The crazy worlds of microtransactions and notifications


Upgrading your car in the weirdest way

The modern world of gaming has seen its fair share of microtransactions. As the Internet and digital life becomes more fully ingrained into the world, video games have started to stray away from its innocent and easygoing plug-and-play nature. Nowadays, whether it’s making a character look good cosmetically or wanting to gain an edge against the competition, microtransactions have become the norm in place of old school methods such as cheat codes and in-game unlockables. Mobile games are also no stranger to this with these little purchases being the lifeblood in the free-to-play economy they’ve enshrined themselves in. 

With all this as context, would you believe that this practice is also starting to bleed in industries not related to gaming? In what can only be described as a surreal turn of events, BMW is at the forefront of the auto industry’s foray into microtransactions. Need For Speed, this is not. For 18 dollars a month, you can upgrade your car to have heated seats. For heated seats. That’s quite the surreal proposition and it might not bode well for the future of cars. The dreaded question everyone would be to afraid to ask but might as well ask now is – what’s next? Wiper activation? Air conditioning? Truly scary times we would live in if that were to happen so maybe it’s wise to hold on to our future “dumb cars” while we still can. 

One small step for scammers, one giant leap for illegal cash flow

Scammers know no ways and embrace no restrictions when it comes to their pursuit of cold, hard cash. Many unsuspecting web-surfers have been duped by scammers in continuously ingenious – and terrifying – ways that would make Ponzi blush. A most recent development in the world of scamming has come in the form of taking out small payments from your account. As we use our debit and credit cards to make payments each day, scammers find ways to siphon out single-digit transactions from users all over the world. 

You may think that losing three to five dollars isn’t a big deal as it’s just the same price as a cup of coffee after all. However, the secret lies in its frequency. They’re recurring payments and unless one takes the initiative to check their transaction history or balance their checkbook, these hits will just keep on coming. Scammers are sitting pretty for the time being but here’s to hoping that there will be preventive measures against unwanted and unwarranted transactions in the future.

Nothing more than noise-tifications?

It’s hard to believe that 15 years ago, the constant dinging you might hear from all the notifications on your phone didn’t exist! Somehow, the entire human race survived without the endless sounds coming from all the apps on our phones. It’s as if it’s a competition from all these apps to get your attention, and the result is always a civil war from within your own device. There are some measures to lessen or remove this bombardment entirely (such as turning off notifications for specific app or activating “do not disturb” mode) but this seemingly puts our lives on pause, it seems. How much do we really miss out on if we decide to not let our apps entertain us – or more morbidly, entertain our apps? I guess the result depends from person to person. However, it’s clear that we could all use a break from our phones from time to time, no matter what walk of life we may come from.

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