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South Park skewers 'freemium' games

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If your business model is conning kids into spending their parents' hard-earned app-store cash on in-app purchased "rewards," it's fair to say you deserve to be ripped. South Park did the honors with its "Freemium isn't Free' episode involving a Terrence and Philip-branded Candy Crush-style game created by Canada's "Minister of Mobile Gaming." After he exposits that it's just "harmless fun" (see the clip below) it turns out that its a diabolical scheme involving Satan and addiction. The (delightfully silly) plot is just a wrapper for the satire, of course -- which points out that such games suck players in by letting them spend virtual cash before introducing real lucre. As any Farmville addict can attest, they're also just "barely fun" enough to keep you playing. It starts off a bit slow, but ends with a rollicking finish including Satan's spot-on sum-up of the whole phenomenon. You can grab the episode here (US-only, sorry to say).

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