Comments regarding the article Parents outraged about McDonalds gambling Neopets on
Thank you for your feedback commenting on our recent article about McDonald’s giveaway Neopet toys which allegedly encourage children to gamble.
Having already received 100+ e-mails from our readers about this article, we are writing to make a few points clear:
(1) Our company is an entertainment content provider, being impartial and neutral in terms of McDonalds and Neopet, and have no interest in harming (or promoting) these companies in any way.
(2) Our article about Neopets was based on the original source as quoted in the text — seven.com.au.
(3) A blog has been posted by Mr. Ronald McDonald based on our article. Actually, it has been republished there, though no reference has been made, which is a violation. We ask the owner of the blog to place the proper reference (the hyperlink).
(4) In the e-mails we have received, 55 people allege that the article is inaccurate, and the allegations are blown out of proportion. However, over 20 people expressed the opposite opinion, saying that the toy certainly promotes gambling.
For instance, Eileen H. Kramer from Columbus, Georgia wrote: “I read your story on the Neopets McDonalds promotion. The story contains some innacuracies picked up from the original, but the truth is worse in many ways than what the story describes.”
Eileen goes on to say that “Neopia not only offers gambling, it encourages it. There are two free games of chance to whet the newbie player’s appetite for something for nothing. These are Tombola and the Fruit Machine. I play Tombola every day. It costs nothing and once in a while I get lucky”.
“The most attractive form of gambling in Neopia are the wheels. You pay anywhere from fifty to five hundred Neopints to play and then the wheel spins. If you are lucky you win more Neopoints or a prize. If you are not lucky, you lose Neopoints and if you are really unlucky your pets become ill and unhappy. Try imagining something like this in real life. The wheels teach that it is OK to risk the welfare of something you love for a chance at gaining riches”.
Dawn Renae Scoggins, who calls herself as a “PROUD Neopets Player!” wrote: “I have been a member of Neopets for over three years now, my daughter is a member of it and so are a lot of her friends, and I can honestly say that they aren’t interested in the gambling games, for the most part. And if you don’t like the gambling games? Don’t play them.”
“In fact, only about five games on Neopets are gambling, and you do have the choice not to play them,” the reader adds.
Shannie Wilson says “The content of this article is horribly incorrect” and puts forward the following arguments: “I have been playing on Neopets.com for well over 2 years, and there is NO such thing as an orphanage. Players are given an option of sending their pets to the pound if they no longer want one. This gives other players the option of adopting the pet. Secondly, neopets supplies free food daily for pets. Of the nearly 160 games on the site, maybe 10% involve gambling. The vast majority involve skill. Players have an option of visiting the Giant Jelly or omelette once a day for free food. I have never used games to earn my daily points. Players also have the option of buying from shops and selling items they buy to earn points… “
We would go along with Dawn Renae’s suggestion and observe “a time-honored American journalist tradition: RESEARCH”. It is great that parents are speaking up about the gambling on Neopia and clearing up the misconceptions, concentrating on what really goes on inside the walls.
An in-depth follow-up article is coming soon.
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