) within 24 hours of it hitting the shelves in September.

The record-breaking Activision title was released yesterday for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC and Wii U at 15,000 midnight openings worldwide.

Read: GTA V makes £500m on its first day

Games makers take responsibilities 'very seriously'

Games trade body Ukie said all its members "take their responsibility to their players, particularly children, very seriously".

Ukie chief executive Jo Twist said:

We welcome any guidance from the OFT [Office of Fair Trading] to clarify how they are interpreting the law and shall be taking our time to digest the proposed guidelines before responding fully to the OFT’s consultation.

Read our guide on how to turn off in-app purchases on your iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Android devices

Smurfs' Village added features 'to protect customers'

The maker of the free-to-download game Smurfs' Village said the last thing they want "is to be misperceived as taking advantage of children."

Capcom, the parent company of games maker Beeline, said: "Since this issue has come to our attention we’ve added a number of features and messages to the game to help protect customers.

A screen shot of the Smurfs' Village game.
Capcom is the parent company of Beeline, the maker of Smurfs' Village. Credit: Smurfs' Village

"If a customer purchases in-App content by accident, they may also request a refund.”

Read: How to turn off in-app purchases on an iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire and Google android devices

Son spent £1,700 'in 10 minutes' on app game

A five-year-old boy managed to ring up a £1,700 bill buying extras on an app he had downloaded "in 10 minutes" his mother has said.

Sharon Kitchen told Daybreak how her son Danny managed to rack up with eye-watering charges on his Dad's iPad:

Read our guide on how to turn off in-app purchases on an iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Android device

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How to turn off in-app purchases

Screenshot of iPad settings Credit: ITV News

The online games app industry has been warned by the Office of Fair Trading of "potentially unfair and aggressive commercial practices" that could target "susceptible" children to pay to continue playing 'free' web and app-based games.

Read our guide to switching off in-app purchases on your iPad, Google Android and Amazon Kindle Fire devices

Read more: 'Pay to play' games warning

Child spends £87.98 on 'pay to play' game in 15 minutes

As an experiment, Daybreak asked four children to play games that were free to download but each child was given the password to buy extras.

Harry managed to spend £87.98 on the game in just 15 minutes - and he did not realise he had spent any at all.

Harry did not realise he had spent any money on the game.
Harry did not realise he had spent any money on the game. Credit: ITV/Daybreak

When asked Harry said, "I didn't spend any I don't think."

The makers of Smurfs' Village, the game the children played, said once they became aware of the problem they made changes to the game, including limiting the number of possible transactions.

Read: How to turn off in-app purchases on an iPad, Google Android and Amazon Kindle Fire

Watchdog's guidelines for online gaming industry

The OFT has released eight principles for 'pay to play' online game developers, which it plans to begin enforcing in April next year.

They include:

  • Games should display clear, accurate, up-front information about the costs associated with a game before consumers download it
  • Games should provide clear contact details for the business - which should respond rapidly to consumer complaints
  • Games should not give false impressions that payments are an integral part of the way the game is played if that is not the case
  • Games should not include aggressive practices, or ones that exploit a child's inexperience, such as implying a character would be disappointed if they did not spend money
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