It started as a “Build-a-bear” party. It has ended in tears.
A few weeks ago my daughter went to a “Build-a-bear” party. Basically a party in a teddy bear shop where you build your own teddy bear. there’s probably all sorts of child slave labour law issues in that whole model, but the kids loved it and the bear comes with web access to a Build-a-bear-world… a kind of Second Life for under tens. It looks well made and the only way to get the entry code is to buy a bear in the shop… which in itself offers some protection for the kids. So I let my daughter join and – to be fair – she’s been enjoying life in Virtual reality.
Then along comes a “Celebrity Beach Party”… but here’s the scam… er …. promo. You can only get into that section of the virtual park if you go BACK to the shop and buy something else. You also get a chance to win £5,000 but that’s really not the point. My daughter just birst into tears when she realized that with all the will in the world, she couldn’t get into that part of the virtual world.
Now – as a parent, when a child starts crying for something that clearly she doesn’t need, it’s time for a parent to put on the brakes. NO. I will not be bullied by an eight year old. Especially one that is trying to extort time and money out of me through some virtual mafia Godmother teddy bear company!
Nice try though Build-a-bear!