Report blasts “manipulative” video game loot boxes

  • A report by the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) has reported that gamers are being “manipulated” into spending large sums of money on loot boxes in games.
  • Loot boxes are containers of in-game materials (such as cosmetics or tools) which are only revealed through gameplay or by paying for access.
  • Consumer groups from 18 countries, including the European Consumer Organisation have backed the report and called loot boxes “exploitative”.
  • You can read the full story on the BBC’s website.

Female researcher virtually raped and harassed in metaverse

  • A researcher from SumOfUs reports that she was raped on Meta’s VR platform Horizon Worlds within an hour of entering to research user behaviour.
  • She was invited into a private room on Horizon Worlds and harassed by another user while others watched and passed around a vodka bottle.
  • When she entered the room, she had been requested to turn off the ‘Personal Boundary’ feature which creates a boundary around a user’s avatar and prevents others from coming close.
  • To find out more about the metaverse, check out our article.
  • You can read the full story on The Independent’s website.

Watchdog investigating another Met police strip-search of a child

  • The police watchdog has confirmed that it is investigating the strip-search of another child by the Metropolitan Police, following two other cases of Child Q and Olivia.
  • The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed on Monday that the strip-searching of a child had occurred last year.
  • The child had been arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs and taken into custody, with their mother also brought in.
  • The gender and race of the child has not been disclosed at this time, but the IOPC confirm that the strip-search was conducted by officers of the same gender.
  • You can read the full story on The Guardian’s website.

Cost-of-living crisis worrying children and teenagers

  • A survey by the Yorkshire Building Society has found that more than 93% of 11 to 18-year-olds are aware of the living crisis.
  • Around three-fifths (61%) in this age group worry about their parents or guardians not having enough money for them to do what they want and have what they need.
  • The Society has launched a “money minds” online financial education platform for children and young people.
  • You can read the full story on The Independent’s website.

Teaching unions push for free school meals expansion

  • Teaching unions have written to the Chancellor and Education Secretary asking for free school meals to be provided for all families receiving universal credit in England.
  • The unions and organisations claim to represent one million school staff urging for an “urgent” expansion amid the cost-of-living crisis.
  • The current threshold for eligibility for free school meals of £7,400 per year was criticised as a “ridiculously low figure”.
  • You can read the full story on the Belfast Telegraph’s website.

NSPCC Cymru to raise awareness of work and child protection

  • NSPCC Cymru will be at the Urdd National Eisteddfod raising awareness about their work and about child protection.
  • In 2021/22 the NSPCC hotline in Wales referred 352 children to statutory agencies with concerns of neglect.
  • During the same period, 291 referrals were made with concerns of physical abuse, 162 due to emotional abuse and 243 for sexual abuse.
  • You can read the full story on the Deeside website.