An “app”-arent problem at BHS

An obsession with furthering their progression in popular apps, students at BHS understand the problems that can occur when spending money on an app.

Michael Tenney, Staff Writer

Getting to the end of a life line contains its risks. Trying to survive, running over any obstacles and fighting the angry monster that comes in your way leads to the final death. However, if you spend two dollars, your life line will fill up once more and you’ll recieve another opportunity to live.

Whether it’s to go up from one level to another, to get more coins to buy locked items, or to buy more lives without waiting a couple minutes, many students will do whatever it takes to get those ten extra lives. Freshman Joshua Bilsky attempted to progress in an app by taking his mother’s credit card.

“There was this game called Tap Zoo,” said Bilsky. “It’s like any other game where you buy stuff and you try to get more profits and what not. With your real currency, you can buy in-game coins to get better things.”

Bilsky lost his mother’s trust after spending $100 on in-app purchases without her permission.

“I was a little kid, and I didn’t know the value of money,” said Bilsky. “I was in huge trouble. I had to pay back the 100 dollars. I got grounded for a while and my mom didn’t trust me after that for a long time.”

While Bilsky experienced spending a significant amount of money at a younger age, junior Gaby Bermeo discovered her love of spending money on apps recently. These apps include the Kim Kardashian game, Candy Crush, and “Kimoji.”

“A lot of them are time games,” said Bermeo. “When you run out of time or hearts, I just couldn’t wait over 24 hours.”

With her obsession over apps, Bermeo knows her family and friends laugh at her need for leveling-up.

My mom laughed at me, my friends laughed at me, my sister makes fun of me,”

— Gaby Bermeo

said Bermeo. “[I know] I spent a lot of money on the game, but I’m just like ‘yeah, whatever.’”

Bermeo’s sister Grace doesn’t understand why Bermeo spends money on apps.

“If she likes something, she’ll just buy it,” said Gaby’s sister. “If she thinks of it, she’ll just purchase it and keep it forever. “

Instead of spending money on apps meant for pure entertainment, math teacher Jon Jacques purchased apps for inside the classroom.

“I have one thats TI-NSpire CAS,” said Jacques. “It’s a graphing calculator, a geometry sketchpad, it has a computer sketch pad all in one.”

The app itself is $30. However, Jacques believes the app is well worth the cost.

“[I use them] all the time [in classrooms],” said Jacques. “It’s a visual representation of the graphs instead of my hand drawn version. It’s precision. It’s quick. It’s done.”

While Bermeo’s friends and family know of her obsession, Bilsky kept his gaming stories to himself.

“I’ve never told my friends,” said Bilsky. “I understand that I was a little kid and didn’t completely understand the value of money–so I’m not completely embarrassed. But, I’m a little disappointed in myself.”

Spending money on apps can turn from a couple dollars to hundreds, Gaby’s sister Grace doesn’t think it’s necessary to have to spend any money on an app.

“You’re just going to get sick of it in a week,” said her sister. “From experience, I bought the Kim Kardashian Emoji app. I used it three times and got tired of it. I just deleted it.”

Although Bilsky now regrets his decisions to spend money on apps, he only felt happiness.

“At the time, I thought I was great,” said Bilsky. “I thought it was the best thing ever. I was so advanced into the game at that point because of how much money I spent.”

Even though people wish to advance in a game, Gaby’s sister feels there are more important things to spend money on.

“I think that’s crazy,” said her sister. “Look what else you can buy with that money than points on a little game.”

Jacques believes the apps he paid for are not a waste of his money. In fact, he recommends his graphing calculator apps.

“[I recommend them to] other math teachers for sure,” said Jacques. “I’ve shown them to other math teachers. I recommend the Desmos app [another graphing calculator app] to just about anybody.”

However, getting far into a game made Bermeo want to keep spending more money.

“I got so far in that game,” said Bermeo. “I was on the top level. I didn’t want to go down so I just tried to stay on top.”

Gaby Bermeo

Gaby Bermeo

However, it didn’t take Bermeo long to realize how much she spent on trying to progress in a game.

“[I discovered I had been spending a lot of money on apps] when I had no more money in my iTunes. I had to get a new card,” said Bermeo. “I had an iTunes cards, so it wasn’t as big of a deal. I was still spending money, but it wasn’t like I was taking it out of my own bank account.”

After realizing both of their own obsessions with spending money on apps, Bermeo and Bilsky hold back from spending more money on their favorite past time adventures.

“I think I did it one other time, because I guess I didn’t learn my lesson,” said Bilsky. “I ended up finally learning my lesson after the second time. I’m cured.”